Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Williams

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Before I begin I'd like to thank donna for helping me find this fort after discussing various forts in Kentucky. Also I'm sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to this "series" classes started back up again this week and I've been busy.

Fort Williams was an earthwork fort constructed on a hill just outside the town of Glasgow, Kentucky. The fort is actually restored to original specifications since by the 1900s most of the earthworks had deteriorated. The fort is named after Brigadier General Thomas Williams who was killed in 1862 at Baton Rouge, LA. Fort Williams consisted of multiple gun positions with a skirmish trench surrounding the entire fort's earthworks. Sources indicate there were only a few structures located within the walls of the fort including a supply warehouse and 1-2 earthern magazines. The garrison actually camped outside the fort in tents or in town.
aerialfortwilliams.jpg

The fort was built in the Spring of 1863 by Union forces to protect the towns rail and communication lines after John Hunt Morgan had raided the town in December of 1862 and occupied the area for three days. The garrison which occupied of both the town of Glasgow and Fort Williams numbered somewhere between 400 and 500 mounted infantry from the 37th Kentucky commanded by Major Samuel Martin.
fortwilliams5.jpg

Fort Williams saw action on October 6, 1863 when a raiding party attached to the 25th Tennessee under the command of Colonel John Hughes surprised Union troops at dawn in town and then quickly overran the fort. After capturing valuable supplies from the fort Confederate troops set fire to the fortifications and headed back to town. Before leaving the town the troops looted various stores and warehouses for supplies and also robbed the bank. After a brief pursuit by mounted Union troops who had managed to avoid being captured during the intial raid, Confederate troops escaped with horses, arms and ammunition. Union troops would return to the fort and occupy it with a small garrison for the remainder of the war when it was then abandoned.
fbbc2648-1c0f-40f2-9858-d0b045000ad9.jpg
Today Fort Williams is maintained by the city of Glasgow and from what I can tell is open year round free of charge for visitors. Visitors can tour the old earthwork fort and observe mutiple pieces of artillery along with various historical markers which give information both about the fort and the raid mentioned above. At the bottom of the hill rests the Glasgow graveyard which features multiple ACW graves. Also in town there is a Confederate Monument which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

http://www.cityofglasgow.org/supplemental_divisions/fort_williams.jsp
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM76HW_Fort_Williams_Glasgow_KY

Link to my previous thread in the "Forgotten Forts Series" located at the bottom of the original post you can find links to all other forts I have featured in the series.
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-scammel.79382/
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-fort-gorges.79453/
 

IanMC2009

Private
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Location
FL
I dont get a chance to make it online enough to read all of your posts but when i do theyre always interesting to say the least. Never heard of this fort before. Thanks for posting.
 

IanMC2009

Private
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Location
FL
I looked up this town on a map, doesnt look to be too far from Perryville. If i ever make it too that battlefield i'll be sure to make a stop at this fort.
 

jrweaver

Corporal
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Thanks to this post, I'm going to Fort Williams tomorrow. I've not been there previously, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the fort. While masonry forts are my specialty, I enjoy earthen forts as well. I'm expecting a great visit!
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Thanks to this post, I'm going to Fort Williams tomorrow. I've not been there previously, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the fort. While masonry forts are my specialty, I enjoy earthen forts as well. I'm expecting a great visit!
Not a lot there but one of those off the beaten path type places. Some lesser known Civil War history in Kentucky.
 

jrweaver

Corporal
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
My visit to Fort Williams was very enjoyable. A great job was done in replacing the wood revetting and the wood on the embrasures, and the placement of the few guns they have told the story of the fort very well. The ditch has been very nicely reshaped to its original design and adds to the exterior views of the fort.
I'm sure I took pictures at some of the same camera angles as the earlier posts, but here are a few shots I got on my visit. The sun was low in the sky when I was there, so it gives some dramatic shadows. I highly recommend this nice earthen fort!

The sally port
IMGP6805.JPG


A cannon pointing through an embrasure
IMGP6772.JPG


A closeup of an embrasure from the interior of the fort. Note how well the fort controlled the entrance to Lowe's! :hungry:
IMGP6777.JPG


The postern (back door)
IMGP6795.JPG


The ditch, with embrasures above
IMGP6790.JPG


An embrasure from outside the fort
IMGP6786.JPG


A couple more embrasures, and the flag flying proudly in the background
IMGP6797.JPG


Finally, my appropriate license plate inside the fort
IMGP6807.JPG

I have a number of other detailed photos if anyone in interested.
 

A. Roy

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Researching a little more today, it looks as if about 50% of the earthworks are original the other half is reconstructed. Just a little FYI

Just read this comment from you, actually from a few years ago. I'm wondering how these decisions get made, that is, how much gets left alone, and how much gets reconstructed. Thinking about the research we're doing into the Raleigh earthworks.

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
My visit to Fort Williams was very enjoyable. A great job was done in replacing the wood revetting and the wood on the embrasures, and the placement of the few guns they have told the story of the fort very well.

Beautiful photos. Looks like an exciting site to visit.
A closeup of an embrasure from the interior of the fort. Note how well the fort controlled the entrance to Lowe's!

😆

Roy B.
 

NFB22

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Location
Louisville, KY
Just read this comment from you, actually from a few years ago. I'm wondering how these decisions get made, that is, how much gets left alone, and how much gets reconstructed. Thinking about the research we're doing into the Raleigh earthworks.

Roy B.
I'd have to go back but I believe they just added to the remaining works to make them as close to the original design as funding permitted.
 

Irishtom29

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Location
Kent, Washington
My visit to Fort Williams was very enjoyable. A great job was done in replacing the wood revetting and the wood on the embrasures, and the placement of the few guns they have told the story of the fort very well. The ditch has been very nicely reshaped to its original design and adds to the exterior views of the fort.
I'm sure I took pictures at some of the same camera angles as the earlier posts, but here are a few shots I got on my visit. The sun was low in the sky when I was there, so it gives some dramatic shadows. I highly recommend this nice earthen fort!

The sally port
View attachment 386335

A cannon pointing through an embrasure
View attachment 386336

A closeup of an embrasure from the interior of the fort. Note how well the fort controlled the entrance to Lowe's! :hungry:
View attachment 386337

The postern (back door)
View attachment 386338

The ditch, with embrasures above
View attachment 386339

An embrasure from outside the fort
View attachment 386340

A couple more embrasures, and the flag flying proudly in the background
View attachment 386341

Finally, my appropriate license plate inside the fort
View attachment 386342
I have a number of other detailed photos if anyone in interested.
Noticed your boilermaker license plate frame and zoomed in to see what local you're from, then saw you're not in the trade, I was disappointed. ;-) Sometimes my sons, who followed me in the trade, work out the Local 374 hall in Hammond.

Retiree, Boilermakers Local 1, Chicago
 

jrweaver

Corporal
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Noticed your boilermaker license plate frame and zoomed in to see what local you're from, then saw you're not in the trade, I was disappointed. ;-) Sometimes my sons, who followed me in the trade, work out the Local 374 hall in Hammond.

Retiree, Boilermakers Local 1, Chicago
No, I'm a retiree of Purdue University - hence the Boilermakers license-plate frame. I used to run the nanotechnology research facility there. My career comprised about 35 years as an engineer in the semiconductor industry, then morphed into nanotechnology for the final eleven years. I retired from General Motors - Delco Electronics around 2006, then retired from Purdue in 2017. I was an enginerd my whole career.
I did military history, specifically Third System forts, as an avocation - then went full time when I retired from Purdue.
 
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