Monday, November 17, 2008
Confederate Cannon in place after 143 years
This site is not in Florida, but is closely associated with the state.
On the bluff at Fort Gaines, Georgia, a well-preserved Confederate artillery emplacement overlooks the Chattahoochee River. The site is unique because of the original cannon is still in place there more than 143 years after the end fo the War Between the States. It is the only such piece still on its original site along the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers.
The Confederate defenses at Fort Gaines were part of a series of such installations built between 1862 and 1865 to protect the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers from Union attack. Fortified points included the "Narrows" on the lower river, Ricco's Bluff, Alum Bluff and Rock Bluff (all in Florida), as well as Fort Gaines and Columbus (in Georgia).
The third of three forts built in the city, the Fort Gaines batteries consisted of two artillery emplacements high on the bluff and a third on the riverbank below. One of the upper emplacements is very well preserved and a second can still be seen as a dip in the surface of the ground.
None of the batteries were ever attacked by Federal forces. Ricco's Bluff was raided by the Union Navy in 1865, but the artillery had already been removed by that point and only a detachment of Confederate cavalry was stationed at the site.
To learn more about Fort Gaines, a fascinating and historic town on the Chattahoochee River with strong ties to the history of North Florida, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortgaines.