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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

Paris Historic Downtown
"Unique shops and cafes surround one of the oldest courthouses in Tennessee with antique stores and walking tours of the historic downtown ...more

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  731-642-1030

Green Travel Vendor

Paris/Henry County Chamber of Commerce

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  800-345-1103

Green Travel Vendor

Parker’s Chapel Community
"A highway historical marker directs visitors to the historic rural African American community known as Parker’s Crossroads, established by free blacks and recently emancipated slaves shortly after the war.  The first church, built about 1870, also served as the first community school.  The community name comes from Rev. James Parker, the first pastor.  The historic property contains the Parkers Chapel ...more

City:  Near Portland, TN
Phone:  615-325-9032

Green Travel Vendor

Parkers Crossroads Battlefield
"The battle was fought on Dec. 31, 1862. Union forces sought to capture Confederate troops on their return from their first West Tennessee raid. When Confederate General Forrest found himself caught between two Union forces, he ordered his troops to “charge both ways” and made a successful escape. Seven marked sites can be visited on a self-guided ...more

City:  Parkers Crossroads, TN
Phone:  (731) 968-1191

Green Travel Vendor

Peter Vertrees Marker
"This state highway marker notes the contributions that Rev. Peter Vertrees made to the post-emancipation history of Gallatin.  Vertrees played a crucial role in establishing African American churches and schools in Middle Tennessee from emancipation until death in 1926.  ...more

City:  Gallatin, TN
Phone:  888-425-5286

Green Travel Vendor

Pickett’s Chapel Methodist Chuch
"After the war, recently emancipated African Americans bought this former Methodist building where some had worshipped as slaves, and established their own church in 1866.  Rev. Calvin Pickett served as the first minister.  The National Register listed building is now undergoing restoration to become a black history museum for Wilson ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Pilot Knob/Nathan Bedford Forest State Park
"Tennessee River Folklife Museum sits atop the highest point in West Tennessee. Displays, exhibits and programs offered. Wildlife ...more

City:  Eva, TN
Phone:  800-714-7305

Green Travel Vendor

Point Park
"Point Park commemorates the 1863 battles for Chattanooga. Point Park Visitor Center houses the James Walker Painting, "Battle of Lookout ...more

City:  Lookout Mountain, TN
Phone:  423-821-7786

Green Travel Vendor

Portland Historic Business District
"A small city park across from the Chamber of Commerce office contains two historical markers about early confederate invasions of Kentucky, which passed through Richland Station, now known as Portland. ...more

City:  Portland, TN
Phone:  615-325-9032

Green Travel Vendor

President Andrew Johnson Museum & Library
"First (1841) college building. Includes President's personal books and Tusculum College archives on display. Oldest college in Tennessee. 23rd oldest in ...more

City:  Greeneville, TN
Phone:  800-729-0256

Green Travel Vendor

Puryears Ferry
"Colonel John Hunt Morgan assembled troops here on the night of December 6, 1862.  the difficult task of moving soldiers and equipment across the swollen Cumberland River took seven hours. ...more

City:  Trousdale County, TN
Phone:  615-374-9243

Green Travel Vendor

Ramsey House Plantation
"Experience life on America's frontier in the 1797 house with acreage, exhibits and heirloom garden. Once considered "the most costly and most admired house in Tennessee,"it is one of the few surviving houses designed by Tennessee's first formally trained architect, Thomas Hope. In addition to its architectural significance, the house was home to the family of Col. Francis Ramsey and ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-546-0745

Green Travel Vendor

Randolph Bluff Historic Site
"Just past the Randolph United Methodist Church, you’ll find one of the best views of the Mississippi River, high above the floodplain on the second Chickasaw Bluff. A Civil War historical marker describes the area’s significance including Fort Wright (now private property) near this spot. The 1861 fort served not only as a defensive position for the Confederates on the ...more

City:  Randolph, TN
Phone:  615-329-4441

Green Travel Vendor

Rest Hill Cemetery
"Cemeteries, churches and schools were among the first institutions created by freedmen upon emancipation; the cemetery was an important symbol of independence for the African American community as well as a source of ethnic pride and identity.  This National Register listed cemetery, established in 1868, is another key Reconstruction-era site. Military veterans from the Civil War to 20th century conflicts ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Riggins Hill
"After Confederates recaptured Clarksville in August 1862, a Union detachment was sent to reclaim the town. Confederates defended this area but were soon pushed back through town by the larger Union force. Clashes continued in this area continued until late ...more

City:  Clarksville, TN
Phone:  9316457476

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

August 2014

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Upcoming events

Date: Aug 23, 2014
Clayton & Joney Daley CMT's Swamp Pawn
Location: Jefferson City, TN

Date: Aug 15, 2014 - Aug 23, 2014
Wilson County Fair Fiddlers Grove
Location: Lebanon, TN

Date: Aug 30, 2014
33rd Annual Bowen Campbell Auto Expo
Location: Goodlettsville, TN

See more August events »

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