Sunday Sign: Site of Confederate Fort: Florence, Ala.

Posted on September 4, 2011


This week’s sign is a historical marker at the site of an (apparently) unnamed Confederate Fort on the Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama, built under the leadership of Confederate Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles.

I ran across this historical marker in Florence when I was in town for a rain-barrel workshop at the Lauderdale County Extension Office.  The sign is on street corner of Veteran’s Drive (near “downtown”) as you turn into the extension office parking lot. It’s also the site of the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum.

I’m a history buff but my interests are on topics other than the Civil War. I have no love or admiration for the “old South.” And, as best as I’ve been able to determine, none of my male ancestors fought in the Civil War (at least none in my direct lineage). They certainly weren’t slave owners.

Before coming across this sign, I’d never heard of Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles so I did a quick search to find out some information about him. Turns out he’s a native of Massachusetts but married into a wealthy Virginia family. According to this source from the University of Notre Dame Archives, Ruggle is best remembered for commanding a division at the Battle of Shiloh. I remember visiting the Shiloh National Military Park when I was a child and have that on my list as a nearby historical site that I want to visit again. The Shiloh battlefield and park is less than 50 miles from where I grew up and where my parents still live. I’ve passed nearby probably 50 times in the past 8 years, but was always en route to somewhere else and never had time to make the detour to visit again.

Historical Marker Location:
At the site of the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum
Adjacent to the Lauderdale County Extension Office
802 Veterans Drive
Florence, AL 35630


Times Daily article on Civil War-era military history of Northwest Alabama

University of Notre Dame Civil War Archives: Daniel Ruggles Report (1862)

Battle of Fort Henry, Tennessee

National Park Service: Fort Donelson National Battlefield

List of Historical Sites in Florence, Alabama

Related Posts

Each Sunday, I post a photo of a historical marker or sign that I came across. Check out all The Ben Franklin Follies: Sunday Sign blog posts here.

Posted in: History, Travel