Faculty Research at Morehead State University

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The series of events that led to the creation of Camp Beauregard was initiated on September 3, 1861, as Confederate forces under Brigadier General Gideon Pillow entered Kentucky from Tennessee to secure the riverport cities of Hickman and Columbus. In response, Union forces under Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant crossed the Ohio River and seized Paducah on September 6. The following day Confederate Major General Leonidas Polk issued orders to organize troops into field brigades in preparation for a Union advance upon Columbus. For the next two weeks both sides began to build earthworks and position artillery to fortify their strongholds. By the end of September both received reinforcements, extended their lines of defense and set up forward outposts. Camp Beauregard would be one of the most important of those garrisons securing General Polk's right flank at Columbus and anchoring the center of the Confederate line between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers.



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