Civil War 150: “Fort Webb Park” A MUST SEE!

By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Thursday, August 4th, 2011 9:00 AM CST

I’ve many times gone to Bowling Green Country Club and I am ashamed I’ve passed Fort Webb and not stopped. It’s maybe one of the coolest historical sites in Bowling Green since, you can still see some of the remnants of the past war still in this very calm and interesting site. Just down Beech Bend Road and into Country Club Drive (not a private road by the way) sits this city park. It still has the original configuration since it was constructed by the Confederate States Army.

Fort Webb is located at head of navigation on Barren and Green river systems, this helped make Bowling Green an important stronghold with two railroads to Memphis and Nashville. Fort Lyle and C.F. Smith were a very elaborate fortifications made of limestone blocks but Fort Webb were much simpler. It’s one that was “Thrown up” (a military engineering term) by large numbers of men with picks and shovels. Soldiers would dig a ditch and throw the dirt onto the parapet. With such earthworks before them, an attacking enemy must, charge towards the fort, descend or fall into the ditch, and then climb the high, then climb the high, steep scarp wall of the parapet in order to storm the fort… if possible.

The main structure visible at Fort Webb is an earthworks “lunette.” Historically, this was a standard shape used by military engineers, and resembled a crescent moon or lunar shape, thus the name. Lunettes were often built to protect artillery.

If you observe the parts of earthwork wall where the soil has eroded away, you may notice some large pieces of limestone embedded in the dirt. These rocks were not placed there for extra strength or reinforcement; the earth wall in itself was enough to absorb shot and shell. They were placed there as a building guide. With rocks or logs outlining the size and shape of the lunette, the soldiers simply buried them using the soil dug from the outer ditch.

Map of all the forts in Bowling Green at Ft. Webb.

Inside the trench looking at the entrance to the park.

Outside the Trench you can see down the hill.

Stones outside the trench and down the hill.

You should check this out! There are great benches as well to sit so, it’s great for those who need a break climbing the small hill.

If you want to skip ahead to get more detail or start learning more today, check out the Civil War Trail (website link for trail) via the Convention and Visitors Bureau or Kentucky Museum on WKU’s Campus.

Past Civil War 150:

Part 1: Mt. Moriah Cemetery, resting place of  “African American Union Soldiers.”

Part 2: The Confederate Graveyard and Monument of Bowling Green. Also, the Most Dangerous Confederate.

Part 3: “Defending the L&N Railroad Wayside Exhibit.”

Part 4: “Mt. Ayr & Fort Underwood”

Part 5: “Baker Hill and Downtown Bowling Green”

Part 6: “Confederate Defense Line and Rifle Trench.”

Part 7: “Fort C.F. Smith and College Hill.”

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