In 1861, Bowling Green was the capitol of Confederate Kentucky and the heart of the Confederate defensive line. Here, initially under the command of General Simon B. Buckner and later General Albert S. Johnston, the Confederates began construction of fortifications to secure their southern foothold in the Commonwealth. The Confederate forces were forced to evacuate Bowling Green following the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson in the winter of 1862.
Three forts remain in Bowling Green--Lytle, C. F. Smith, and Webb. All of them were originally begun by the Confederate forces in 1861 and subsequently finished by the Union army. Fort Lytle is located on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Fort C. F. Smith is located on Reservoir Hill (College Hill) in downtown Bowling Green. The third fort, pictured above, is located in Fort Webb Park, and is owned by the city of Bowling Green.
A reenactment called "Battle for the Barren Civil War Encampment" is held at Baker Hill. Information on this event is available from the Bowling Green/Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau (270)782-0800.
For more information about Bowling Green in the Civil War, contact: