Fort Wyman - Rolla, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 56.766 W 091° 46.402
15S E 607775 N 4200544
Quick Description: No photographs of the fort are known to exist. Capt. William Hoelcke, engineering officer of the Department of the Missouri, made scale drawings of Fort Wyman in 1865.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 1/24/2015 4:45:58 AM
Waymark Code: WMN9A3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tuena
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of mark: Phelps County
Location of mark: Main St. & 3rd St., between old and new courthouses, Rolla
Mark erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Refugees at Rolla
Fort Wyman and the Union garrison at the railhead represented a safe haven for thousands of uprooted people who had fallen victim to a regional calamity that engulfed a large portion of Missouri.

Refugees from southern Missouri and northern Arkansas converged on Rolla during the war. They had been forced from their homes due to unpopular opinions about the war or because of hostile neighbors. Many of these .homeless families left farmsteads reduced to ruin after armies of either side had passed through. Many had been preyed upon by armed bands of guerrillas and bandits of every character.

With their men away in the armies, increasing numbers of destitute and starving women, children and aged civilians made their way to Rolla. Rations issued to them by army quartermasters at the railhead were a matter of life and death for hundreds of refugees who would have otherwise starved.

Sketch and Plan of Fort Wyman
No photographs of the fort are known to exist. Capt. William Hoelcke, engineering officer of the Department of the Missouri, made scale drawings of Fort Wyman in 1865. They show a standard military fortification known as a redoubt, in this case a simple rectangle, 300 feet square. Earth excavated from the enclosing moat ditch formed walls 10 feet high and a ditch 6 feet deep. Access to the interior of the fort was controlled through a single gate through the north wall, with a retractable plank drawbridge to cross the ditch. There were artillery positions at each of the corners. There were two log blockhouses for riflemen, placed at opposite angles in the moat and connected to the interior of the fort by log tunnels running underneath the gun platforms. The only structures inside the walls were the log powder magazine, a well and the artillery emplacements.

Col. John B. Wyman
Led by former railroad builder, John B. Wyman, the 13th Illinois Infantry ("Fox River") regiment arrived in Rolla on July 17, 1861. Except for brief forays, the unit remained at the railhead until March 1862, leading soldiers to quip that the regiment should have been called the "Rolla Home Guard." Col. Wyman died of wounds received at the head of his regiment during the failed attack on Chickasaw Bluff, Miss. (Battle of Chickasaw Bayou) on Dec. 28, 1862.

Location Name: courthouse lawn

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