Call us today 270-677-4483
At the beginning of the Civil War (1861-1865) the critical border state of Kentucky declared their neutrality. Pro-Confederate Kentuckians crossed into Tennessee to enlist but the Union army openly formed a recruiting camp inside Kentucky, violating the state's neutrality. Partly in response to this recruiting camp, Confederate Major General Leonidas Polk moved Confederate forces into Kentucky on September 3, 1861, setting up camp on the western banks of the Mississippi in Belmont, Missouri. He also occupied Columbus, a key position on the bluffs overlooking the river. In the months to follow, the Confederate troops brought in over 100 large cannon making Columbus the most heavily fortified area the North American continent had ever witnessed. At the same time Union Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant seized Cairo, Illinois and Paducah, Kentucky.
Polk thought Grant would attack Columbus but on November 7, 1861 at 8:30 AM, Grant attacked Belmont, Missouri instead. The Union forces drove the Confederates to the riverbank, captured their camp and began to celebrate their victory. Across the river in Columbus, General Polk ordered heavy canon fire on the Federal troops and sent several regiments to get them out of there. The Federal army's celebration suddenly turned to panic and they were driven out of Belmont. The Battle of Belmont resulted in the loss of around 225 lives and was the first major battle of the Western Campaign.
Iron Banks Lodge
11217 State Route 58 West,
Columbus, KY 42032