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Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 14:07:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
Subject: List of and questions about old French Forts.
To: Bob Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9611111457.A2584-0100000@netcom18>

List of and questions about old French Forts

By Perdue and Persinos <73043.2411@CompuServe.COM>
11 November 1996

My interest in the old French forts in north central Haiti is a spin-off of my interest in the history of Plantation Dauphin and the Fort Liberty area. During the Marines occupation, a reconnaissance patrol was led out of Fort Liberty by Major Smedly Butler. It covered some 400 miles of territory, led to the destruction of some Cacos-occupied forts and to the location of Fort Riviere which was destroyed during another Marine deployment.

On September 22, 1996 I had the good fortune to accompany Derek McBride, a mining geologist, on a helicopter trip that passed over Fort Neuf before we landed at Forts Riviere and Salnave. Since I have read just about everything I can find (in English) about the Marine occupation and their battles with the Cacos and have found no reference to some of these forts, I suspect McBride may have rediscovered forts that have been long since forgotten.

My notes of this subject follow. Can anyone add to this? Of special interest:


My sources for this note:

Written in Blood by Robert and Nancy Heinl, revised by Michael Heinl, 1996 (HHH-2)

The Banana Wars, by Ivan Musicant, 1990. I have consulted several books on Marine Corps history. Musicant provides more details than the others. (In the Haiti file at the Marine Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, there is a large document that consists of printed pages from some report intermingled with carbon copies from some other report. No one at the Center has any knowledge of its source or who put this together. This provides more details about the 1915 actions against the Cacos but nothing more about the location of the forts and does not mention, for example Forts Salnave, Neuf or Garien.

Gazetteer of Haiti, 3rd ed., Defense Mapping Agency, 1993.

I have limited my efforts to the forts along or near the northern perimeter of the Spanish salient into what is now north central Haiti. I have not made any effort to identify those along the southern perimeter of the salient because I do not at this time have topo maps of that area.