Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Civil War Oddities #80

As its name implies, the Mississippi River’s Island Number Ten was downstream from nine other islands. Located close to Columbus, Kentucky, it was fortified by Confederates who planned to close the river to Federal traffic. In a dramatic ship-to-shore operation, forces under Major General John Pope and Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote took over the island on April 8, 1862.

The victorious Union soldiers and sailors were dumbfounded to discover among their captives “a female invalid generally known as Harriet Redd.” Questioned, she admitted to having come to the military installation to be with her Confederate husband. Refusing a pass, Harriet said she preferred to remain with him, so she joined the men in an improvised prisoner-of-war camp.

A memorial statue was erected in 1979 to honor Harriet and her husband near Columbus, Kentucky.