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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Munfordville in Hart County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

L&N Railroad Bridge

Constructed 1857-1859

 
 
L&N Railroad Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
1. L&N Railroad Bridge Marker
Inscription. By 1857, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad lacked only one connection for through trains to travel between the two cities—a bridge over Green River. Irish stonecutters John W. Key and sons were hired for two years to construct the piers that uphold the bridge, and German immigrant engineer Albert Fink designed and built one of his patented trusses. In its day, this bridge was the largest iron bridge in the United States, at 1,075 feet long.

The bridge’s true importance became evident in 1861, as the armies of the Union and Confederacy sought control of the vital rail lines. This railroad bridge was the link that could draw northern forces south. In an odd turn of fate, in August 1861 when General Simon Bolivar Buckner received instructions to destroy the bridge, the Keys, who had joined Buckner’s rebel force, were detailed to set and blow the charges, dropping two spans into the river to prevent the Union from using the bridge.

Three battles and five years of continuous military occupation followed, all for defense of the bridge. But the war would end, and trains would continue, and the stone piers that bore witness to the conflict still support the bridge today.

(Left Illustration Caption)
Albert Fink, a German immigrant and civil engineer, devised a type of bridge truss known as the
Bridge During the Civil War image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
2. Bridge During the Civil War
Close-up of illustration on marker
“Fink Truss,” a patent design of overlapping wrought-iron king-post trusses with additional diagonal bracing. The piers are constructed of locally quarried limestone.

(Center Image Caption)
Plumb-bob used by John W. Keys and sons in building the bridge piers.

(Right Illustration Caption)
During occupation, armies would lay floors across the bridge’s rails to allow men, horses and wagons to cross in great numbers.
 
Erected by Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve.
 
Location. 37° 15.522′ N, 85° 53.467′ W. Marker is near Munfordville, Kentucky, in Hart County. Marker can be reached from Charlie Dowling Road 0.3 miles north of S. Dixie Highway (U.S. 31W). Touch for map. Marker is Stop #4 on the Battlefield Loop (Walking) Trail at the Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve; the above directions are to the trailhead. Parking is available at the Anthony Woodson Farm of the Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve, which is directly east of the trailhead, but is accessed from S. Dixie Highway (US 31W) 0.3 miles north of its intersection with Charlie Dowling Road. Marker is in this post office area: Munfordville KY 42765, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Munfordville: Siege
L&N Railroad Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
3. L&N Railroad Bridge Marker
(about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Craig (about 700 feet away); Battle of Munfordville: Day 1 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle of Munfordville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kentucky and the Western War (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Raider (approx. 0.2 miles away); Anthony Woodson Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Woodson Farm (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Munfordville.
 
More about this marker. The marker includes a watermark drawing of a train crossing the bridge and a portrait drawing of Albert Fink.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve. Official website for the preserve. (Submitted on September 8, 2015.) 

2. The Green River Bridge at Munfordville. From the Bridgehunter.com website. (Submitted on September 8, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Battlefield Loop Trail between Stop 3 and Stop 4 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
4. Battlefield Loop Trail between Stop 3 and Stop 4
The L&N Railroad Bridge marker (Stop 4)
is at top of the rise
View to East from Battlefield Loop Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
5. View to East from Battlefield Loop Trail
The trail head and Stop 1 and the Anthony Woodson House are visible in the center background
L&N Railroad Bridge Marker (Stop 4) at the Northwest Corner of the Battlefield Loop Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
6. L&N Railroad Bridge Marker (Stop 4) at the Northwest Corner of the Battlefield Loop Trail
L&N Railroad Bridge as Viewed from Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
7. L&N Railroad Bridge as Viewed from Marker
Continuing Along Battlefield Loop Trail to Stop 5 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
8. Continuing Along Battlefield Loop Trail to Stop 5
View to northwest with Fort Craig
in the grove of trees on the left
View to West from Battlefield Loop Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 9, 2015
9. View to West from Battlefield Loop Trail
Marker and the L&N Railroad Bridge are visible
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 8, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 187 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on September 8, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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