Friday, March 23, 2012

Flag Returned to Fort McAlliser, Georgia

Confederate flag back at Georgia fort after 148 years
Published March 23, 2012

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. – As Fort McAllister fell to the Union Army of Gen. William T. Sherman days before Christmas in 1864, one of his artillery officers seized the Confederate flag of a vanquished company of Georgia riflemen.

The officer carried the silk banner home to Maine as a souvenir, and it stayed in his family for three generations in a box along with a handwritten note: "To be return to Savannah or Atlanta sometime."

Nobody knows for sure why the late Maj. William Zoron Clayton wanted his Civil War trophy flag returned to the South. But after 148 years, his wish has been honored.

The Union officer's great-grandson, Robert Clayton, donated the flag to be displayed at Fort McAllister State Historic Park in coastal Georgia, where a dedication is planned next month just before Confederate Memorial Day. Clayton suspects his ancestor wanted to pay back his former enemies after a Bible taken from him by Confederate troops during the war was returned to him by mail 63 years later.

"I think he had a little sympathy for the plight of the Confederates," said Clayton, a homebuilder who lives in Islesboro, Maine. "They returned his Bible, so he wanted to return their flag. One good turn deserves another."

With its canons pointed out over the Ogeechee River a few miles south of Savannah, Fort McAllister was where Sherman won the final battle of his devastating march to the sea that followed the burning of Atlanta. The Union general knew that taking the fort would clear the way for him to capture Savannah. On Dec. 13, 1864, he sent about 4,000 troops to overwhelm Fort McAllister's small contingent of 230 Confederate defenders.

Among the Confederate units defeated at the fort was 2nd Company B of the 1st Georgia Regulars, a Savannah-based outfit otherwise known as the Emmett Rifles. The company's commander, Maj. George Anderson, surrendered his unit's ceremonial flag after Fort McAllister fell.

Decades later, the flag's capture was no secret to Daniel Brown, the park manager at Fort McAllister, who kept research files on the Emmett Rifles banner and four others known to have been taken by Union troops under Sherman. He called the flag a "once in a lifetime" find, especially considering that Civil War sites nationwide are still marking the 150th anniversaries of the war's battles and events.

"You can't put a price on it," said Brown, who put the flag on display last month. "Everybody has drooled over the thing."

Brown was well-versed in the flag's history during the war, but clueless as to what had become of it since.

That changed when Robert Clayton paid a visit to the Georgia state park during a vacation in October 2010. He struck up a casual conversation with Brown about the Emmett Rifles.

"I said, 'What would you say if I told you I had the Emmett Rifles flag hanging on my living room wall?"' Clayton recalled.

Clayton had found the flag, and its note with his great-grandfather's wish, about 20 years earlier stashed in a closet. He said he didn't know why older family members had never returned it, but also admits he wasn't at first eager to part with the flag himself. Instead he framed the banner and displayed it in his home.

Clayton said his visit to Fort McAllister made him change his mind. Before he left Georgia, he had agreed to donate the flag and follow through on his great-grandfather's written request. But it took months to make the final exchange -- mostly, Clayton says, because he couldn't work up the nerve to mail the flag 1,230 miles from Maine to Georgia. When he finally shipped it for overnight delivery last summer, he stayed up tracking the package online until it arrived.

Once the flag arrived in Georgia, park rangers turned it over to conservation experts who mounted and sealed it in a protective frame. Park staffers finally hung it above a display at Fort McAllister's museum last month.

Brown said he had some doubts when he first heard Clayton's story, but once he saw the flag he could quickly tell it was authentic. The dates of two prior battles in which the Emmett Rifles fought at Fort McAllister -- Feb. 1 and March 3, 1863 -- were also painted on the silk. Brown had records of the military orders authorizing the unit to add those specific dates as honors to its flag.

His files also confirmed that historians had identified the Union officer who captured the flag in 1864 as Maj. Clayton, the donor's great-grandfather.

Civil War flag experts say the Confederate banner is a remarkable specimen that was hand-sewn from pieces of silk with a fancy golden fringe.

There's one small tear and the red field has faded almost to pink, but its blue "X" and white stars remain crisp. So do the hand-painted words -- "Emmett Rifles" and "Fort McAllister" -- and battle honors.

"It's a terrific find," said Cathy Wright, a curator and flag expert at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va., which has a collection of about 550 Civil War flags. "It's not one-of-a-kind, but it's a relatively rare example of this kind of flag."

Despite orders after the Civil War to turn all captured flags over to the federal War Department, many Union troops kept them as souvenirs.

Many other unit flags were destroyed during the war, either by capturing units cutting them into pieces to divide the spoils or by units burning their own flags to stop them from falling into enemy hands, said Bryan Guerrisi, education coordinator at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Penn.

"A lot of them get lost or are in somebody's attic and they think it's a blanket or something," Guerrisi said.

In 1905, under orders from Congress, the federal government began returning its stash of captured Confederate flags to the Southern states -- a move aimed at reconciliation that provided museums with many of the flags in their collections.

Clayton is planning to travel back to Fort McAllister to see his great-grandfather's flag officially unveiled to the public April 21, two days before Georgia celebrates Confederate Memorial Day.

"It was my great-grandfather's wish," Clayton said. "I looked at it for 20 years, but it needed to go back where it belongs."

Read more:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Message from the Commander In Chief

15 March 2012
Beaufort, South Carolina

Compatriots, Family and Friends of the South,

I hope you are all well. We are living in troubled times. Assaults on our beloved Southland and her rich heritage are now coming faster than ever. Certain organizations that were once bastions of truth and providers of sanctuary for the noble story of the Confederacy are now aligned with the mythmakers of modern appeasement to downplay or falsify the deeds of our valiant ancestors. The dignity of our unique and decent people is being traded for an easy dollar.

When I imagine a world without the influence of the traditional values of the Southern American I see a dangerous place. If you agree and like me, witness the deliberate damage being waged on our culture then we must act now or we will lose our best opportunity to stem this irreversible tide.

The Confederate Veteran magazine comes out once every two months. By the time I write my column and it arrives at your doorstep the news is old. For the first time, I wish to share my thoughts with you early. The following article will appear in the next issue of our magazine. I wanted you to have it now so we may begin to work together to turn back this vicious assault.

In this column you will read about the need to sharpen our communication skills and how to begin to use them so that we may work as the mighty force that we truly are. I cannot do this alone. In order to turn back this storm of misinformation, I will need every one of you and more. The time to strike is now! Will you help? Will you stand for your ancestors as they stood for you?

God bless you all.

Michael Givens


P.S. If you are interested in supporting a museum of the Confederacy, support your own We will always be Confederate and we will all ways fly the Confederate Flag with the pride that it deserves.

"Ray, I never went down, you never got me down."
Robert De Nero as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull

On Valentine's Day 1951 in the Chicago Stadium, Jake LaMotta defiantly stood his ground against Sugar Ray Robinson. In this his final fight with his long time adversary, LaMotta had a point to prove. In the thirteenth round he dropped his hands and leaned against the ropes inviting Robinson to do his worst. Director Martin Scorsese heightened the drama in this scene from his movie Raging Bull by aptly demonstrating LaMotta's will and stamina . After six fights and sixty-five rounds with Robinson, LaMotta never once went down. Like Jake LaMotta, the Confederacy will not go down. Our enemies keep punching us, but we will not go down.

We, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, are the vanguard. As for me, I wish others would stand and fight in this battle to honour and preserve the truth of the Southern Cause with us. But if we must fight alone, then so be it. When my days and efforts are discussed and debated by my own progeny, then I hope my actions to be considered in the same breath as my noble ancestors. For me, part of winning is the valiant act of standing for what is right, regardless of the consequences.

English writer, G.K. Chesterton said, The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. Mr. Chesterton's phrase "what is behind him," may be interpreted in two ways; 1. our heritage is behind us and 2. our supporters are behind us. Our heritage defines the mission and our desire to defend it. Our ancestors were so committed to the cause that they were willing to fight, kill and die for it. I thank the Lord that there is little killing and dying in our battles today (always remember Michael Westerman), but even the bloodless battles are serious.

The supporters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans come from all walks of life. They are members of other heritage groups, unaffiliated Southerners and like-minded individuals from all over the world. Regardless of race, colour or creed, once people understand the true history of the South we often gain support.

During the War, Colonel John S. Mosby managed miraculous success, often with only a handful of men under his command. The reason for his triumph is attributed to his daring and relentless raids on the enemy. With surgical precision, Mosby caused such havoc behind the lines that the enemy was forced to expend their resources in places other than their front. Colonel Mosby was certainly responsible for extending the war by weakening and distracting his foe. Again, this was accomplished with a virtual handful of eager compatriots.

Imagine if Mosby had had the command of say 31,000 men (nearly the current membership of the SCV). Imagine again if Mosby had the command of 100,000 men (estimate of SCV plus supporters). If this had been the case, Confederate Soldiers today would not be referred to as "Rebels" but as "Patriots." We would not suffer a museum director who is intoxicated by the yankee dollar and terrified to display a Confederate flag outside of a Confederate museum. We would not have to fight a department of motor vehicles merely to enjoy the same civil rights as other organizations of displaying our non-profit company logo on a license plate. We would not have to fight a state supported art museum for the right to fly a Confederate flag at a church that was built for Confederate veterans. Nor would we have to reschedule and relocate a Christian service to another location because the church where Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee worshiped might be afraid that a Confederate flag may be seen in public. No, if Colonel Mosby had had the power and support of this many men we would be enjoying the American brand of liberty today that was the vision of the founders of this grand republic at its inception.

Well, we certainly can't go back and join forces with Colonel Mosby, but we can follow his lead and do our duty as one massive fighting force today. To paraphrase the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu: I think that a strong SCV is the only SCV that will bring our enemies to the peace table. So how do we strengthen the SCV to force such an historic and life-changing event?

First, stop bickering amongst ourselves. Second, embrace the notion that some of our battles require a comprehensive strategy that is best directed from the office of your Division Commander and/or your Commander-in-Chief. Our ancestors relied on couriers and the signal corps to relay messages and prepare the line of battle. Can you imagine the extraordinary success that would have resulted if General Jackson had had a device to immediately communicate with all of his men on the field, at once? Can you imagine what would happen if we could orchestrate such a concentrated attack on an enemy position? If you can visualize victory then you can see the results of such an effort.

We are at a crossroads. We are approaching the midpoint of the sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence. In a few years we will emerge from this unique opportunity as a fraternal gentlemen's association, quietly meeting in buildings with no outward exhibit of the emotions so openly displayed inside or as the victorious defenders of the Cause that our families sacrificed everything for one hundred and fifty years ago. The former is nothing to be ashamed of. An association of like-minded Southerners is a noble and comforting thought. But if your desire is the latter option then you must arm yourself quickly with the tools to ensure success.

Our enemies are smart and cunning. They are cruel and self-serving and wish for us to fail. Our task at hand is easier than you might imagine. Communication is the key element to this plan, followed by precisely focused action. First we need each and every SCV Camp to have a unique and free email account. You may use any free service available just make sure its' password information can be passed from the present camp commander on to the next when necessary. Set this up now and send the Camp's email address with the names of the Camp's officers to the SCV Chief of Staff, Spike Speicher. His email address is: . Once this is completed you will be subscribed to the Telegraph and will receive further directives only when it is deemed vital. Second, and this is very important, everyone, SCV member or supporter must open a Twitter account and follow the Commander-in-Chief @CICSCV. Go to: and sign up for an account. The service is free and it enables me (or our future CIC) to direct actions for the immediate surgical strikes that will lead us to victory. The whisper of 100,000 people can be heard from far away, envision a resounding Rebel Yell from such an army. It's deafening.

Albert Einstein said,The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. You have the power to make a difference and effect a change for the better. I will not look on and do nothing and like The Raging Bull, I'm never going down! Are you with me? Let's Roll!

Respectfully yours,

Michael Givens

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monument in South Carolina Threatened

SCDOT moves to bulldoze Confederate Monument and Bessinger BBQ
March 4th, 2012
Kyle Rogers

South Carolina Bureaucrats are trying to use traffic congestion as an excuse to bulldoze a Confederate memorial and a Maurice Bessinger BBQ in the city of Orangeburg in Orangeburg County. Both Confederate monuments, as well as the Maurice Bessinger BBQ chain, have been under constant attack by the NAACP in South Carolina for the past twenty years.

It appears to be no coincidence that this is taking place in Orangeburg County. The county is 61% black and a center of black political power in the state. The city of Orangeburg is 75% black.

The Bessinger BBQ and the Confederate monument are located at John C. Calhoun Drive and Russell Street on the outskirts of Orangeburg. The monument is on land originally owned by Bessinger who deeded the land to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. SCDOT Program Manager Kevin Gantt said that over a three-year period, from 2004 to 2007, the intersection saw about 30 rear-end collisions. However, there are probably hundreds or even thousands of worst intersections in the state.

I lived in James Island near the corner or Camp and Folly for almost three years. There are rear-end collisions daily at this intersection. I personally witnessed rear-end collisions on a regular basis. It was an everyday routine occurrence to see traffic partially blocked because a rear-end collision had just occurred. The intersection were the James Island connecter meets Folly Road was almost just as bad.

Given the campaign against Confederate Monuments and Bessinger restaurants, this SCDOT project appears to be a surgical strike. Bessinger was the target of a massive state-wide campaign by the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, and other Black Power groups to pressure grocery stores to stop selling his BBQ sauce. They complained about a tiny Confederate flag on the label. Eventually almost all grocery stores in the state stopped carrying the iconic BBQ sauce. Bessinger's BBQ chain remains a target of routine vitriol by these groups.

The NAACP has also been waging a twenty year battle to get the Confederate monument removed from the Statehouse grounds. Eleven years ago, there was a “compromise” in which the NAACP was allowed to design a slavery monument on the grounds. However, the NAACP did not cease their campaign. They have an annual big budget parade and rally each January to protest the Confederate Soldier monument. During at least two of these rallies, a statue of George Washington was also covered up by the NAACP.

The media in SC typically downplays the rhetoric by saying the NAACP only wants the flag removed from the monument. However, I have personally witnessed two of these rallies and heard speakers call for the removal of the entire statue.

Efforts to cleans South Carolina of it's Confederate history have become particularly nasty. In October 2010, Summerville city council member Aaron Brown, who is black, led an all black crowd in protesting a private residence of a lone white female cancer patient living in a black neighborhood. The resident has a Confederate flag among other yard decorations. Racial slurs and threats were hurled at the resident and her supporters during the protest.

Critics say that the intersection only needs to add a stoplight and the destruction of the two properties is unjustifiable.

Right of way acquisition is scheduled to begin in late spring of 2012 and construction in 2013.

The SCDOT is only accepting comments on the project until March 9th. Conveniently, the South Carolina media has not covered this story so there is not very much time left.

Comments on the project may be submitted to: Mr. Kevin Gantt, S.C. Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, S.C. 29202-0191, by email to or by fax to 803-737-1510. Comments should include a name, mailing address and phone number.

Monday, March 5, 2012

UCV Gravemarked Uncovered in South Carolina

Couple finds UCV Iron Cross grave marker on their property
T&D Correspondent The Times and Democrat
Monday, March 5, 2012

SPRINGFIELD — Wayne and Lydia Lackey of Springfield say it’s not unusual for them to find artifacts on their property, known originally as Phillips Plantation,” but what they dug up recently has them puzzled.

Wayne Lackey said he was planning to put in a corn field and had just tilled up an area when his wife, Lydia, pulled up a United Confederate Veterans Iron Cross.

“Lydia was out in the field pulling out the debris when she grabbed this metallic thing and pulled it out of the ground,” he said.

Mrs. Lackey said she realized it was a marker of some kind.

Her husband sandblasted it, revealing a United Confederate Veterans Iron Cross grave marker.

“We don’t know who (if anyone) is buried here or anything much about the marker,” Mr. Lackey said. “But maybe somebody will know something about this and let us know. We have always found artifacts on this place, but this marker’s history has got to be pretty unique and we would really like to know more about it.”

The Lackeys say their property was once a part of a land grant. During the time of the Civil War, the property was owned by David Vastine Phillips and his wife, Orra Zilphia (Williamson), Mr. Lackey said. David Vastine Phillips died in 1862 and his wife died in 1886, he said. The property passed to their son, Charles Stephens Phillips, and his Alice Madora Able Phillips, Lackey said. The house burned in the early 1900s but was rebuilt around 1908, he said.

Mrs. Lackey said she finds the history of the house “fascinating.”

“It seems that Leslie Hellams Fulmer married Eloise Phillips. They had two children, a son, Leslie, born in 1931 and a daughter, Alice Sue, born in 1937. I know this because the names and dates are written on the cement steps on the side porch,” she said.

“Leslie married Louise. I do not know her maiden name. They built the house next door. Leslie died in the early 1990s, and Alice Sue got married and moved to Florida. This house was then sold to the Browders who lived here a short time and later to Sarah Keighley (sic) who lived here about 20 years.”

“We bought the house from her daughter, Betty Vukovich, in 1994 and have enjoyed living here ever since, retaining as many of the original features as possible,” Mrs. Lackey said.

The Lackeys are trying to find out more about the marker and whether or not it signifies a burial site. They contacted the S.C. State Confederate Museum but have yet to receive any information. They also completed several online searches will little result.

Mrs. Lackey said they were able to ascertain that prior to 1889, the Confederate veterans had no national organization, only local and regional ones. Several of these groups met in New Orleans in 1889 and formed the United Confederate Veterans Association as a benevolent, historical, social and literary organization, she said.

“The UCV, as it came to be known, was active until the early 1950s with the last UCV commander-in-chief, James W. Moore, holding office from 1949 to 1951,” Mrs. Lackey noted. “The final national UCV reunion was held in May 1951, and a postage stamp was issued to commemorate the event.”

Anyone with information about the UCV, the UCV Iron Cross or a possible burial site on the old Phillips Plantation property is asked to call the Lackeys at 803-258-9040.

Read more:

SCV Works to Preserve Monument

Group wants Confederate memorial spared
The Times and Democrat
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sons of Confederate Veterans Rivers Bridge Camp 842 Commander Peter Boineau says the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans to improve the John C. Calhoun Drive and Russell Street intersection are disconcerting.

The $1 million project would run a drainage pipe straight through the SCV’s memorial site, he said. The site has a historical marker noting it is where Orangeburg Confederate soldiers fought against Union Gen. William Sherman’s troops during the Civil War.

“We just want to honor the soldiers who have fought here when Sherman came through,” Boineau said. “He came right across this river here.”

Boineau was joined by approximately 100 other SCV members throughout the region last week at the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, where they voiced their concerns about the project. SCDOT held a public meeting about the project.

Under SCDOT’s proposal, Russell Street will be shifted so that it meets U.S. 301 at a 90-degree angle. Also, a stop sign will be added.

Currently, there is no lane to help drivers merge onto U.S. 301 from Russell Street, which can lead drivers to make sudden stops, SCDOT Program Manager Kevin Gantt said.

He said over a three-year period, from 2004 to 2007, the intersection saw about 30 rear-end collisions.

“Because of the angle of the approach, the cars would come in and people would be looking back to see if they could merge in,” Gantt said. “You have a few cars up here already stopped and of course that creates the rear-end accident.”

Boineau says while that is important, the project’s drainage will directly impact the SCV memorial.

“As long as we can come to an agreement with our monument and our flag and as long as it is a visible place with all the camps in agreement, I see no problem in this being resolved,” Boineau said. “We will negotiate. It won’t be overnight, but there is no need for anybody to get upset about anything as long as there is a place where we can meet in the middle.”

The property was deeded to the SCV for the monument about a decade ago by Maurice Bessinger, owner of the Piggie Park Enterprises barbecue restaurant across the street. The memorial occupies about 120 square feet.

SCDOT officials say the improvements were designed with the help of crash analysis and traffic studies utilizing advanced technology.

George Barber told the SCDOT officials “Your technology stinks.”

“Instead of spending $1 million and they don’t know whether it will work any different or not, temporarily close off that end of Russell Street at the light and try to see how it works,” he said.

Also as part of the project, the car capacity of the left-hand turn lane from U.S. 301 onto Russell Street will be extended to accommodate at least four more vehicles.

The project will also create a larger drive into the Edisto Memorial Gardens, allowing for left-turn access from U.S. 301 into the park.

Preliminary engineering is under way and right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to begin in the late spring 2012. Construction is scheduled for as early as winter 2013.

Vice President of Piggie Park Enterprises Lloyd Bessinger said the plans would pretty much put his Orangeburg barbecue restaurant out of business. The sidewalk will go through a portion of the restaurant. The restaurant has been at the site for about 20 years, although it has closed at times only to later reopen.

“I will lose my restaurant,” he said. Bessinger said business has been good at the location and “I don’t know what I am going to be able to do. We would like to see it stay open.”

Bessinger said he has not been adequately informed as to what kind of compensation the state would provide.

“My question is: Why don’t they put a light down there at the intersection rather than making that cut through our property?” Bessinger said. “It seems to be like that would be the easiest thing to do and would be cheaper. It would save money for the highway department and taxpayers.”

Gantt said when the right-of-way process begins, SCDOT will speak with property owners about a possible compromise.

SCDOT has informed the city that two trees could be impacted by the project. They can either be relocated or two new trees can be planted nearby, the department says.

Cost was one issue that was also brought up several times as a concern.

Gantt said SCDOT looked at other options, such as closing off the lower portion of Russell. That would send traffic onto Riverside Drive by the Orangeburg Veterans Memorial.

“The problem with that is that if we turn people into this existing intersection, it fails because there is too much traffic coming through here,” Gantt said.

There is only one lane and the radius coming off of Russell Street onto Riverside Drive is not large enough, he said. “We would actually have to increase this ... and we would need two lanes in each direction and all of this would have to be reconfigured.

“It would need a new roadway.”

Gantt says that would cost more than $2 million.

Comments on the project may be submitted to: Mr. Kevin Gantt, P.E. S.C. Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, S.C. 29202-0191, by email to or by fax to 803-737-1510. Comments should include a name, mailing address and phone number.

The comment period will end March 9. SCDOT will review the comments and incorporate them into an alternative evaluation where applicable. A formal response to the comments will not be provided.

Read more:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monument Dedicated in New Mexico

Socorro Mayor Wary Of Confederate Memorial
9:10 am February 29, 2012

SOCORRO, N.M. -- A monument to commemorate Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War is creating quite a stir in New Mexico.

The granite memorial sits on the western-most side of the Socorro cemetery. It was dedicated last week by several groups, including the New Mexico Sons of Confederate Veterans.

"The memorial stands for the bravery of young men who fought and died for the Confederate States of America and the idea they fought for is states' rights," Jim Red, with the New Mexico Sons of Confederate Veterans, said. "We are not a racist organization. I'm not a racist. I'm not a member of any racist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. My wife is a native of New Mexico. She's from Acoma."

Soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War Battle of Valverde are believed to be buried in the area. The group also plans to place headstones and turn the site into a Confederate cemetery.

Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker said he has his concerns.

"I don't want to say glorify, but that's what they're doing is glorifying the Confederacy cause there are certain things in the Confederate reasoning that in my mind are not just distasteful, they're not right," Bhasker said.

Bhasker said he's asked the Socorro City Council to consider regulating the cemetery.

"Which is carefully, legally, and making sure that everybody's rights are preserved, but yet, the public's rights are also preserved," Bhasker said.

The New Mexico Sons of Confederate Veterans said the memorial is on their privately owned plot. The city is not so sure, and officials are looking through records to verify that claim.

Read more:

Earthworks At Bowling Green, Kentucky

Confederate earthworks remain at Fort Webb outside Bowling Green, Kentucky

March 3rd, 2012
Major Jester

Bowling Green, Kentucky offers a plethora of historic destinations of interest to any history buff. We stumbled upon one such site during a recent weekend trip to this southern Kentucky town. I noticed a sign pointing to a Fort Webb. Not wanting to pass up a chance for a visit to a potential old fort, we turned.

In September, 1861, 4500 Confederate troops under the command of General Simon Bolivar Buckner constructed a series of eight forts to protect the rivers, roads and railroads in Bowling Green. Fort Webb was one of those forts.

Fort Webb was of simple design and construction. Soldiers used picks and shovel to dig an ever deepening ditch while throwing the dirt and rocks up on the parapet to make a high earthen wall. Called a lunette by military standards of the day the structure was crescent shaped, thus the lunar name. Attacking troops had to cross the slope leading to the deep ditch, descend into the ditch and then scale the escarpment to the top of the fortification.

The remains of Fort Webb are obvious to even a casual observer. To reach the fortification one must traverse a long gentle slope across a field of exposed limestone outcroppings. A recent set of wooden timbers provide steps leading up to the top of the parapet. The deep hand dug ditches are still visible and scar the land.

We had this site of Civil War history to ourselves on the day of our visit. Sitting on one of the benches and contemplating the work involved in the construction of this fortress was an enjoyable thought exercise. When you stand on the parapet and look out over the surrounding area you can easily imagine being a Confederate artilleryman in the late fall of 1861. Listen closely and you can hear the sounds of canteen cups clanking, orders barked by a sergeant and maybe even catch the whiff of a Captain’s cigar.

Bowling Green is an easy three hour plus drive from Indianapolis on I-65. Fort Webb is off of Bench Park Drive on Bowling Green Country Club Drive. Detailed directions are available on the Bowling Green City website.