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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

The Athenaeum Rectory
"Columbia's Athenaeum flourished from 1852 to 1904 as a school, educating girls in subjects like physics and calculus. The Moorish Gothic architecture sets it apart from all other buildings in the area. The interior of the home has been newly renovated with changing exhibits featured in the home throughout the ...more

City:  Columbia, TN
Phone:  931-381-4822

Green Travel Vendor

The Borderlands Exhibit & Driving Tour
"The Borderlands Exhibit and driving tour strives to compile and preserve the area's Civil War Era heritage and ...more

City:  Byrdstown, TN
Phone:  931-864-7195

Green Travel Vendor

The Borderlands Exhibit & Driving Tour
"This exhibit strives to compile and preserve the area's Civil War Era heritage and artifacts. Contact by phone or e-mail for more ...more

City:  Byrdstown, TN
Phone:  888-406-4704

Green Travel Vendor

The Carter House
"This Registered Historic Landmark is now open to the public and serves as a memorial to the Carter family as well as the countless heroes in the Battle of Franklin. The modest brick home was the Federal Command Post while the family took refuge in the ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

The Center for Historic Preservation
"The Center for Historic Preservation houses a significant collection of preservation publications, maps, research and reference ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens
"Founded in 1976 by Hugo and Margaret Dixon, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens is a fine art museum and public garden distinguished by its diverse and innovative programs in the arts and horticulture. The Dixon features a permanent collection of over 2,000 objects, including French and American Impressionist paintings and significant holdings of German and English porcelain. The museum organizes ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-761-5250

Green Travel Vendor

The Felsenthal Lincoln Collection
"Collection left by the late Morton Felsenthal. Displayed are pictures, documents and rare artifacts of Abe Lincoln's life and the Civil ...more

City:  Brownsville, TN
Phone:  731-772-4883

Green Travel Vendor

The Hermitage and Confederate Home Cemetery
"From 1892 to 2933, the state ran a home for Confederate veterans on the Hermitage property. The cemetery is the resting place for 489 veterans. ...more

City:  Hermitage, TN

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 Memphis & Charleston Railroad
"This was an essential east-west railroad route in the Southern Confederacy.  After its capture by Federal armies early in 1862.  Union commanders established garrisons along its length.  To protect the vital railroad junction at Corinth, fortifications were constructed at locations west of Corinth, Garrisons were also established east of Memphis, and at another railroad junction at Grand Junction, TN.  Grierson’s ...more

City:  Memphis, TN

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

Town of Granville
"A riverboat town with a strong history located on Cordell Hull Lake. Town includes historic buildings, museum, park, marina and much more. This Cumberland River port was a contested area throughout the Civil ...more

City:  Granville, TN
Phone:  931-653-4511

Green Travel Vendor

Town of LaGrange
"LaGrange was occupied by Federal troops from 1862 until the Civil War ended.  In 1863, Grierson’s Raid – a daring raid through Mississippi carried out by U.S. cavalry under the command of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson – originated here.  The Immanuel Episcopal Church located in LaGrange was a hospital.  Open daily during daylight hours.  Pick up driving tour brochure at ...more

City:  LaGrange, TN
Phone:  901-878-1246

Green Travel Vendor

Town of Spring City
" ...more

City:  Spring City, TN
Phone:  (423) 365-6441

Green Travel Vendor

Henry County Heritage Center
"The museum’s collections include the Conway Bible, presented to Confederate soldiers by local residents early in the ...more

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  731-642-1030

Green Travel Vendor

Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7
"The first three-story building in Tennessee, and once the tallest west of the Alleghenies, the Franklin Masonic Lodge has an interesting history. Called one of the most significant historic buildings in the South by many experts in architecture, it has served as home of Hiram #7 ever since its completion, making it the oldest continuing lodge in the same ...more

City:  Franklin, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Chockley Tavern
"A 150-year old wayside railroad inn stands ready for groups up to 47 with Southern songs, Civil War tales and meals served by costumed ...more

City:  Wartrace, TN
Phone:  931-389-0545

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Collinsville
"A log pioneer settlement interprets life in middle Tennessee during the 1800s. The original buildings are furnished and restored ...more

City:  Southside, TN
Phone:  931-216-2911

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Cragfont
"The finest mansion house on the Tennessee Frontier. Cragfont was known as "The Grandeur on the Frontier". It was built by General James Winchester, a Brigadier General in the War of 1812 and one of the founders of Memphis. The house is furnished with authentic American Federal antiques some of which are original pieces of the Winchester ...more

City:  Castalian Springs, TN
Phone:  615-452-7070

Green Travel Vendor

Historic District of Reliance
"National Register tour 1895 Watchman's House, 1899 church and school, 1888 Vaughn-Webb House and Webb Brothers Store on Hiwassee scenic river in Cherokee National ...more

City:  Reliance, TN
Phone:  (187) 793-2723

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Downtown Clinton
"Spend countless hours shopping for antiques, collectibles and specialty items and enjoy the unique eateries in restored Historic Downtown ...more

City:  Clinton, TN
Phone:  (800) 524-3602

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Downtown Dickson
"Civil War soldiers built the railroad that now fronts the Historic Halbrook Hotel, War Memorial Building and the new city park. Just off the railroad you will find, not only the Old Train Depot., but also the birthplace of Frank Clement in the Halbrook Hotel. See the War Memorial Building that is one of only two Depression-era War Memorial Buildings in ...more

City:  Dickson, TN
Phone:  877-718-4967

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Downtown Franklin
"Fifteen block National Register Historic District with more than 70 unique shops, restaurants and ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  615-591-8500

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Downtown Rockwood
"In the quaint historic downtown area of Rockwood visitors will find antique & specialty shops, an ole-timey soda fountain, Glitterville Studios, country cooking & fine dining, and foot-stompin' fun at a bluegrass music show, all within a city block. Rockwood is home to the Annual Christmas Home Tour complete with civil war re-enactments the 1st weekend in December and is ...more

City:  Rockwood, TN
Phone:  865-354-0611

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Elm Springs
"A Greek revival mansion built in 1837. Consisting of a two-story red brick construction, it sits on a hilltop on the outskirts of ...more

City:  Columbia, TN
Phone:  800-MYSOUTH

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Elmwood Cemetery
"Under the shade of 1,000 trees. Established in 1852. More than 70,000 people who make up the colorful history of Memphis are buried here, including 14 Confederate generals, two Union generals, and 1100 soldiers who fell in different ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-774-3212

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Gainesboro
"Gainesboro's entire square is on the National Register of Historic Places. A second district was designated including a residential ...more

City:  Gainesboro, TN
Phone:  931-268-9877

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Grand Junction
"Visit an old train depot, the National Field Trial and Bird Dog Museum, as well as interesting shops and ...more

City:  Grand Junction, TN
Phone:  731-658-6554

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Jonesborough Carriage Tours
"Take a carriage ride back in time. They offer rides and narrated tours through the historic district of ...more

City:  Jonesborough, TN
Phone:  423-213-3049

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

Upcoming events

Date: May 23, 2014 - Sep 1, 2014
Summer Music Weekends
Location: Lookout Mountain, TN

Date: Aug 27, 2014 - Sep 6, 2014
76th Annual TN Walking Horse Nat'l Celebration
Location: Shelbyville, TN

Date: Sep 6, 2014 - Sep 7, 2014
23rd Annual
Location: Vonore, TN

See more September events »

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