Carrie and I love Civil War reenactments. We’ve been to a few since we’ve been together. Today we had the opportunity to go to the encampment here in Clarksville to Ft. Sevier/Defiance. So much history is here and very little people know about it. John Wayne’s grandfather served here, as well as Virgil Earp was imprisoned here for theft.
We were not sure if we were going to get to go because Levi had to go to the doctor Thursday and they say he had the beginning of pneumonia. The weather had recently dipped pretty low and if it continued to be cold we weren’t going. But it got fairly warm today so we bundled him up and enjoyed a few hours at the park.
The actors were very nice as well as informative. We got to meet an Abraham Lincoln who was well-informed of Abe and him and I got to discuss some things about Abe most people don’t typically know because he’s one of my favorite presidents. They shot off a cannon which was loud. It didn’t really scare Levi. Just startled him. They also had a shooting demonstration in formation. The guns were a little loud and began to annoy Levi so we walked away from them. All in all, we had a great time. I love spending time like that with Carrie and Levi plus learning a little more of history.
Enjoy the history of Ft. Defiance as well as some pictures and a video I shot while there today.
History of Fort Defiance
In November 1861, Confederate troops began to build a defensive fort that would control the river approach to Clarksville. They mounted three guns in the fort. On February 19, 1862, Federal gunboats came up the river from Fort Donelson and reported the fort displayed a white flag and was deserted. The Federals took over the fort and enlarged it so that it would control traffic on the Hopkinsville Pike. Clarksville was left with a small garrison of Union Troops. In April 1862, this small garrison was made up of the 71st Ohio Volunteers commanded by Col. Rodney Mason.
During July and August 1862, there was an increase in guerrilla activity around Clarksville. On August 18, 1862, Clarksville was recapturered by Confederate Calvary. Col. Mason was cashiered for surrendering Clarksville so easily. Union soldiers were sent from Fort Donelson to retake Clarksville in September 1862. Skirmishes were fought at New Providence on September 6, 1862 and at Riggins Hill on September 7, 1862. The town and fort were reoccupied by Federal troops who remained for the rest of the war. Col. Bruce was placed in command at Clarksville and Fort Defiance was renamed Fort Bruce.
At one point in time, Fort Defiance was also referred to as Fort Sevier.