The site of Fort Vieux Logis is in present-day Hortonville, Nova Scotia, Canada (formerly part of Grand Pre) and was built during Father Le Loutre’s War. The fort was created to help prevent the Acadian Exodus from the region. The site of the fort is on the field where the Acadian Cross and the New England Planters monument are located. Despite archeological efforts, the exact location of the fort is unknown.
Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi’kmaq. Father Le Loutre’s War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749. By unilaterally establishing Halifax the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi’kmaq (1726), which were signed after Father Rale’s War. The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi’kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (1749), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).
Within 18 months of establishing Halifax, the British also took firm control of peninsula Nova Scotia by building fortifications in all the major Acadian communities: present-day Windsor (Fort Edward); Grand Pre (Fort Vieux Logis) and Chignecto (Fort Lawrence). (A British fort already existed at the other major Acadian centre of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Cobequid remained without a fort.)
Initially in 1749, Fort Vieux Logis did not have a barracks. Instead, it simply was three vacated Acadian homes with a fence around them.
Siege of Grand Pre
On November 27, 1749, 300 of the Wabanaki Confederacy (Mi’kmaq, Maliseet) and Acadians attacked the British Fort Vieux Logis. The fort was under the command of Captain Handfield. While surveying the fort’s environs, Lieutenant John Hamilton and eighteen soldiers under his command were captured. After the British soldiers were captured, the native and Acadian militias made several attempts over the next week to lay siege to the fort before breaking off the engagement. Gorham’s Rangers was sent to relieve the fort. When he arrived the militia had already departed with the prisoners. The prisoners spent several years in captivity before being ransomed.
In 1750, six British soldiers tried to desert the fort. Cornwallis ordered them to death. Two of them were shot. Three of them were hanged and their bodies left to hang in chains.
The first raid raid on Halifax happened in October 1750, while in the woods on peninsular Halifax, Mi’kmaq scalped two British people and took six prisoner: Cornwallis’ gardener, his son were tortured and scalped. The Mi’kmaq buried the son while the gardener’s body was left behind. Cornwallis presumed the other six prisoners were also killed until five months later he discovered they were being held prisoner at Grand Pre. In response, Cornwallis had soldiers from Fort Vieux Logis take ransom the local priest until the six British prisoners were released.
November 1, 1753, Captain Cox was the commander of Fort Vieux Logis.