Columbus-Belmont State Park in Kentucky: A Little-Known Bit of Civil War History

I found a little-known bit of Civil War history at Columbus-Belmont State Park, atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Kentucky.

In an effort to stop Union ships, Confederate troops here stretched a huge chain across the river, anchored on each side by massive earthworks in Columbus, Kentucky and Belmont, Missouri. The river's strong currents quickly broke it.

Exhibits in a former Civil War infirmary describe the battle that raged here when Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant attacked in November 1861.

Columbus-Belmont State Park (350 Park Rd. in Columbus) is located in far western Kentucky, just north of where State Highways 58 and 123 meet, and 36 miles southwest of Paducah. Admission to the museum -- open daily May through September, weekends in April and October, and by appointment otherwise -- is $2 for adults and $1.50 for children up to age 16.

A 38-site campground, open April through September, offers partial hookups; the nightly rate is $18.

For details, call 1-270-677-2327.

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