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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Northport in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge / Bridging The Black Warrior River

 
 
Side A: Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 13, 2010
1. Side A: Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge
Inscription. (Front):
Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge
3 April 1865 - Brig Gen John T. Croxton’s Cavalry Brigade departed camp at Johnson’s Ferry (Old Lock 17 area) to the Watermelon Road ending in Northport. As the Union troops entered Northport, the Methodist Church bell was rung as a prearranged warning alarm. Armed with 7-shot carbines, 150 troopers of the 2nd Michigan Cav Regt rushed the covered bridge which was defended by about a dozen old men and young boys led by 53-year-old Capt Benjamin F. Eddins. This Home Guard removed 30 feet of the bridge’s flooring in a delaying action as they retreated, returning fire with their single-shot weapons. Capt Eddins was seriously wounded and died a week later; 15-year-old John Carson was crippled for life by a bullet. Union casualties of the 2nd Mich Cav Regt numbered 23.

4 April - Croxton’s raiders skirmished with the Alabama Corps of Cadets near Greensboro Ave and University Blvd and the brow of River Hill. After the mayor, accompanied by a Catholic priest, surrendered the town, the Union troops burned the main buildings of the State University, the foundry, factories, warehouses and 2,000 bales of cotton. 5 April - Burning the covered bridge and destroying two captured cannon. Croxton’s cavalry departed Tuscaloosa and Northport by way of the Columbus Road (Old
Side B:  Bridging The Black Warrior River image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 13, 2010
2. Side B: Bridging The Black Warrior River
Highway 82 W).

(Reverse):
Bridging The Black Warrior River:
At this junction for all roads converging from the north, east, and west, seven bridges in succession have connected Northport and Tuscaloosa across the Black Warrior River. The first was built in 1834 by then - slave Horace King. Damaged by a tornado in 1842, it was replaced in 1852 by a second bridge - the one defended by the Tuscaloosa Home Guard before its destruction in April 1865. In 1872 a new wooden span was erected, again engineered by King, who had been freed in 1846 and who become famous as a bridge builder in Alabama and Georgia. A 3-span iron bridge was built in 1882, then replaced in 1895 with a swing-span type to allow the passage of river traffic. A drawbridge was constructed in 1922, standing until the Hugh Thomas Bridge was built slightly downstream in 1974.
 
Erected 2002 by Alabama Historical Association, Sponsored by the Friends of Northport and the Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa County.
 
Location. 33° 12.924′ N, 87° 34.409′ W. Marker is in Northport, Alabama, in Tuscaloosa County. Marker is on Bridge Avenue when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located at the end of Bridge Avenue on the bank of the Black Warrior
Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge / Bridging The Black Warrior River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 13, 2010
3. Home Guard Defended Covered Bridge / Bridging The Black Warrior River Marker
River. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Bridge Avenue, Northport AL 35476, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Captain Benjamin F. Eddins (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burns’ Shoals (about 800 feet away); Horace King (about 800 feet away); The Black Warrior River (approx. 0.2 miles away); Navigation and Shipbuilding On The Black Warrior River (approx. 0.2 miles away); The M & O Railroad Trestle (approx. 0.3 miles away); “The Indian Fires Are Going Out” (approx. 0.4 miles away); Shirley Place (approx. 0.4 miles away).
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil
 
The Hugh Thomas Bridge crossing the Black Warrior River. image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 13, 2010
4. The Hugh Thomas Bridge crossing the Black Warrior River.
On the opposite side of the river under the power lines stands the original approach of the past bridges that spanned the river at this location.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,243 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 13, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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