Building a Defence Stockade for the L&N Trestle on the Big Barren River
Railroad tracks, trestles and tunnels were frequent targets of Confederate cavalry raids and infantry attacks. During his "lightening raids" into Kentucky, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his "Raiders" destroyed bridges, tunnels, and railroad trestles disrupting Union Army operations throughout the Commonwealth.
Before evacuating Bowling Green in mid-February 1861, the Confederate Army destroyed the L&N train trestle. To prevent that kind of destruction from happening again, the Union Army constructed a defensive stockade to protect this railroad crossing.
(Lower Left Caption):
This lithograph, published in Harper's Weekly magazine on March 15, 1862, shows the remains of the bridges and the L&N trestle on the Big Barren River. It was destroyed by the Confederates in mid-February 1862 to slow the Union advance on Bowling Green from the north.
Detail from the 1863 Union Army Corps of Engineers map of the Civil War defenses of Bowling Green showing the location of the stockade built to defend the L&N Railroad trestle over the Barren River.
These photographs show examples of defenses built on or near bridges and train trestles. These stockades too on many different architectural designs. The one located here was not attached to the trestle but was located nearby, on this side of the Barren River.