Fort Hill

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huskerblitz

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Fort Hill is a hill overlooking downtown Frankfort, Kentucky, where military fortifications were built during the American Civil War to protect the city and its pro-Union state government.

Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky did not secede from the Union, an attempt was made to set up a Confederate government at Bowling Green in western Kentucky. A Bluegrass Kentuckian, George W. Johnson of Scott County, was elected first Confederate Governor of Kentucky. He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. After his death, Richard Hawes of Bourbon County was inaugurated the next Confederate governor at the Old Capitol Building in Frankfort, on October 4, 1862.

While the inauguration ceremonies were still underway, Federal forces appeared on the hill to the west of Frankfort and caused Governor Hawes and the Confederates to speedily conclude the ceremony and withdraw from Frankfort toward Versailles in Woodford County.

In 1863 two earthen forts, Fort Boone and the larger New Redoubt, were constructed by army engineers and civilian labor. In 1864, local militia in Fort Boone successfully repulsed an attack on Frankfort by raiders from the Confederate cavalry under John Hunt Morgan.

The Fort Hill site is now a park and historic site, with a beautiful view of the city and the Kentucky River Valley. The 124-acre (0.50 km2) heavily forested park preserves the remains of the two Civil War earthwork forts, and is also used for Civil War reenactments. A circa 1810 log house, known as the "Sullivan House," has also been moved to the site. It houses exhibits about Fort Hill and the history of Kentucky's log buildings. The Sullivan House also serves as a site for living history activities.
Info from Wikipedia
 
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huskerblitz

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1864 Attack on Frankfort
By Tim Talbott

Historical Marker #2416 in Frankfort commemorates the June 1864 Confederate attacks on Frankfort by elements of John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry.

In the fall of 1862, Frankfort had been captured by the Confederates—the only Union state capital to fall during the war—and was held for a month. When the Union forces advanced on Frankfort from Louisville on Oct. 4, 1862, the Southerners retreated south. Four days later, the Battle of Perryville was fought in Boyle County. Unable to capitalize on their battlefield success at Perryville, the Confederates left the state via the Cumberland Gap.

The following summer, Morgan raided the state and crossed the Ohio River into Indiana and Ohio, where he was captured and imprisoned. Morgan eventually escaped and made his way to southwest Virginia, where he reorganized a cavalry force and pondered ways to recapture his former glory.

In June 1864, Morgan once again brought his cavalry into Kentucky. On June 8, they captured Mt. Sterling. Two days later a contingent under Captain John Cooper was sent to scout Frankfort and attack its fortifications. Before dark an attempt was made on Fort Boone, which was defended by town militiamen that included Governor Thomas E. Bramlette and state Attorney General John Marshall Harlan. Frankfort native and then state Inspector General Daniel W. Lindsey took overall command of the city’s defenses.

After a sharp fight, the Confederates withdrew when night fell. The following day, June 11, an attempt was made on the State Arsenal and a demand was made for the city’s surrender. Col. George W. Monroe of the 22nd Kentucky Union Infantry, at home on furlough, refused the demand. The Confederates traded shots across the Kentucky River with Unionist defenders posted at the arsenal. Unable to persuade the arsenal to surrender and unable to cross the river, the Confederates withdrew to the west. On June 12, part of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry arrived and took over the defense of the city from the militia and state officials.

While Frankfort's defenders were battling, Morgan's main force was fighting at Cynthiana. After initial success, Morgan's men were routed and scattered back to southwest Virginia. Frankfort was safe, but improvements to the town's defensible positions were made soon thereafter. While the 1864 raid on Frankfort held little strategic importance, if the townspeople had not turned out to defend the capital city, it is likely that the Confederates would have burned much of the town's important buildings and records.

http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/497
 
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O' Be Joyful

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Thank you for this thread Husker. I missed it the first time around.

You may not recall, but my G-Grandfather was w/ the 40th Mounted Ky. Do you know if they were engaged in the 1864 fighting at Frankfort? I visited Frankfort over 30 years ago to do some research on him and other relatives but was not aware of Ft. Hill.

Thanks Again

OBJ
 

huskerblitz

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Thank you for this thread Husker. I missed it the first time around.

You may not recall, but my G-Grandfather was w/ the 40th Mounted Ky. Do you know if they were engaged in the 1864 fighting at Frankfort? I visited Frankfort over 30 years ago to do some research on him and other relatives but was not aware of Ft. Hill.

Thanks Again

OBJ
I'd have to look, but I kind of doubt it. I think it was mainly militia that defended the city. D W Lindsey (former Lt. Colonel of the 22nd Kentucky) was the Adjutant General of Kentucky at the time. The current Lt. Col. of the 22nd, George W. Monroe, happen to be on leave back in Frankfort when the raid took place. He was given command of the defense of the city. Because those two were involved is the only reason I know as much as I do about the raid and Fort Hill.
 
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