Fort Dickerson Park History
Fort Dickerson was named for its first commander, a young U.S. Army Captain Jonathan C. Dickerson of the 112 th Illinois Volunteer Mounted Infantry. A 30-year-old carpenter, he played a significant role in Knoxville during the siege of the city in 1863.
The fort is one of 16 earthen forts and battery positions that protected the City of Knoxville during the Civil War. Fort Dickerson is said to be the best preserved of all earthworks forts dating from the Civil War days. The park is known for its beautiful views. Looking north, the whole City of Knoxville to the high ridges beyond Fountain City can be seen. There is also a view of the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains with the mountains in the distance. Because the fort was not accessible by public road until 1956, it remained mostly undisturbed.
The Confederates sent a force of a thousand men across the river and attacked it. They planned to capture the fort and use its guns on the city they were meant to protect. Although the Confederates were able to occupy nearby Cherokee Heights, they could not capture Fort Dickerson. From the fort, they were able to protect University Hill and some of the city.
In 1994, the Harold Lambert Overlook was named for the former Senior Vice President of Vulcan Materials Co. The overlook provides a view to a 350-foot deep quarry that was formerly used by the Vulcan Materials Co. as a resource for obtaining rocks used in construction. The site was named for Lambert because he played an important role in transferring ownership of the 18 acres of land from Vulcan Materials Co. to the City of Knoxville.