COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-If you are familiar with Columbus then you know of Military Road but did you ever wonder how it got its name?
During the War of 1812, fought between the United States and Great Britain, General Andrew Jackson needed a way to prepare against a possible British invasion.
“Jackson realized there was a need for a direct road connecting Nashville and New Orleans and he petitioned Congress and in 1816 Congress authorized the construction of a road that would go directly from Nashville to New Orleans construction started in 1817 Columbus was created,” says Rufus Ward.
During the construction of Military Road, the city of Columbus was established.
“Surveyor captain Hugh Young came through this area and got up with John Pitchlynn who lived on Plymouth Bluff and asked where was the best place to cross the Tombigbee and Pitchlynn pointed out an old Indian trail and that’s where they put the ferry and that’s where Columbus grew up was at the Tombigbee crossing at the Military road,” says Ward.
Not only did military road play a significant role in American history, but it’s also known for the oldest documented ghost story in Columbus.
“Two soldiers building the Military road supposedly drowned at Black Creek crossing which incidentally is right across highway 12 from the old original WCBI TV station building. And their ghosts are suppose to haunt the creek at that spot. It’s a spooky creek crossing to begin with and makes for a wonderful story,” says Ward.
Whether you’re hunting ghost or history, just take a drive down Military Road.
Saturday, November 2nd, the Decorative Arts and Antique Forum will host a detailed presentation about Military Road.