Previously named Fort Wood, Fort Macomb was built around 1815 on the site of an older fort named Chef Menteur. Nine miles from Fort Pike, architect Simon Bernard's structure was thought to be impregnable to enemy troops attacking in the narrow straits of lakes Borgne and St. Catherine. In 1822, the fort was renamed to honor Alexander Macomb, a field commander lauded for his actions during the War of 1812. Never used for offensive purposes, the fort was utilized as a staging area for supplies during the Second Seminole and Mexican Wars. In 1862, Union troops seized the fort and used it for training exercises and barracks. Fort Macomb is considered a Third System fort. These defenses were built to last, unlike the First and Second System constructions built of inferior materials (see stop 3, Fort Petite Coquilles). Third System forts were made to protect the nation's waterways from attack and usually housed more cannon than their earlier counterparts. This fort features the same general design as Fort Pike; unlike its sister fort, Macomb is in poor condition due to the encroachment of Lake Catherine.