Praise the Roof
Posted on 11/06/2020

Parks to Celebrate Civil War Fort Improvement

Please join the City of Cape Girardeau Parks & Recreation Department as we celebrate the completion of a new roof project at Fort D Historic Site. This ribbon-cutting event is scheduled, rain or shine, for Tuesday, November 10 at 11:30 a.m. Mayor Bob Fox will provide a welcome message and Scott House, a champion of Fort D for many years, will provide remarks.

The roof over Fort D was made possible by voters approving the 2018 Parks, Recreation and Stormwater sales tax. Read more about those projects and future Fort D improvements at

Fort D is the site of a Civil War-era earthworks compound that overlooks the Mississippi River. The historic site is located at the corner of Fort Street and Locust Street, adjacent to the House of Hope/Old May Greene School. In 2019, the site was accepted on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to Civil War re-enactments and displays inside the original American Legion Building that was constructed in the 1930s.

John Wesley Powell’s

Fort D Historic Site

Cape Girardeau, Missouri


  • Fort D is one of four forts built by the United States army around Cape Girardeau in the summer/fall of 1861 to protect the city from land attack.
  • Of these forts, only Fort D remains intact. Fort A is partially preserved by a Cape Girardeau family.
  • Fort D was built under the direction of (future) famed explorer and scientist John Wesley Powell.
  • Union troops from Illinois, local residents, Union engineers, and escaped slaves helped build the fort.
  • The earthen walls are the real fort. Packed dirt protects the fort much better than wood or stone.
  • Powell recruited local men to form a company and man the guns. This Company F (Powell’s Battery) went on to fight at Shiloh, Corinth MS, Vicksburg, and Atlanta.
  • The engineer regiment recruited local men to form Company G which served throughout the south, including Sherman’s famed March to the Sea.
  • Civic action from 1915 to 1935 preserved the earthen walls.
  • The blockhouse structure was built in 1936 as a museum and meeting building. It was abandoned and decayed. It was renovated in 2020, funded by a parks and recreation tax voted in by the citizens of Cape Girardeau.
  • Fort D is located at the corner of Locust Street and West Fort Street, 5 blocks south of the intersection of Missouri Rte. 74 and Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau, just west of the bridge over the Mississippi River.
  • Living History events are held annually on the weekends of Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day plus additional days such as Veterans Day. The grounds, featuring the original earthen walls of the fort, and complete with informational signs, are open daily all year long. Admission is always free. Special guided tours with demonstrations are available for a nominal fee. For more information contact  or or find us on Facebook at Friends of Fort D Historic Site.