As Sutherland and about 100 Iowa troopers rode into Tannehill they found that the three large furnaces for producing iron were idle. George Monlux, a 21-year-old commissary sergeant in the Eighth Iowa was one of the first to ride into Tannehill that day. He later wrote of the attack:
I was on the advance of this party and as we rode up to the works there was a large collection of colored ladies in front of a building, and one of them addressed me saying, What are you all guine to do?
I told her we going to burn the iron works. She replied, I am powerful glad of that for it uses up any amount of (negroes) every year.
Not one white man or negro was in sight, for they had heard of our coming and the negro men and horses and mules had been run off.
The troopers spent the next three hours burning and wrecking the iron works. Destroyed that day were the three furnaces, a steam blast engine, overhead charging bridges, tramways to the nearby mines, foundry and cast houses. Also burned were cotton gins, grist mills, saw mills and food stores. Machine, wagon and black smith shops were also destroyed. Satisfied that the works were completly destroyed, Sutherland headed west to catch up with Croxton and continue the destruction in Tuscaloosa.
The Roupes Valley Iron Works was placed on the National Register of Historic places on July 24, 1972. The works were restored and is now called the Tannehill Ironworks and State Park. Each year the park hosts a Civil War reenactment. Enjoy a slideshow of photos below from the May 2011 reenactment.
Information from Tannehill and the Growth of the Alabama Iron Industry: Including the Civil War in West Alabama by Jim Bennett.