Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Clarksville Fell 150 Years Ago--Part 2

A Union gunboat and armed steamer sailed up the Cumberland River Feb. 19th to probe Confederate defenses and found a white flag flying at Fort Defiance. The mayor of Clarksville surrendered the town. From March to April, 500 Union troops occupied the city.

Starting in May, much guerrilla warfare started in the area.

On August 19, 1862, Clarksville was captured by Confederates in the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry and other units under Thomas G. Woodward, on detached duty from Forrest's command. They had used false cannons to threaten Federal troops at the their headquarters on Stewart College campus. They bluffed four companies of the 71st Ohio and its colonel to surrender without a fight.

Many Clarksville citizens were ecstatic about the return of Confederates.

The victors then approached Fort Donelson, which was then held by the rest of the 71st Ohio, but reinforcements came, raising the Federal number to 1,200 and they began an approach on Clarksville on September 5th.

A major skirmish took place outside the city at Riggins Hill Sept. 7th, with the Union forces winning and Clarksville was surrendered again.

After that, Clarksville and surrounding area became sort of a no-man's land until Dec, 1862, when members of the 83rd Illinois and other units occupied it until Jine 1865.

Fort Defiance was renamed Fort Brice.

Back and Forth, Back and Forth. Whose Flag to Fly? --Old Secesh

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