November 15, 1863
Sherman Arrives in Stevenson Alabama
Moving east from the Mississippi, General William Tecumseh Sherman arrives in Stevenson, Alabama with four divisions. Sherman then confers with Grant in Chattanooga.
Constructed by the Union Army in summer 1862 and expanded in 1864, using soldiers and slaves, Fort Harker was built on a broad hill a quarter-mile east of the town of Stevenson. It overlooked Crow Creek and was well within firing range of Stevenson’s strategic railroad lines, supply depots and warehouses. Ft. Harker was an earthen redoubt, 150 feet (46 m) square, with walls that were 14 feet (4.3 m) high, surrounded by an 8-foot-deep (2.4 m) dry moat. It contained 7 cannon platforms, a bomb-proof powder magazine, a draw-bridge entrance and an 8-sided wooden blockhouse at its center. Fort Harker was critical to Union plans. No major fighting occurred here, but skirmishes and sniper attacks were common as territory traded hands between Union and Confederate forces. One other large fort, two smaller redoubts and at least seven blockhouses were constructed along the railroad lines at Stevenson during the Civil War. Stevenson was the major junction for the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. In addition to forts, the Union Army established a medical facility and a refugee camp at Stevenson. The remains of Gen. Rosecrans’ headquarters is on the National Register of Historic Places. Both may be seen near downtown Stevenson today.
Source: Wikipedia contributors, “Stevenson, Alabama,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia