Dirt and Log Forts:
"[Cumberland Gap] is the roughest place in the world, but we are going to stick the mountain full of cannon to prevent the Lincolnites from crossing"
-- Letter of Confederate soldier, November 1861
Where you see a picnic ground today, imagine a Civil war fort the size of four football fields side-by-side atop this knoll. The outer walls, made of packed earth faced with logs, rose 10 feet high. Like the other batteries, forts, and rifle pits here in the Gap, this outpost was continuously garrisoned by Confederates or Federals from 1861 until 1865. Troops posted here guarded the Harlan Road, the best way up Pinnacle Mountain.
"It sickens one to the heart to witness the waste of war. The rebels left standing 400 to 500 tends, but... all but four or five were slit to ribbons. Flour, meat, rice, and beans were strewn all over the surface of the fortifications and hillsides... Tons of shot and shell were thrown over the cliffs into the ravines below."
-- Benjamin F. Stevenson, surgeon, 22nd Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment, June 19, 1852.