Crooked Creek Civil War Museum Is A Historic Legacy
The Crooked Creek Civil War Museum is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of Fred Wise, who's 25 years worth of labor has preserved a historic Civil War site in Alabama. Crooked Creek Civil War Museum & Park is located on a battle site where Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union Colonel Abel Streight fought for several hours at Crooked Creek. Later they engaged in the Battles of Hog Mountain and Day's Gap in April of 1863. History fans will find historic markers along the Forrest-Streight route marking rural highways through Cullman County. It is one of these Historic Markers close to West Point that leads along the county road to Crooked Creek.
Fred Wise did not realize the extent of history his land held when he purchased it in 1981. Four years later he began to uncover history literal started coming to the surface as he cleared the land. One can only imagine what it was like for soldiers in the concave holes where they sought shelter for protection during battle. Bullet holes found in big rocks nearby can give you chills as you picture the events that took place at the Crooked Creek Civil War site.
As a Civil War History buff and collector, Fred soon realized the historic significance of his property, and set out to to preserve the area. his story shows what persistence and a love of history can accomplish; the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum & Park! Today the museum is housed in the old Vinemont Stagecoach Inn that Fred purchased and relocated to preserve a piece of Cullman history. When you visit you'll find a winding narrow dirt road circles the hill above the creek and loops down through the narrow valley alongside the creek bank where Fred has historic markers positioned. There are also covered picnic tables available so you can enjoy an outing and picnic at the historic site.
When the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum & Park opened in April 2006, Fred began to meet people who's relatives fought in the battles. Some of these relatives have donated historic items and documents to the museum. There is a book available called; “The Lightning Mule Brigade -- Abel Streight's 1863 Raid into Alabama” that shares insight into what happened at Crooked Creek. This book includes the personal account by a Sergeant from the 3rd Ohio Union Calvary.
Among the rare artifacts found in the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum are a 1863 cooking pot, unit insignias, an authentic 1862 Allegheny Arsenal saddle, plus other Civil War saddles. There is also a Confederate Lorenz-Jager .72 carbine modified by Indians and other weapons. You can picture how thrilled Fred Wise was as he unearthed bullets, a brass cannon ball, belt buckles and other artifacts on his property. Some items have been sold to gain the funds to create the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum and Park. And, many of these items were even bought back by Fred later!
If you have a chance to visit the Crooked Creek Civil War Museum, we hope you'll take a moment as we did to appreciate the hard work and dedication Fred Wise, his family, and volunteers have put into preserving history!
By Melody Schubert
Crooked Creek Civil War Museum is located at 516 County Road 1127 in Vinemont, Alabama. For more information call 256-739-2741.