CONFEDERATE FORT - To protect Fort Gaines from Federal gunboats, Confederate Army engineers in 1863 laid out a fort here, commanding a full view of the river for two miles below. A large magazine of lumber and sand was built about 60 feet from the bluff with trenches running north and south to cannon. Breastworks were thrown up along the bluff. Below, on the river bank, was a magazine and a cannon. Of the three cannons, one remains at the site. John Seales, Dr. James Mandeville, Dr. Gaston, Capt. John B. Johnson, a recent graduate of West Point, were among the officers in charge. As southwest Georgia was not invaded the fort was never used.
WAYSIDE HOME - After the Battle of Olustee in N Florida, casualties were brought up the river to Fort Gaines, where all available churches, stores and other buildings became temporary hospitals. Most outstanding of these was “Wayside Home” in the old Masonic Building, on the site of the present one.
UNKNOWN SOLDIERS - Nine unknown Confederate soldiers who died in temporary hospitals here are buried in New Park Cemetery. Their graves are decorated each Memorial Day.
FEDERAL PRISONERS - A number of prisoners, overflow from the prison at Andersonville, were brought to Fort Gaines and kept under guard in the yard of the old County Court House. (1)Another site gives this information about Fort Gaines:
Fort Gaines, the seat of Clay County, sits on a 130-foot bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee River and the plains of Alabama. Originally part of the fifth land district of Early County, Clay County was created in 1854 by an act of the state legislature, which also made Fort Gaines the county seat. The town is located approximately sixty-five miles south of Columbus and fifty miles west of Albany. Fort Gaines, was once called the "Queen City of the Chattahoochee" because of its importance to the riverboat trade.(2)
(1) Historic Marker, "In the Confederacy." Fort Gaines, GA
(2) Fort Gaines, Linda Morgan, Calhoun County Library, New Georgia Encyclopedia, 04/15/2005
Now I'll resume my research about my southern ancestors...thanks for your patience. I enjoy pulling together what I can find on-line with the ancestry records.
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” — Najwa Zebian, Poet.