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A Night at Fort Duffield

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Join Riverside Iowa Paranormal for an investigation at Fort Duffield, Kentucky! This is a new location for the RIP team and it comes with a storied paranormal past. With a broad raning military history, Fort Duffield is also notorisu for sightings of UFOs and cryptids. Come join us as we uncover the past and what else may roam the grounds at this beautiful outdoor location. 
Fort Duffield, the largest Civil War earthen fortress in Kentucky, overlooks West Point, Kentucky (at the border of Jefferson County, home of Louisville; and Hardin County) at the confluence of the Salt and Ohio Rivers. In the early 1990’s, members of the Fort Duffield Heritage Committee named the fort in honor of Colonel William W. Duffield.

Colonel Duffield was recognized as a just man and was appointed to the Military Board of Review, in January 1862. He wrote "School of the Brigade and the Evolution of the Line" in 1862. He was Military Commander of the State of Kentucky, in May & June 1862, and promoted to Brigadier General. He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in June 1862. General Duffield was discharged after a lengthy recovery.
Following the Civil War, William managed coal mines in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky for several years and also surveyed for railroads. In 1894, he was appointed as head of the Coastal & Geodetic Survey in Washington, D.C. He left office when William McKinley was elected President and lived in Washington, D.C. until his death. William W. Duffield died, in June 1907 and was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.

The City of West Point is located at the confluence of the Salt and Ohio Rivers in North Hardin County, Kentucky.

Jefferson and Bullitt Counties, Kentucky are just to the northeast across Salt River.


Fort Duffield is also mentioned in records under the names of Muldraugh's Hill and Mouth of Salt River. Initially, the immediate West Point area was called Mouth of Salt River. Fort Duffield is Kentucky's largest and best preserved Civil War earthen fortification. Built in November and December of 1861, the fort was responsible for protecting and controlling the rivers as well as the roads in the area for the transportation of both troops and supplies.


Steamboats brought supplies to West Point to be transported south by wagon. Thousands of troops arrived and left West Point early in the war and through the fall of 1862. While the fort was decommissioned in mid-December of 1862, it no doubt realized its intended purposes.


Robert Hendershot joined other boys hanging around the soldier’s camp in Jackson, Michigan, marching, beating on cans for drums and pretending to shoot the rifles like the soldiers during their drills. They learned the drills from the men of Charles V. DeLand’s company which would soon be part of the 9th Michigan Infantry. Robert was not yet 11 years old when he took hold of the idea, he wanted to be a soldier. He had no desire to stay in school and asked Captain DeLand if he could join the 9th but the request was quickly denied. Not to be denied the adventure of a lifetime, young Hendershot stowed away on a train and caught up with the 9th Michigan in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Captain DeLand saw Robert and put him on a train back to Jackson. At Indianapolis, Indiana, Robert managed to catch the next train back to Louisville.


When Robert arrived in camp, at West Point, Kentucky, Captain DeLand severely scolded him. Robert told him that there was no way he was going back home and stay. DeLand knew he had no strong rights over a civilian, so he decided to muster him in. Once mustered in, he would court-martial him and send him home. Robert was mustered in the military at West Point, Kentucky, October 30, 1861, at the age of 10 years and 10 months. He is the youngest person to ever enter the military in the United States and to be court-martialed. He stayed one night in jail and was released. Company B accepted him in their group and took responsibility for him.

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