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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

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

Scarritt-Bennett Center Series
"A non-profit conference, retreat, education center in the heart of Nashville. Gothic buildings, gardens, international museum and gift ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-340-7500

Green Travel Vendor

Sevier County Heritage Museum
"Museum of local history from Woodland Indian artifacts to early settlers and implements they used on the farm. Other exhibits highlight education and tributes to local Veterans from the Civil War through ...more

City:  Sevierville, TN
Phone:  865-453-4058

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

Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park
"Sharp's Ridge Memorial Park is 111 acres, with unpaved trails running through beautiful forest. The multiple trail system leads up to some of the most breathtaking overviews of Knoxville and its surrounding counties. Two reservable shelters and multiple picnic tables are available in the park. Sharp's Ridge is the perfect vantage point to view what Knoxville has to offer. Sharp's Ridge ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-215-1413

Green Travel Vendor

Shelbyville
"Actress Pauline Cushman (a female spy) had been sent south to Shelbyville, under the guise as a pro-South secesh.  Her real role lay in spying on Confederate officers.  Caught in Bedford County disguised as a man, Cushman was searched for detailed drawings of area fortifications.  General Bragg swore she would face the sternest punishment, death by hanging.  Falling ill, faked ...more

City:  Shelbyville, TN
Phone:  800-799-6131

Green Travel Vendor

Sheriff Buford Pusser Home & Museum
"The Buford Pusser home and museum is the real home, furnishings and memorabilia of the late Buford ...more

City:  Adamsville, TN
Phone:  731-632-4080

Green Travel Vendor

Sherman Crosses the River
"On Nov. 24, 1863, Union troops under Gen. William T. Sherman made a surprise crossing on pontoon boats assembled here and approached the north end of Missionary Ridge. Sherman’s attack on the ridge stalled, however, and the major assault against the final Confederate position at Chattanooga was made ...more

City:  Hixson, TN
Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

Shiloh Civil War Relics & Museum

City:  Shiloh, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Shiloh National Military Park
"Established in 1894 to preserve the scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil War, Shiloh is considered one of the best preserved battlefields in the Nation. Besides preserving the site of the bloody April 1862 battle in Tennessee, the park commemorates the subsequent siege, battle, and occupation of the key railroad junction at nearby ...more

City:  Shiloh, TN
Phone:  731-689-5696

Green Travel Vendor

Signal Point
"Union soldiers stationed here used this spot – the only high point under their control in September-November 1863 – to help guide wagon trains and communicate with supply bases before Grant opened up the “Cracker Line.” Later, the spot was used to observe Confederate troop ...more

City:  Signal Mountain, TN
Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

Silverdale Confederate Cemetery
"The final resting place for Southern soldiers who died at hospitals established by Confederate General Braxton Bragg near Chattanooga in 1862.  A large stone arch is located at the entrance from Highway 11; and the cemetery is well maintained by local volunteers.  Located just off of Exit 7B on ...more

City:  Tyner, TN
Phone:  615-532-1550

Green Travel Vendor

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum (Burkle Estate)
"A white clapboard house built in 1849 by Jacob Burkle is rumored to have served as a way station on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. A tour of the house includes a visit to a small cellar where slaves waited to ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-527-3427

Green Travel Vendor

Sleepy John Estes House
"Sleepy John Estes, an American bluesman, was also a legendary guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. Born in Ripley, Tennessee, Sleepy John's family moved to Brownsville, Tennessee, when he was 16. His father was a sharecropper who also played guitar, and Sleepy John took a cue from him. Due to an accident in a baseball game, Sleepy John lost sight in his ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Smith County Courthouse Square
"Federal forces occupied the square from 1862 to the end of the war and established a depot garrisoned by as many as 3,000 soldiers.  Also, during their Kentucky invasion of 1862, a portion of Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army used the Carthage river crossing.  The current Smith County Courthouse, built at the end of Reconstruction in 1875, is an impressive ...more

City:  Carthage, TN
Phone:  615-735-2093

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

Upcoming events

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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