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Fort Jefferson - Wickliffe, KY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 36° 57.336 W 089° 05.477
16S E 313806 N 4091990
Quick Description: Interesting site, ths marker about Fort Jefferson, Lewis & Clark marker, Indian battles, marker, huge cross, and Ohio River confluence all in one place.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 12/12/2013 5:12:19 AM
Waymark Code: WMJP82
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of site: Ballard County
Project funding provided by: The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (TEA-21 Program)
Site number: 27
Interpretive Signs Developed by: The Forest C. Pogue Public History Institute, Murray State University

Marker Text:

"Fort Jefferson (also known as Camp Crittenden)was the second of two Union Army posts established in Ballard County in September 1961, following the Confederate occupation of Columbus. Fort Jefferson was first established during the American Revolution by George Rogers Clark in 1780 and occupied until 1781. The Civil War era fort was located on the same site, just above the mouth of Mayfield Creek. The first post was Fort Holt, named for Joseph Holt, Secretary of War at the end of the Buchanan administration and after March 1862 the first Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army. Holt was born in Breckinridge County, Kentucky in 1807 and practiced law in Louisville before becoming Commissioner of Patents in 1857. Fort Holt was located opposite Birds Point, Missouri. The two forts were part of the defense of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the shipyards at Mound City, Illinois.

"Before the establishment of the two forts, Union troops were active in Ballard County. On June 5 and 6, 1861, a small force was observed checking on rebel activity, and again on August 21, 1861.

"By late September 1861, there were 3,595 federal troops in Fort Holt and more than 2,000 at Fort Jefferson. Refugees, mostly former slaves, flooded Union lines soon after the forts were established. They were put to work by General Grant on the fortifications at Fort Holt and worked felling trees and digging earthworks.

"Troops from Fort Jefferson and Fort Holt were sent to Elliott's Mill and involved in skirmishes and reconnaissance in late September 1861. Fort Holt troops later went on a September 26 raid on Blandville and arrested secessionists on September 26. All troops from Fort Holt went with General Grant and fought in the Battle of Belmont.

"Most of the troops from Fort Holt and Jefferson accompanied General Grant to Forts Henry and Donelson as the western theatre moved east and south. On January 10, 1862 Federal troops were sent to Fort Jefferson as a diversion to distract Confederates at Fort Henry and Donelson.

"Much of the action seen by both forts involved river boats. A naval skirmish occurred near Fort Jefferson at Lucas Bend on the Mississippi River, September 9 and 10, 1861. The USS Conestoga defeated the CSS Yankee, but returned to Cairo under heavy sniper fire from both sides of the river. The largest skirmish occurred on January 11, 1862 at Lucas Bend. Confederate gunboats attacked the USS Essex and the USS St. Louis. After twenty minutes of artillery exchanges and an hour-long running battle there was no clear winner. This encounter was the last time the Confederate Navy approached this far north.

"By April 1862 both of these forts were deserted. Fort Holt having been flooded out in the spring. Federal forces in far western Kentucky concentrated at Columbus and Paducah."

Group that erected the marker: Ohio River Civil War Heritage Trail

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
US 51 / US 62 - Fort Jefferson Cross at the Confluence
1 mile S. of
Wickliffe, KY USA

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
YoSam. visited Fort Jefferson - Wickliffe, KY 8/7/2011 YoSam. visited it