Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site will open to the public, Thursday, November 18th, with a free day in the park and dedication ceremony at 10:00am. Following the ceremony, site tours will be offered and there will be a live performance of Civil War-era music by local junior high students. “I am excited to announce the opening of Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site,” said Lt. Governor Scott Angelle. “This site represents an incredible piece of Louisiana’s history and is an invaluable new tourism opportunity for Central Louisiana.”
The $4.4 million project was funded by a combination of Capital Outlay funds and monies provided by the Red River Waterway Commission (RRWC). Operational funds have also been provided by the RRWC, allowing the site to open during the current fiscal year. “Forts Randolph and Buhlow State Historic Site will be a wonderful addition to our system,” said Dr. Stuart Johnson, Assistant Secretary for the Office of State Parks. “The Red River Waterway Commission and the City of Pineville are great partners, fully supporting this site and the Office of State Parks’ mission to preserve and interpret our state’s history.”
Forts Randolph and Buhlow were part of the Red River Campaign during the Civil War. Interpretation and programs at this site will connect with Mansfield SHS and Port Hudson SHS on the whole Campaign and the subsequent Civil War events. After the Battle of Mansfield, halting the Union advance to the West in Spring of 1864, Forts Randolph and Buhlow were constructed on the Red River at Alexandria by Confederates in order to repel future Union attacks through Northwest Louisiana. The earthen forts, constructed using local plantation slave labor, were fortified with cannon and troops, and never saw battle.
Fort Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site, located on Red River in downtown Pineville, includes visitor center with Civil War, an elevated boardwalk around both fort sites, and an overlook near the southern portion of the Bailey’s Dam site. The site has an open field for Civil War re-enactments. Admission to the site is $4.00 per person; children (12 and under) and senior citizens (62 and over) are admitted free. For more information about the site, visit www.lastateparks.com or call (888) 677-7437 toll free or (318) 484-2390 locally.