Union Gen. U.S. Grant occupied Paducah on Sept. 6,1861, building a pontoon bridge across the Ohio River to the Illinois shore. Ft. Anderson was built and named after Kentuckian and Ft. Sumter commander Maj. Robert Anderson. Attacked March 25 and April 14, 1864, the fort was successfully defended by both white and black troops commanded by Col. Stephen G. Hicks of Illinois. * Shown patrolling off Paducah in 1862 is the gunboat U.S.S. TYLER * In the spring of 1864, African-Americans were recruited in Kentucky for federal service as "U.S. Colored Volunteers." The 8th Colored Artillery (Heavy) was raised almost exclusively in Paducah as were elements of five other black regiments.
On March 25, 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest raided Paducah intent on disrupting communications and destroying or carrying off as many Union military supplies as possible. * Shown: Confederate assault of Ft. Anderson led by Paducahan Col. A.P. Thompson, killed within sight of his home. * In the distance are burning military stores. From the river, Union gunboats PEOSTA and PAW-PAW give supporting fire for the fort. * Kentucky was a slave state but overwhelmingly pro-Union. Paducah, however, was strongly pro-Confederacy. Gen Lloyd Tilghman, a Paducah resident, left here in summer 1861 to raise the 3rd Kentucky Regt., Conf. States Army. He was killed in action during the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign.