Union General William Tecumseh Sherman was worried about the Confederates located at Bowling Green and Columbus, Kentucky, and a possible attack using the Ohio River and the Louisville Nashville Turnpike. He ordered a fort the be built on Pearman Hill at West Point Kentucky to protect the Union supply base located at Elizabeth, Kentucky. The 37th Indiana and 9th Michigan began construction of the fort on November 3rd 1861. They finished it in two months.
The Fort Duffield was named after Rev George Duffield of Detroit, Michigan. The Rev’s son Colonel William W Duffield was the commander of the 9th Michigan. The fort wasn’t built in the traditional star like shape, but had more of a serpentine shaped wall about 1000 foot long. There was a fresh water source inside in the fort and the trees were removed for a mile around the fort. About 61 men died from disease while working on the fort. There were about 950 soldier stationed in Fort Duffield.
Fort Duffield never saw any action, and was abandoned in the fall of 1862. Interestingly had the Fort remained in use, they may have stopped Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s 1863 Raid, which was carried out in the area.