340 Metal Museum Drive
Memphis, TN 38106
In June 1861, Confederate supporters in Memphis erected earthworks to protect the city here at Fort Pickering, the site of a frontier-era fortified trading post. Capt. William Pickett and his company of sappers and miners supervised the slave and free black laborers who built the stronghold. Local volunteers mounted artillery and built ammunition magazines on the two Indian mounds within the fort. After the fall of Memphis in June 1862, Union forces used Fort Pickering as a major supply depot and staging area. Gen. William T. Sherman increased its size so that it extended for more than a mile along the river and a third of a mile inland.