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Fort Hill (Frankfort, Kentucky) facts for kids

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Archeological Site 15 FR 368
Frankfort bird eye.jpg
1871. Downtown Frankfort is seen in the foreground, while South Frankfort lies across the river in the background. Fort Hill is in the lower left hand corner.
Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 420: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Nearest city Frankfort, Kentucky
Area 4 acres (1.6 ha)
Built 1862 (1862)
NRHP reference No. 85002370
Added to NRHP September 12, 1985

Fort Hill (formerly known as Blanton's Hill) is a promontory overlooking downtown Frankfort, Kentucky. It is the site of two earthwork forts from the American Civil War. Fort Hill is on the National Register of Historic Places and is now a public park.


Military fortifications were built on the hill by the 103rd Ohio Infantry during the American Civil War to protect the city and its pro-Union state government. In September 1862 the Confederate States of America took control of Frankfort. Frankfort is the only Union capital to have been conquered by Confederate forces during the Civil War.

Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky did not secede from the Union, an attempt was made to set up a Confederate government at Bowling Green in western Kentucky. A Bluegrass Kentuckian, George W. Johnson of Scott County, was elected first Confederate Governor of Kentucky. He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. After his death, Richard Hawes of Bourbon County was inaugurated the next Confederate governor at the Old Capitol Building in Frankfort, on October 4, 1862.

While the inauguration ceremonies were still underway, Federal forces appeared on the hill to the west of Frankfort and caused Governor Hawes and the Confederates to speedily conclude the ceremony and withdraw from Frankfort toward Versailles in Woodford County. When the Union forces advanced on Frankfort from Louisville on Oct. 4, 1862, the Southerners retreated south. Four days later, the Battle of Perryville was fought in Boyle County. Unable to capitalize on their battlefield success at Perryville, the Confederates left the state via the Cumberland Gap.

March 1863 two earthen forts, Fort Boone (not to be confused with Fort Boone) and the larger New Redoubt, were constructed by army engineers, 103rd Ohio Infantry and civilian labor. Written by Lyman Beecher Hannaford, 103rd OVI, March 26, 1863, "we have now moved our encampment up on the hill in the rear of the fort. The regiment moved yesterday morn early". In 1864, local militia in Fort Boone successfully repulsed an attack on Frankfort by raiders from the Confederate cavalry under John Hunt Morgan.


The Fort Hill site is now a park and historic site, with a view of the city and the Kentucky River Valley. The 124-acre (0.50 km2) heavily forested Leslie Morris Park preserves the remains of the two Civil War earthwork forts, and is also used for Civil War reenactments. A circa 1810 log house, known as the "Sullivan House," has also been moved to the site. It houses exhibits about Fort Hill and the history of Kentucky's log buildings. The Sullivan House also serves as a site for living history activities.

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