Wickliffe in Ballard County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Before 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 at 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
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 the troops from Fort Holt went with General Grant and fought in the Battle of Belmont.
Most of the troops from Forts 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 Forts Henry and Donelson.
Much of the action seen by both forts involved river boats. A naval skirmish occurred near Fort Jefferson at Lucus 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
Erected by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. (Marker Number 27.)
Location. 36° 57.342′ N, 89° 5.469′ W. Marker is in Wickliffe, Kentucky, in Ballard County. Marker is on Westvaco Road (U.S. 51/62), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located at the entrance to Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross Park. Marker is in this post office area: Wickliffe KY 42087, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Union Supply Base (a few steps from this marker); Fort Jefferson Site / Indian Massacre (a few steps from this marker); Lewis and Clark in Kentucky Fort Jefferson (a few steps from this marker); Lewis & Clark at Old Fort Jefferson (approx. 0.2 miles away); County Named, 1842 (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Prince of the French Explorers (approx. one mile away); King Mounds (approx. one mile away); Welcome to Wickliffe Mounds (approx. 1.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wickliffe.
More about this marker. On the left center of the marker is a portrait of Joseph Holt. Fort Holt was named for Joseph Holt, Secretary
Also see . . . The Civil War in the Jackson Purchase Region of Kentucky. A survey of historic sites related to the Civil War in western Kentucky, by William H. Mulligan, Jr. (Submitted on May 2, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,499 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on , by Monty L. Robertson of Loami, Illinois. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.