Although it was never completely finished, Fort Jefferson, located in the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico, was intended to protect one of the deep water anchorages vital to the interests of the United States and to guard the Straits of Florida. Construction was carried on at Fort Jefferson from 1846 to 1875. After the Civil War, Fort Jefferson served as a prison, where Dr. Samuel Mudd, convicted as a conspirator in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, was held from 1865 to 1869.
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The Industrial Age combined with American ingenuity to form special units during the Civil War. Horse artillery, sharpshooters, sappers, and miners were used for specialized duties during the war.
Led by the impetuous General Nathaniel Lyon, Union forces pursued retreating Confederates across southwestern Missouri in the summer of 1861. At Wilson’s Creek, Lyon caught up with the enemy on aptly named Bloody Hill.