Downtown in St. Louis, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Battle of St. Louis
Fort San Carlos
In the late 18th century, the western world was at war. France and their ally Spain were at war with Britain and American colonists along the North Atlantic were fighting a bitter war for their independence. In 1780 The Revolution in the east migrated west to the small French born, Spanish owned trading post along the Mississippi River, Saint Louis.
Fearing an attack from the English, Spanish officials began to build a series of stone towers, manned with cannons along the banks of the Mississippi, facing east.
The central tower, Fort San Carlos was located near this spot.
On May 26, 1780 the British, with several hundred of their Native American allies, launched a massive attack on St. Louis.
The small garrison of Spanish soldiers and the predominantly French inhabitants of the community were able to repulse the attack. By the end of the day, the British and their Native American allies retreated north.
The fort and Saint Louis survived.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • Native AmericansWar, US Revolutionary. A significant historical date for this entry is May 26, 1780.
Location. 38° 37.435′ N, 90° 11.368′ W. Marker is in Downtown in St. Louis, Missouri. Marker is on South 4th Street south of Walnut Street, on the left when traveling north. 4th Street is one way, going north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 104 S 4th St, Saint Louis MO 63102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Phelim O'Toole (within shouting distance of this marker); Rue de la Tour (within shouting distance of this marker); Engineers' Club of St. Louis (within shouting distance of this marker); American Zinc Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Chief Pontiac (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rue des Granges (about 400 feet away); Fort San Carlos (about 500 feet away); International Fur Exchange (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
Regarding Battle of St. Louis. The Battle of St. Louis (also known as The Battle of Fort San Carlos), was the only battle of the American Revolution that took place west of the Mississippi. It is believed to be on the present-day Ballpark Village site (across from Busch Stadium). The fort was located at the corner of present-day 4th and Walnut Streets. Led by the British, it's estimated that somewhere between 1,200 and 2,000 Native American warriors from the Sioux, Chippewa, Menominee, and Winnebago advanced on the Village, attacking the unsuspecting community of 900 people, killing several settlers & slaves who were tending their fields on the outskirts of town.
Spanish Governor, Fernando de Leyba, had ordered 4 stone towers to be built in defense of the city, but at the time of the attack, only one, known as Fort San Carlos, had been completed. Although greatly outnumbered, historians give many reasons why the primarily-French townspeople prevailed that day. One of them being that, was the cannon placed in the tower, which, after running out of cannonballs, began firing pieces of glass & nails. Another reason was the fact that the Indians seemed to be more interested in impressing the other tribes. Instead of attacking together, each tribe would take a turn rushing the fort, fight ferociously, then ride off and the next tribe would take a turn. Later, in the official reports of the British commanders, they said that their Native American allies seemed satisfied with what they did, which was to prove their strength & courage in battle. The British were planning to extend the battle for several days, depleting the settlers supply of food, water, & ammunition. But their losses were so high, the battle only lasted two hours. Twenty-one villagers had been killed, & 71 captured.
Every year (usually on May 28th), the Fort San Carlos Society commemorates the event at that site by reading the names of the 21 people who lost their lives.
Also see . . .
1. Fort San Carlos Commemoration Committee's website. The official website of the committee. Includes a bit of history, as well as the 21 people who were killed in that short battle. (Submitted on June 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
2. Battle of St. Louis on Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 67 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 23, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.