Points of interest

Points of interest at the Fort

1. West Gate, looking east.

2. West Wall, looking west.

3. Deck at Southwest Corner, looking east.

4. Center of South Wall, looking west.

5. Center of South Wall, looking north into the fort.

6. Lookout Point, looking north out over West Point, Ky.

7. Spring, on hillside north of fort.

#1. A large timbered gate was located both here and at the other end of this 1,000-foot earthen fort. The fort was so secure that when the request was made for locks for the gates, the quartermaster sent 2 toy locks as a joke.

Captain Charles Victor DeLand, Commander of Company C, 9th Michigan Infantry, stated in a letter home that they felt "as secure as a nest of young eagles in our new fort."

#2. At least one cannon would have to be positioned behind each of the ten angles of the fort wall for all around covering fire in the direction of the many back roads to the south of the fort.

At first, the 9th Michigan Infantry manned their own cannons. By March of 1862, Captain Charles H. Lamphere's Battery G, 1st Michigan Light Artillery had arrived to garrison the fort. The most common cannon, used at the fort, was the six pound smooth bore.

#3. If you were to stand at this observation point you could see how impregnable the fort must have been. The forest has reclaimed the area but at the time there was at least a one mile clearing in every direction.

With such a commanding view and garrisoned with 1,000 men, it is no wonder that this massive fortification was never attacked.

#4. Civil War fortifications were precisely designed. The ten angles of the fort were designed to allow infantry and artillery to sweep every inch of ground in front of the fort.

Captain DeLand wrote, "every gun in the fort will sweep the turnpikes and rivers with shot and shell for three miles."

#5. This central area of the fort, which contains the bulk of the ruins, was the command center of the fort.

From an elevated vantage point at this location, a commander would have full view of the interior of the fort and the surrounding outpost on the adjoining hills.

#6. From this lookout, the soldiers that garrisoned Fort Duffield could see all military activities that were taking place in the town of West Point below.

Early in the war, West Point, Kentucky was the main supply base for General William Tecumseh Sherman's army which was then about 40 miles south astride the Louisville-Nashville turnpike.

#7. This spring, that would have proved invaluable if the fort had ever been brought under siege, was dug and blown out from the hill by the soldiers of Fort Duffield. It provided fresh drinking water year round.

If you were to visit the fort you could see the drill hole markings and the hand cut channel in the stone. The channel brought overflow water from one basin to the other.