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Fort Gage at Kaskaskia, situated in the Northwest Territory, and what is now the state of Illinois, was held by the British under the command of Philippe-Francois de Rastel de Rocheblave, a French soldier hired by the British. Fort Gage was attacked and captured in July 1778 by Virginia forces under George Rogers Clark. On 26 May 1780, a British militia force along with three hundred Amerindians of the Sac, Sioux, Fox and Winnebago tribes, under the command of Emanuel Hesse attacked the Spanish-held Fort San Carlos in the settlement that was called St. Louis on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Spain had signed an alliance with France in 1779, and although she had not signed a formal treaty with the Continental Congress, she assisted the colonials when necessary. The Spaniards under Lieutenant Governor Fernando de Leyba opened fire on the British and the Sac and Fox warriors fled. The Spanish defenders held out and after a few hours of fighting, the British retreated. The mural depicting the attack on Fort San Carlos, shown below, was painted on a wall in the Missouri State Capitol at Jefferson City. Fort Detroit, though held by the British during the duration of the War, was never attacked.
"Indian Attack on the Village of St. Louis 1780" by Thomas Hart Benton
Missouri State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO
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