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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. This event is being held on Veteran's Day and it is the perfect location to investigate while honoring those who have served and continue to serve our nation's military. "They shall not be forgotten." Come join us as we uncover the past 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.


Brigades & Regiments (that disembarked from West Point):

– 10th Brigade of the Fourth Division commanded by Gen. William “Bull” Nelson.

Consisting of the 6th, 24th & 51st Ohio, and 36th Indiana Infantry Regiments.

– 19th Brigade of the Fourth Division commanded by Gen. William “Bull” Nelson.

Consisting of the 41st Ohio, 46th & 47th Indiana, and 6th Kentucky U.S. Infantry Regiments.

– 23rd Brigade commanded by Col. William W. Duffield

Consisting of the 9th Michigan, 3rd Minnesota and 8th and 23rd Kentucky U.S. Infantry Regiments.


Units Stationed at West Point, Ky./ Fort Duffield:

– Batteries F & G, 1st Michigan Light Artillery.

– Company C, 28th Kentucky Infantry Volunteers U.S. occupied, & was later ordered to decommission, the


– Company H, 16th Kentucky Infantry Volunteers U.S.

– 37th Regiment Indiana Infantry (Camp Hazard, Camp Holman) – assisted with construction of Fort Duffield early


– 9th Regiment Michigan Infantry Volunteers (Camp Duffield, Fort Duffield & Camp Blair) – The 9th Michigan is

credited with most of the construction of Fort Duffield's earthen fortification as well as a wooden bridge across

the Salt River.

– 1st & 18th Regiments Ohio Volunteer Infantry (Camp Armstrong.)

– 1st Regiment Wisconsin Infantry (Camp Buell.)


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.

As of 2015, research concludes that 48 Civil War Soldiers died while at West Point, Ky. which were from the following


(39) 9th Michigan Infantry; (3) 1st Wisconsin Infantry; (2) 1st Ohio Infantry; (1) 37th Indiana Infantry.

(1) Battery F, 1st Michigan Light Artillery; (1) 28th Kentucky Infantry U.S.; and (1) 9th Kentucky Infantry U.S.

Most died from diseases and a few from accidents. We ask you to join us in our pledge that:

“They Shall Not Be Forgotten”

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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