The earthen structure nearby, ? mile in length, was constructed by the Confederates by order of General Gideon Pillow in July, 1861. Designed to hold 40 artillery pieces, the water batteries were the major works which prevented the passage of Union boats along the river. The water batteries were rendered almost unusable when the river flooded in March, 1862. After the fall of Shiloh and Corinth, the Confederates withdrew from the fort in June, 1862, leaving behind 19 pieces of artillery, all spiked or dismounted.