Backstory and Context
Fort Bishop was part of a line on Union defenses intended to maintain Union control over Kentucky. Although Lawrence County, Kentucky did not see any large battles, several smaller skirmishes took place within the borders of the county in the early years of the conflict. Confederate sympathizers were also known to operate throughout the region.
Union troops built several encampments within the borders of Lawrence County, such as Camp George at George’s Creek. This field camp served as the temporary home for troops under the command of Colonel Garfield in 1862. Camp Murray was also a Union Camp near George’s Creek. Camp Moore, located near the Lawrence/Johnson County line at the bottom of Brown’s Hill, was a field camp during Garfield Campaign. Also during the Garfield Campaign was Camp Pardee, named after Major Pardee. Camp Lookout, located in Louisa, was a permanent Union camp. Camp McClure, also located in Louisa, was the home of McLaughlin’s Squadron.There was Camp Peach Orchard located at Peach Orchard. Camp White was a permanent Union camp during the summer of 1863. Camp Wallace was located in Louisa and used as a recruiting camp for the 14th Kentucky Infantry.
During the fall of 1861, as well as during Garfield’s Eastern Kentucky Campaign, several of Louisa's buildings were commandeered as military hospitals, including the First Methodist Church, and Judge Stewart House. The local courthouse served as barracks for Union soldiers while the jail near the courthouse served as a guardhouse.