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From These Honored DeadHistorical Archaeology of the American Civil War$
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Clarence R. Geier, Douglas D. Scott, and Lawrence E. Babits

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049441

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049441.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Archaeology and Reconstruction of Fort Putnam, Camp Nelson

Archaeology and Reconstruction of Fort Putnam, Camp Nelson

A Civil War Heritage Park in Jessamine County, Kentucky

(p.193) 12 Archaeology and Reconstruction of Fort Putnam, Camp Nelson
From These Honored Dead

W. Stephen McBride

Kim A. McBride

J. David McBride

University Press of Florida

This article presents a discussion of the excavation and reconstruction of Fort Putnum at Camp Nelson, Jessamine County, Kentucky. Camp Nelson was a Civil War Union Army depot carefully situated to take advantage of the deeply entrenched Kentucky River and Hickman Creek, which together protected the west, south, and east sides of the camp. The flatter and more vulnerable northern edge of the camp was protected by a line of earthen and stone fortifications. The first fort to be constructed was Fort Putnum, a small (200 ft) earth and wooden fort (known as a battery or redan) located inside the main northern line of fortifications. Unlike most of the camp's forts, which were constructed by impressed slaves, Fort Putnum was built in 1863 exclusively by soldiers of the engineer's battalion as an “exercise.” Archaeologists’ investigations at Fort Putnum along with an 1863 engineer's plan of the fort helped to direct the reconstruction of the fort so that the public could better understand the appearance and function of Civil War forts.

Keywords:   Camp Nelson, Fort Putnam, impressed slaves, Kentucky, Civil War, forts, function, plan, engineer, redan

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