Building Fort Sevier (Defiance)

Building Fort Sevier (Defiance) (HM1QBJ)

Location: Clarksville, TN 37042 Montgomery County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 32.471', W 87° 22.409'

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Throughout history forts have been
built to protect important sites. Civil
War-era forts were generally masonry
for seacoast fortifications. Earthen
forts were predominant at inland
locations, including Forts Donelson
and Sevier (Defiance
Fort Sevier's earthen walls, called
parapets, were designed to protect
its garrison from enemy fire. Ditches
outside the parapets would slow
assaulting troops. The covered way,
a large trench with a wooden and
dirt roof, protected troops carrying
ammunition. The thickly protected
magazine stored the ammunition
Senior Confederate military engineer
Jeremy Gilmer sited Fort Sevier to
protect the bend in the Cumberland
River. Gilmer hired civilian engineer
Edward Sayers to build the fort. Local
slaves were leased, and Confederate
soldiers were ordered to build the fort.
Continuous labor shortages caused
construction to lag.
Factors made this an untenable fort.
The hill's height required a downward
angle that was too steep for the cannons
to effectively fire upon that portion of
the river. The shape of the fort and
structural core did not comply with
military engineering guidelines. Earthen
forts were typically built with a core of
stacked logs with dirt packed on top, but
archeological evidence shows Fort Sevier
was not built in this manner.
Fort Sevier and Fort Clark were initially
garrisoned by the Montgomery Heavy
Artillery, C.S.A. Clarksville's forts were not
as heavily armed as Fort Donelson. They
were abandoned after Fort Donelson's
capture under the belief they could not
stop the Union advance.
Year Placed2008
Placed ByThe City of Clarksville
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 466570 N 4044041
Decimal Degrees36.54118333, -87.37348333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 32.471', W 87° 22.409'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 32' 28.26" N, 87° 22' 24.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 128 A St, Clarksville TN 37042, US
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