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Fort Duffield Park and Historic Site

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Kentucky

Salt River Drive
West Point, KY 40177, USA

Website: www.fortduffield.com »

Native son of Kentucky, President Abraham Lincoln, said: "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game." At the confluence of the Salt and Ohio Rivers in North Hardin County, Kentucky, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of the Army of the Cumberland, ordered the construction of a fort some 300 feet above the city of West Point to protect his supply base there and to protect Louisville from attack via the Louisville-Nashville Turnpike and Ohio River. Work on the fort began on Sunday, November 3, 1861, and the 1,000 foot long earthen fortification with no less than 10 angles for artillery took about one and a half months to complete. The bulk of the construction was done by the 9th Michigan Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel William W. Duffield. Many of the green troops who worked with pick-ax and shovel were stricken with disease. Current research shows that of the 48 Civil War Soldiers that died while in West Point, Kentucky, 39 were Michigan soldiers. 10 of those soldiers were sent home for burial. In 1868, the remaining Michigan soldiers and 1 Kentucky soldier were reinterred in the New Albany, Indiana National Cemetery. Today a memorial cemetery with stone markers and a modest granite monument pays tribute to the memory of these men who gave their lives to preserve the Union. This impregnable fortress was never challenged; however, its strategic position no doubt played an important roll in the Civil War in Kentucky.