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Crooked Creek Civil War Museum

Caroline Greer, Auburn University
The Crooked Creek Civil War Museum is a historical site and museum located in Vinemont, Cullman County. The museum is owned by Fred Wise, who acts as a tour guide. The museum is located on a site where Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union colonel Abel Streight fought along Crooked Creek during the minor campaign known as "Streight's Raid."
On April 30, 1863, Streight fended off several attacks by Forrest during a series of engagements in the area known as the Battles of Hog Mountain and Day's Gap. The Hog Mountain and Day's Gap battlefields are being preserved by the American Battlefield Trust through its purchase of more than 120 acres between the two sites.
Wise purchased the property in 1981 but did not know about the battle history until some years later. After clearing the land, Wise and his wife, Brenda, found foxholes and entrenchments where soldiers hid during battle and bullet holes in rocks, among other archaeological evidence of the battles there. On the grounds, Wise has found bullets, brass cannon balls, belt buckles, and other artifacts. Learning about the significance of the area, Wise made plans to preserve the site, and spent 25 years creating the museum and restoring and enhancing significant sites on the grounds. The property now has historic markers, a bed and breakfast, and picnic tables.
The museum was opened in 2006 and is housed in the historic nineteenth-century Vinemont Stagecoach Inn, which Wise moved to the site. The museum holds Civil War memorabilia, such as an 1863 cooking pot, unit insignias, an authentic 1862 Allegheny Arsenal saddle, other nineteenth-century military saddles, a variety of weapons, carriages, uniforms, portraits, Confederate money, and other donated items. According to local lore, the property is a supposed hotbed of paranormal activity.
Clarkson Covered Bridge
The museum is located at 516 County Road 1127. It is open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; admission is $5. Just nearby to the south is the Clarkson Covered Bridge, a 270-foot span across Crooked Creek that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. To the east in Cullman are numerous historical and cultural sites, including the Ave Maria Grotto, the Cullman County Museum, Weiss Cottage, and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. To the northwest are the Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center and the Jesse Owens Memorial Park.
Published:  July 9, 2020   |   Last updated:  July 9, 2020