In the early 1800s, there was an army garrison located in Vincennes, the oldest city in the state, and the seat of Knox County. Local residents began complaining that the soldiers were spending too much time in the local saloons. So, in 1803 the garrison was moved to a site north of town. The new site was on a bluff with a commanding view of the strategic Wabash River. Since it was located in Knox County, the 42 acre site became known as “Fort Knox II.”
By 1809, Vincennes became the center of military activity for the Indiana Territory. As increasingly dangerous situations developed between the settlers and the Native American Indian population, more soldiers were brought to the Fort, which was under the command of Captain Zachary Taylor.
In 1811, Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison used the fort as a staging area for troops as he prepared for the Battle of Tippecanoe. Afterwards, Fort Knox II also became a hospital for wounded soldiers from that battle, who where floated down river from Fort Harrison in Terre Haute.
Over time, three forts were built at the site to protect settlers and help control activity on the Wabash River. Today, the outline of the original fort is marked by short posts and interpretive markers tell its story.