Fort Holt

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Fort Holt (1861-1862) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1861 near Wickliffe, Ballard County, Kentucky. Named Fort Holt after Joseph Holt who was appointed Postmaster General in 1859, and Secretary of War in 1861. Abandoned in early 1862.

Fort Holt Sketch, Harpers Weekly 1862.

History of Fort Holt

Fort Holt Plan circ 1862

Established in September 1861 by Colonel John Cook, with 20 companies from the 7th and 28th Volunteer Infantry along with 1 company of Dragoons, and 1 company of Artillery. The fort was located on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River at its confluence with the Mississippi River, opposite Cairo, Illinois. This fort was a part of General George Cullum's, (Cullum 709), organization of the defenses of the Mississippi River in and around Cairo, Illinois.

Fort Holt was a small earthen structure with a wooden palisade identified in the plan as a "Columbiad Battery" with mounts for two Columbiad cannons. A contemporary sketch in Harpers Weekly shows four mounted cannon facing the water side and two cannons facing the land side.

The post was probably abandoned in January 1862.

Current Status

No remains, the exact site is thought to be further inland than it was in 1862 with changes in the river course.

Location: Near Wickliffe, Ballard County, Kentucky. The map point is an approximate location based on a written description.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.99631 Long: -89.12641

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  • Elevation: 463'

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