At Columbus, Kentucky, Confederate forces begin the abandonment of "the Gibraltar of the West"

Hickman County, Kentucky, 1857
Columbus, Kentucky was the northernmost Confederate position on the Mississippi River and was known as the "Gibralter of the West" for its extensive fortification and a massive steel chain stretched across the river to Belmont, Missouri.  Fearing that the Union advance on New Madrid, Missouri around thirty miles downstream would cut him off, Confederate General Leonidas Polk ordered an evacuation and over the next week moved all his men and 140 cannon to the New Madrid area.  Union forces took possession of Columbus on March 3, 1862. (By John Osborne)   
Source Citation
 
David G. Martin, The Shiloh Campaign, March-April 1862 (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2003), 40. 

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