Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Heiman (KY)


Sergeant Major
Jun 21, 2012
Louisville, KY
Back again for another fort that most may not know about. This fort was left unfinished and I've never been there but I'm actually planning to visit this weekend so standby for some photos if time (daylight) permits as days are starting to get short and I've got a few different sites on my list before turning around and heading back to Louisville for a (very long) single day trip.

The construction of Fort Heiman began just after the turn of the year in 1862 under the supervision of Brig. General Lloyd Tilghman, although the site of the fort along with the sites of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson had been chosen by his predecessor. The fort was named after Colonel Adolphus Heiman whom commanded a Tennessee regiment and would later perish as a result of the campaign after being taken prisoner.


Fort Heiman was to be built on the western bank of the Tennessee River as a support position to Fort Henry which was built on the east bank. Fort Donelson was constructed over 10 miles away on the Cumberland River. The site of Fort Heiman was on a bluff which overlooked the Tennessee and had it been completed most likely would have been far more formidable than its sister fort on the opposite bank.

Earthworks began to be constructed to oppose any Union naval force but in early February it became apparent that the unfinished fort could not be defended and Confederate troops withdrew leaving the position to Union troops under Grant on the same day Fort Henry was surrendered and prior to the offensive against Fort Donelson. Union troops abandoned Fort Heiman in spring 1863 and the fort would go unused until 1864 when Nathan Bedford Forrest moved into the area to conduct a number of successful raids. After these actions, the post was never used again.


Today, Fort Heiman is a part of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

I hope to get some good photos for you this weekend if time/weather permit.

Similar threads