Fourth at the Fort: Independence Day celebration kicks off at Historic Fort D

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – A trip to Fort D on Independence Day weekend is meant to be an educational experience, but also a good time, said Fort D Turner Brigade Member Scott House.

“We’re jollifying and talking, we’re not fighting, but we are demonstrating some cannon fire in celebration of Independence Day,” he said. “We’re just demonstrating how camp life may have been like in 1863, or ‘64, or ‘65 in Cape Girardeau.” 

The soldiers at Fort D during the Civil War did not hold back when it came to the Fourth of July.

“We know the soldiers of the time were just like soldiers today and other patriots,” House said. “They fired their cannons. They fired their rifles. They probably had a good amount to eat, and they probably had a good amount to drink.”

House said getting to know visitors personally and hearing their stories make the long, hot days in those wool uniforms worth it.

“We ask everybody where they’re from because different people have different stories, so we try to relate what went on in Cape Girardeau in the Civil War to their own experiences, wherever they’re from, so they find a commonality,” he said.

And House can confirm, the uniforms are hot. 

“Yes, absolutely, we’re hot. We sweat ourselves terribly out here, and it was hot during the Civil War, too.”

But the celebration goes on, and it will continue Sunday and Monday from 9 am to 3 pm.

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