Fort Prudhomme - Location


The position of Fort Prudhomme is unknown and a documented controversy about the exact location of the fortification exists. Researchers agree that it was located on the Chickasaw Bluffs but it is disputed on which of the four bluffs the fortification was located. Some historians claim that Fort Prudhomme was built on the first Chickasaw Bluff, in modern day Lauderdale County, placing it at the location of Fort Pillow, a later Civil War fortification, or "somewhere near this place". The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture suggests that Fort Prudhomme was built on the second Chickasaw Bluff, south of the Hatchie River, near modern day Randolph in Tipton County. Other research mentions the third Chickasaw Bluff as the location of Fort Prudhomme, which would place the fortification at the border of what is modern day Tipton and Shelby Counties, encompassed in part by modern Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park. Again other sources assume that "La Salle built Fort Prudhomme, possibly on the site of present-day Memphis", on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff below the mouth of the Wolf River, in what would later become Shelby County. The location on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff would put Fort Prudhomme at or near the site of the later French Fort Assumption which was used as a base against the Chickasaw in the abortive Campaign of 1739. The table below provides approximate coordinates for all four Chickasaw Bluffs, the possible locations of Fort Prudhomme, starting with the northernmost first Chickasaw Bluff above Fulton.

Bluff Location (north to south) County Coordinates (approx.)
First Above Fulton Lauderdale 35°37′26″N 89°52′12″W / 35.624°N 89.870°W / 35.624; -89.870 (First Chickasaw Bluff)
Second At Randolph Tipton 35°30′58″N 89°53′17″W / 35.516°N 89.888°W / 35.516; -89.888 (Second Chickasaw Bluff)
Third Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park Tipton and Shelby 35°22′16″N 90°03′54″W / 35.371°N 90.065°W / 35.371; -90.065 (Third Chickasaw Bluff)
Fourth Below the mouth of the Wolf River at Memphis Shelby 35°08′28″N 90°03′18″W / 35.141°N 90.055°W / 35.141; -90.055 (Fourth Chickasaw Bluff)

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