Gettysburg Campaign: Fort Couch

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by carolgreen299, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. carolgreen299

    carolgreen299 New Member

    Although I like to think I know a decent amount about the Gettysburg Campaign, this was new to me!

    Fort Couch was built as part of the emergency fortifications erected to defend Harrisburg and nearby bridges across the Susquehanna River during the 1863 invasion of Pennsylvania by Confederate forces. Fort Couch was built as an advance position to ensure the defense of Fort Washington located on a slightly lower hilltop to the east. Construction started on June 20th, 1863, by command of Major General Couch and on the advice of Federal Army engineer officers Fort Couch was mainly built by local African-American railroad workers. Artillery pieces were mounted on wooden platforms behind the earthworks and pointed west. Fort Couch was manned by New York National Guard, Pennsylvania militia, and Federal troops evacuated from the U.S. Army barracks at Carlisle that included members of the 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. The Federal Calvary instructed the new York and Pennsylvania troops in the use of artillery. Several forward infantry picket lines were established between Fort Couch and Oyster Point located a mile an a half to the west.

    Fort Washington was constructed primarily between June 14-19, 1863, as part of the emergency response to the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania that culminated in the historic Battle of Gettysburg. Fort Washington was located 800 yards east of this site and consisted of entrenchments and earthen redoubts with wooden platforms for 25 pieces of artillery. The fort occupied about 60 acres and was manned by New York national Guard and Pennsylvania militia under the overall command of General couch. Hastily built for the defense of Harrisburg and regions east of the Susquehanna River. These earthen fortifications were constructed by more than 600 local citizen volunteers and African-American railroad construction crews drinking water was pumped up the hill from the Susquehanna River using hose laid by volunteer firemen. Tents of some soldiers were erected on wooden platforms on the forts steep hill slope.

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