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Civil War

Tennessee's Civil War history is a study in contrasts: a secessionist state with staunch Union loyalties, divided cities held by both Union and Confederate troops, constant danger and hardship, and nagging uncertainty about friends, neighbors and families, about who was friend or foe.

Tennessee's Civil War tale is one of divided loyalties, crucial battles, and the wide-reaching devastation of "total war." People throughout the state were completely immersed in the economic, social, and physical effects of the conflict, subject to violence and terror, disease and malnutrition, heartbreak and loss, and military rule by both sides. Many grim reminders of the war—as well as hopeful symbols of heroism and kindness—stand today as testament to the war's far-reaching toll.

Use these links to learn more about trails, markers and other interpretive sites; battlefields, and the many Civil War-related museums and other attractions designed to help travelers understand the legacy of the war in Tennessee.

Green Travel Vendor

Riverside Cemetery
"Self-guided tour of resting place for 140 unknown and 40 known Confederate soldiers. Founded in 1821. Thirty acres of statues, monuments, and ...more

City:  Jackson, TN
Phone:  731-424-1279

Green Travel Vendor

Robert L. Caruthers House
"This imposing mansion, which now houses a local funeral home, was the Civil War-era residence of Robert L. Caruthers.  Caruthers was elected governor of Tennessee in 1862, but was unable to take office due to the federal occupation and the appointment of Andrew Johnson as federal Military Governor.  The politically prominent Caruthers later served in the Confederate legislature and helped ...more

City:  Lebanon, TN
Phone:  800-789-1327

Green Travel Vendor

Robertson County Courthouse Square
"Springfield, a major tobacco center, was also an occupied town for most of the Civil War.  Federal troops arrived in the spring 1862 and quickly garrisoned the town, especially around the county courthouse that stood on a high hill overlooking the railroad tracks.  By late 1863, a training camp for U.S. Colored Troops operated in Springfield. In 1864, the 15th ...more

City:  Springfield, TN
Phone:  615-384-3800

Green Travel Vendor

Rogersville Historic District
"National Register Historic district referred to as "Tennessee's largest collection of Federal-type architecture," dating from ...more

City:  Rogersville, TN
Phone:  423-272-2186

Green Travel Vendor

Rome Ferry
"This historic ferry crossing, established in 1830 provides one of the best views of the Cumberland River. John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry used it to escape federal soldiers during a May 1862 raid, but in their haste they abandoned their mounts.  Nearby are the graves of John Grissim, Thomas A. Grissim, and Wilson Hankins, who were killed by federal soldiers in ...more

City:  Rome, TN
Phone:  615-735-2093

Green Travel Vendor

Rose Center
"Rose Center is housed in a National Register of Historic Places building. Built in 1892 as the first public school in Morristown, Rose School was active until 1975. The multi-use facility maintains 4 exhibit galleries, art, history, children's activities. Many special events are held throughout the year. The Mountain Makins Festival, chosen as a Top Twenty Event by the SE Tourism ...more

City:  Morristown, TN
Phone:  423-581-4330

Green Travel Vendor

Ross's Landing
"This newly renovated park across from the Tennessee Aquarium features a river pier, a marina, a natural amphitheatre and the Chattanooga Green which is used for small festivals, concerts and for park users to capitalize on a great view of the river. There is a public boat landing area here. As a performance venue, Ross's Landing's main stage is the ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  (423) 643-6081

Green Travel Vendor

Russellville Methodist Church
"The church served as a Confederate hospital.  One  half mile north of the church are the ruins of Cairn’s Mill, where corn was ground for Confederate General James Longstreet’s ...more

City:  Russellville, TN
Phone:  615-532-1550

Green Travel Vendor

Rutherford County Courthouse & East Main Street Historic District
"Built in 1859, this pre-Civil War structure is still a working county building. This was the site of General Morgan's raid before ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-895-1887

Green Travel Vendor

Salem Cemetery Battlefield
"A self-guided tour amid the monuments honoring Union and Confederate soldiers killed in the December 19, 1862 battle near Jackson. Approximately 1,000 soldiers were engaged in the battle between General Forrest's cavalry and Union troops. Welcome Center, three tour stops, battle map inlay, five monuments and historical cemetery with reference to David ...more

City:  Jackson, TN
Phone:  731-424-1279

Green Travel Vendor

Sam Davis Home and Museum
"Featuring a historic site with 1860s home, Middle Tennessee museum and outbuildings. Learn the story of Civil War hero Sam Davis, called the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy." The Sam Davis Home is one of Tennessee’s most significant Confederate memorial properties. Samuel (“Sam”) Davis, born here in 1842, enlisted in the Rutherford Rifles (Co. I, 1st Tennessee Infantry) in 1861 and ...more

City:  Smyrna, TN
Phone:  615-459-2341

Green Travel Vendor

Sam Davis Museum
"Self-guided tour of sites relating to the capture and hanging of the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy." From public square monument to site of ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN
Phone:  931-424-4044

Green Travel Vendor

Sam Davis Trail
"A four-stop tour - site of capture with monument, site of execution with museum, cemetery where he was briefly buried and life-size statue in town ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN
Phone:  931-424-4044

Green Travel Vendor

Sam Houston Schoolhouse
"Houston, the only person in U.S. history to be elected governor in two different states (Tennessee and Texas), moved to Maryville when he was 14 years old. At 16, he ran away from home and was adopted by the Cherokee nation. He returned to Maryville at age 19 and founded the first school built in Tennessee. He served with distinction in ...more

City:  Maryville, TN
Phone:  865-983-1550

Green Travel Vendor

Sewanee
"A historical marker shows the line followed by the Army of Tennessee and the site of skirmish.  The clearly visible railroad bed was a branch line used by both armies to haul coal from the mines at Tracy City to the main line at Cowan.  After July 1863, Confederate guerrillas were often active against this line.  Also located in Sewanee ...more

Phone:  800-799-6131

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Dickerson Park
"<p>Fort Dickerson was named for its first commander, U.S. Army Captain Jonathan C. Dickerson of the 112th 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. ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-525-7461

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Donelson National Battlefield
"The site of the first decisive Union victory of the Civil War. A visitor center explains the importance of this pivotal battle. Open ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-5706

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Donelson National Cemetery
"Established in 1867 for re-interment of Union soldiers who were originally buried where they fell after the battle of Fort Donelson in ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-5348

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Germantown
"A railroad fort remains at Germantown, maintained as the Fort Germantown town ...more

City:  Germantown, TN
Phone:  901-757-7200

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Grainger
"In Feb. 1863, General Rosecrans, in command of the Federal troops in middle Tennessee, ordered Major General Gordon Granger to fortify Franklin.  During Hood’s attack on Nov. 30, 1864, artillery fire from this fort slammed into the Confederate right flank.  The fort was abandoned when the Federals retreated toward Nashville during the night, but was reoccupied two weeks later as ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  615-794-2103

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Granger
"13-ac. historical battlefield with boardwalk. Built in 1862 by Union troops during the Battle of Franklin. Various locations provide spectacular views of ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  615-794-2103

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Hill and Museum
"Fort Hill is an irregularly shaped redoubt, constructed between 1863-1864, on a hill overlooking Waverly, Tennessee.  The outer walls of the redoubt remain intact around the entire length of the fort.  The troops protecting the area consisted of the 12th and 13th U.S. Colored Troops, the 8th Iowa Cavalry, and the 1st Kansas Battery. ...more

City:  Waverly, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Negley
"Fort Negley was built in 1862 to defend Nashville against Confederate Army attacks. Black laborers assisted the Union Army in building Fort Negley. The unique star designed Union fort from the Civil War, is located between Greer Stadium and the Cumberland Science Museum near downtown ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-862-8470

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Pillow State Historic Park
"Fort Pillow State Historic Park is rich in both historic and archaeological importance. The well-preserved Civil War earthworks on the Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River mark the site of the Confederate Army’s extensive fortifications, built in 1861. The fort bears the name of General Gideon J. Pillow of Maury County, although he never commanded there. The Confederates abandoned the fortifications ...more

City:  Henning, TN
Phone:  (731) 738-5581

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Redmond
"Also known as Red River Blockhouse No. 1, this federal fort was built in 1862, as its National Register nomination states, in reaction to the “Confederate invasion of Kentucky and the near disaster caused by Confederate raids of the railroads.” Federal troops, including the 15th Infantry, U.S. Colored Troops, garrisoned the blockhouse until the war was over.  This National Register-listed ...more

City:  Adams, TN
Phone:  615-696-2593

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Smith
"This federal fortification, named for Col. George P. Smith of the 129th Illinois Infantry, took on greater strategic significance in August 1862 after John hunt Morgan’s confederate cavalry had damaged the railroad line to Nashville at South Tunnel.  Fort Smith served as a temporary railhead for the Federal supply line until the tunnel was reopened in the fall of 1862.  ...more

City:  Mitchellville, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Southwest Point
"Fort Southwest Point, built in 1797, was a working fort with as many as 625 soldiers until being closed in 1811. After excavations by the Department of Conservation, the University of Tennessee and the City of Kingston, the fort is being reconstructed on its original foundation and includes a barracks, blockhouse and 250 feet of palisade walls. Living history re-enactors ...more

City:  Kingston, TN
Phone:  865-376-3641

Green Travel Vendor

Fortress Rosecrans
"The Union Army constructed Fortress Rosecrans, a massive earthen fort, to serve as a supply depot following their victory at Stones ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-893-9501

Green Travel Vendor

Frank H. McClung Museum - University of Tennessee
"A general interest museum featuring permanent exhibitions on Archaeology and the Native Peoples of Tennessee, Ancient Egypt, the Civil War in Knoxville, Decorative Arts, Geology and Fossils, Human Origins, and Freshwater Mussels as well as special temporary exhibits. Museum shop. Accredited by the American Association of Museums; in association with the Smithsonian ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-974-2144

Green Travel Vendor

Franklin County Old Jail Museum
"Artifacts and memorabilia make up the exhibits at the Old Jail Museum in Winchester, Tennessee. Eight rooms are dedicated to special ...more

City:  Winchester, TN
Phone:  931-967-0524

Green Travel Vendor

The Great River Road
"Travel the Great River Road through Tennessee to find historical and recreational beauty. The Great River Road and National Scenic Byway travels through the entire western coast of Tennessee along the great Mississippi River. The road passes through portions of ten river-bordering states. The 185.5-mile Tennessee Corridor is an interconnected tapestry of unique sites, each with its own indigenous, ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  (615) 741-2159

Green Travel Vendor

The John & Landon Carter Mansion
"Built between 1775 and 1780 on land bought from the Cherokee. The oldest frame house in Tennessee reveals a finely detailed interior. For additional ...more

City:  Elizabethton, TN
Phone:  423-543-5808

Green Travel Vendor

The Pillars
"The Pillars, built circa 1828, is now an Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities property. John Houston Bills bought this impressive home in 1837 and began enlarging and refining the property. According to his diary, while living in Bolivar, the Bills family hosted notable guests such as Andrew Jackson, Congressman Adam Huntsman, Sam Houston, Rt. Rev. Leonidas Polk, ...more

City:  Bolivar, TN
Phone:  731-518-7148

Green Travel Vendor

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
"Partners with organizations and individuals across the state to tell the whole story of America's greatest challenge, ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-898-2947

Green Travel Vendor

Top Secret Trail
"Top Secret is waiting for you: a trail of secrets hidden among the scenic wilds of the Upper Cumberland Plateau. Immerse yourself in early Knoxville history by touring Blount Mansion, James White Fort and Bleak House, General Longstreet’s 1863 Battle of Knoxville headquarters. You’ll surely find the perfect souvenir at one of the many antique galleries along Kingston Pike and ...more

Green Travel Vendor

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
"The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 Cherokee detachments followed westward. Today the trail includes about 2,200 miles of land and water routes, and traverses portions of nine ...more

City:  Multi-city, TN
Phone:  (505) 988-6888

Green Travel Vendor

Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum
"The plantation home of John Overton, Travelers Rest preserves 200 years of Nashville's historic past, from frontier to Civil War to ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  866-832-8197

Green Travel Vendor

Treasures and More on 64
"Find the treasures of Franklin, Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln and Wayne counties on Highway ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Tullahoma Campaign Civil War Driving Trail
"The Tullahoma Campaign of 1863 is often overshadowed by the simultaneous events of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, even though the results were strategically more significant than Gettysburg and tactically equivalent to Vicksburg. With the loss of manpower, agricultural staples, the industrial base and, most importantly, the Chattanooga rail center, the Tullahoma Campaign was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy. Follow ...more

City:  Multi-city, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Unicoi Turnpike Trail
"The Unicoi Turnpike Trail is a trade and war path that predates written history. The places, events, and people associated with the trail are linked to the nation's ...more

City:  Etowah, TN
Phone:  (187) 751-0576

Green Travel Vendor

West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center
"An Authentic Southern Experience! Just off I-40, Exit 56, (behind McDonald's) in Brownsville, Tennessee, is the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Opened in 1999, the center offers visitors a taste of what West Tennessee has to offer — a staging area for your West Tennessee adventure. Learn more about Brownsville's Historic Homes, the famous "Mind Field," Dunbar Carver Museum, the ...more

City:  Brownsville, TN
Phone:  731-779-9000

Green Travel Vendor

White Lightning Trail
"The White Lightning Trail is waiting for you: a picturesque drive through the fertile valleys and rustic charm of the Tennessee hills. After leaving the city limits, you’ll pass through the Great Smoky Mountains into historic country music — Maynardville — home to country music greats like Chet Atkins and Roy Acuff. Heading north, you’ll travel along the same route ...more

Green Travel Vendor

Winstead Hill
"General Hood's troops formed on Winstead Hill before their great charge at the Battle of Franklin. A memorial to the Army of Tennessee stands on the hill today. The overlook features a large military map and memorials to the Confederate generals who died in this ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  (615) 791-1861

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

Upcoming events

Date: Oct 25, 2014
38th Annual Harvest Days
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Date: Oct 25, 2014
Halloween Event
Location: Rock Island, TN

Date: Oct 25, 2014
Halloween Event
Location: Rock Island, TN

See more October events »

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