Corbitt's National Parks
     George Rogers Clark
               National Historic Park


1966: National Historic Park

Size: 26 acres

2008 visitors: 113,688

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

This Park is located on the site of the Battle of Fort Sackville, in what is now Indiana. This commemorates the Revolutionary War capture of the fort from the British by Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark and his men on February 25, 1779. It also honors the subsequent settlement of the region north of the Ohio River. Although the battle itself is not well-known, Clark became famous for his exploits in harassing the British in this wild region of untamed America.

From the time of the French and Indian War, the British dominated a large portion of the Trans-Appalachian frontier. George Rogers Clark had organized a Kentucky militia to defend against Indian attacks encouraged by the British. On December 17, 1778, Clark received word that the British had taken Fort Sackville from a token American force. Clark led a force of 170 Americans and French sympathizers through a grueling 18-day trek to attack the fort. They had to travel through freezing winter rivers, sometimes with water up to their shoulders. It's a testament to Clark's leadership that they arrived at all.

In February of 1779, Clark's men surrounded the fort and cleverly gave the impression of a much larger force. The British commander was in a pickle, since he'd let most of his army go home for the winter, which was common practice back then. After several days of tense negotiations, the British surrendered the fort on February 25, 1779. During the rest of the war, Clark succeeded in harassing the British so well that when the war was over, the British ceded to America vast tracts of land, including parts of the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.

What You're Going to See

The exact location of the fort is not known, though it's believed to be very near the present-day site of the Park. Archaelogical evidence suggests that the fort's front wall was located midway between the Clark Memorial and the Lincoln Bridge in Vincennes, Indiana. The Clark Memorial is a rotunda-type structure built during the 1920's and 1930's to honor Clark and his achievements. It is located on the Park grounds.

There is a visitors center and 26 acres of landscaped lawns for your viewing pleasure. There's a Junior Ranger program for the kids. Activities include picnicking, touring the Clark Memorial, and enjoying the lawns.

Personal Observations

Nope. Never been to Indiana. Haven't flown over it, or even been there in my mind.

Getting There

From Indianapolis, take I-70 west for 68 miles to Terre Haute. Take US 41/150 south for 56 miles to Vincennes. Stay on the road, which becomes highway 61 or North 6th St., then turn right on Dubois St., and go four blocks to 401 S. 2nd St.

Nearby Attractions

About 45 miles to the southeast is Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.