Civil War Wiki

Fort Hill is a hill overlooking downtown Frankfort, Kentucky, where military fortifications were built during the American Civil War to protect the city and its pro-Union state government.

Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky did not secede from the Union, 63 counties of 88 did, setting up a Confederate government at Bowling Green in Western Kentucky. A Bluegrass Kentuckian, George W. Johnson of Scott County, was elected first Confederate Governor of Kentucky. [1] He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. After his death, Richard Hawes of Bourbon County was inaugurated the next Confederate governor at the Old Capitol Building in Frankfort, on October 4, 1862.

While the inauguration ceremonies were still underway, Federal forces appeared on the hill to the west of Frankfort and caused Governor Hawes and the Confederates to speedily conclude the ceremony and withdraw from Frankfort toward Versailles in Woodford County.

In 1863 two earthen forts, Fort Boone and the larger New Redoubt, were constructed by army engineers and civilian labor. In 1864, local militia in Fort Boone successfully repulsed an attack on Frankfort by raiders from the Confederate cavalry under John Hunt Morgan.

The Fort Hill site is now a park and historic site, with a beautiful view of the city and the Kentucky River Valley. The 124-acre (0.50 km2) heavily forested park preserves the remains of the two Civil War earthwork forts, and is also used for Civil War reenactments. A circa 1810 log house, known as the "Sullivan House," has also been moved to the site. It houses exhibits about Fort Hill and the history of Kentucky's log buildings. The Sullivan House also serves as a site for living history activities.


Coordinates: 38°12′17″N 84°52′14″W / 38.20467°N 84.87067°W / 38.20467; -84.87067