“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Paducah in McCracken County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Battle of Paducah-March 1864

Battle of Paducah-March 1864 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, August 10, 2020
1. Battle of Paducah-March 1864 Marker
Inscription.  On 25 March 1864, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest seized the city of Paducah. His purpose was to strike Federal forces, break up guerilla bands, recover deserters, recruit and reoutfit his men. He arrived in the outskirts of the city during mid-afternoon after covering one hundred miles in fifty hours of riding.

With about 2,500 men, most of which were in Brigadier General Abram Buford's 2nd Division, the Confederates quickly overran six outlying redoubts that guarded each of the streets coming into the city. Colonel A.P. Thompson, commanding the Kentucky Brigade, moved through the city pursuing the Federal troops who retreated into Fort Anderson, a Mahan style earthen fort named after John Anderson the Kentuckian who had surrendered Fort Sumner. The fort was near the river at the west end of 4th Street between Park Avenue and Clay Street. Thompson surrounded the fort with the 3rd and 7th Kentucky Mounted Infantry. The 8th Kentucky Mounted and the 12th Kentucky Cavalry, along with other units, were dispatched to other parts of the city to gather supplies and horses they needed and to destroy the Federal property they
Battle of Paducah-March 1864 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, August 10, 2020
2. Battle of Paducah-March 1864 Marker
Wide view, in a grassy area (five other markers are located here as of 8/2020)
could not carry away.

Colonel S.G. Hicks, who commanded the fort, had 665 men available in the 122nd Illinois Infantry, 16th Kentucky Cavalry and the 8th United States Colored Artillery (Heavy), as well as the support of two gunboats (Peosta and Paw Paw) in the Ohio River. Skirmishing continued around the fort until 4:30 PM when a demand for surrender was sent into the fort. Colonel Hicks refused to surrender.

No assault was planned against the fort, but as Colonel Thompson was gathering his men a percussion shell struck him, exploded and killed him instantly. The horse he rode ran a block and died. Colonel Thompson had been a lawyer in Paducah before the war and was killed three blocks from his home.

After burning some Federal confiscated cotton and a steamer in dry dock, Forrest withdrew the next morning to Mayfield with fifty prisoners, four hundred horses and a large quantity of supplies. Confederate casualties were ten killed and forty wounded. Federal casualties, in addition to the prisoners, were fourteen killed and forty-six wounded.

After the battle, newspapers reported that Forrest missed 140 excellent army horses. Upon learning this, Forrest sent Buford back to Paducah who chased the Federals back into the fort, rounded up the rest of the horses and their equipment and rode south to rejoin Forrest.
Erected by
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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. (Marker Number 26.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 37° 5.568′ N, 88° 36.187′ W. Marker is in Paducah, Kentucky, in McCracken County. Marker can be reached from Park Avenue east of North 5th Street. Marker is in front of the parking lot of Paducah Convention Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 431 Park Ave, Paducah KY 42001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Anderson (a few steps from this marker); Grant's Proclamation (a few steps from this marker); A Paducah CSA Hero (within shouting distance of this marker); 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Death of Albert Thompson (within shouting distance of this marker); The Flood Wall / The 1937 Flood (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Liberty of Texas 1836 / Mexican-American War 1846-48 (about 500 feet away); MAQS (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Paducah.
Also see . . .  Battle of Paducah on Wikipedia. (Submitted on August 18, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 18, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Jan. 21, 2021