Columbus in Hickman County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Fourth United States Colored Heavy Artillery
The Fourth's headquarters were in Columbus from its creation in July of 1863 through July of 1865. It was mustered out of service February 25, 1866 while serving at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The regiment was either attached to District Headquarters at Columbus or the garrison at Fort Halleck, one of the names used for the base at Columbus.
The entire regiment did not serve in the same place at all times. Company C, for example, was moved to Island 10 to guard the contraband colony there between June 25 and July 25, 1863. They then accompanied Lt. Colonel Roberts on an expedition to Arkansas before returning to Columbus.
Companies D, I, and L saw action in the second battle of Fort Donelson on October 10-11, 1864. Company I lost an officer, Lt.
Other companies of the Fourth served at many towns in the Purchase region of Kentucky and Tennessee, guarding the railroad, bridges, key roads, and river ports. Communities included Hickman and Moscow in Kentucky and Union City, Pine Bluff, and Crockett in Tennessee. Since the District of Columbus included all of Kentucky west of the Tennessee River and much of the western part of Tennessee, companies and detachments from the Fourth served in many other communities and patrolled large areas protecting communications and transportation lines. These patrols, along with picket duty were a regular part of the routine of a soldier's life.
Companies were frequently assigned to recruiting duty, which took them from Columbus for extended periods to enlist other African Americans in the Army. Companies D, I, and K were on recruiting duty, helping raise the 119th United States Colored Infantry when they encountered Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry near Fort Donelson in October of 1864.
The Fourth shared the duties at Columbus with the other units, all white, stationed there throughout the War. Because Columbus was a key transshipment point these duties frequently involved unloading riverboats, loading railroad cars, and then
Erected by Kentucky's Civil War Heritage Trail.
Location. 36° 45.898′ N, 89° 6.73′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Kentucky, in Hickman County. Touch for map. Located along the river walk in Columbus-Belmont State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Columbus KY 42032, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. African Americans at Columbus during the Civil War (a few steps from this marker); Earthquakes Along the Mississippi (within shouting distance of this marker); A River View of History (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Columbus - A Town Transformed (about 400 feet away); "Gibraltar of the West" (about 500 feet away); The Battle at Belmont, Missouri (about 500 feet away); The History of Columbus, Kentucky (about 500 feet away); Anchor and Chain (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Additional keywords. USCT, United States Colored Troops
Categories. • African Americans • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,049 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 26, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.