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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

Smith County Heritage Museum
"The Smith County Heritage Museum is located in Carthage, in the former W.E. Stephen's Building, one of the first manufacturing companies in ...more

City:  Carthage, TN
Phone:  615-735-1104

Green Travel Vendor

Soldier in Grey
"Dedicated on April 6, 1905, on the 43rd anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. The hand-chiseled granite monument stands guard on the courthouse lawn at the center of Historic Court ...more

City:  Dyersburg, TN
Phone:  731-286-7800

Green Travel Vendor

Soldier Tourists Marker
"The region’s natural beauty attracted soldiers from both sides to the views from Lookout Mountain. Even Union Gen. U.S. Grant posed for pictures from one of the scenic vantage ...more

City:  Lookout Mtn., TN
Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

South Tunnel Site
"This impressive historic site consists of two railroad tunnels for the Louisville and Nashville railroad and two small forts built by federal troops in 1862 and garrisoned until the end of the war.  In August 1862, Morgan’s Confederates disabled the north tunnel for almost 100 days by crashing a locomotive in the tunnel and starting a fire.  The site is ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Southeast Tennessee Civil War Trail
"Southeast Tennessee's Civil War Trails, Fighting for the Rails brochure provides a designated path for southeast Tennessee travelers to follow as they explore sites associated with the American Civil War in Tennessee. The brochure has 47 sites and covers 10 counties. Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association (SETTA) worked in conjunction with Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation and ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  (423) 424-4267

Green Travel Vendor

Spring Hill Battlefield
"Interpretative walking trail at site of one of the most controversial events of the Civil ...more

City:  Spring Hill, TN
Phone:  888-852-1860

Green Travel Vendor

Springfield Historic Downtown
"Beautifully restored Main Street and Public Square featuring 125-year-old courthouse, museum, archives, shops, cafes and a beautiful ...more

City:  Springfield, TN
Phone:  888-511-1109

Green Travel Vendor

St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows Catholic Church
"1824: The need to build a bridge across the Cumberland River brought workers from Pittsburg, mostly Irish, to Nashville. There was no priest nor church. Through contributions from members of all faiths of the area, a church was built on what is now Capitol Hill. 1837: Richard Pius Miles from Maryland was elected the first Bishop of Nashville, and was consecrated ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615/256-1704

Green Travel Vendor

St. Michael’s Catholic Church
"St. Michael’s began as a mission church in 1842.  Father Abram Ryan, now known as the poet-priest of the Confederacy, served here in 1864-1865.  In his poem, “The Conquered Banner” (1865), Ryan wrote of the Confederate surrender:  “Furl that Banner, softly, softly!/Treat it gently – it is holy-/For it droops above the dead/Touch it non-unfold it never/Let it droop there, ...more

Phone:  615-384-3800

Green Travel Vendor

State Capitol
"Finished in 1859, the historic Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working capitols in the country. The distinctive tower is designed after the monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece. The architect, William Strickland, died in 1854 and is entombed above the cornerstone. The exterior and interior walls are massive blocks of limestone. During the Union occupation of Nashville (1862-65), ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  (800) 407-4324

Green Travel Vendor

Stones River National Battlefield
"The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest and most significant battles of the Civil ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Strawberry Plains
"The site of a 1,600 foot long railroad bridge that crossed the Holston River on eleven stone piers, and an additional 500 feet of trestlework.  This bridge was first burned by Colonel William P. Sanders of the 5th Kentucky Cavalry on June 20, 1863, and would be destroyed no less than four times during the ...more

City:  Strawberry Plains, TN
Phone:  615-532-1550

Green Travel Vendor

Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism
"We invite you to join us in our quest as we preserve the past, share our heritage, and showcase the beautiful attractions in Sullivan County, Tennessee, truly "a Museum of Masterpieces, both old and new". Please visit our website at ...more

City:  Blountville, TN
Phone:  (423) 323-4660

Green Travel Vendor

Sumner County Courthouse Square
"This National Register-listed square provided the location for a powerful event.  In July 1863, 200 local African American volunteers gathered on the square and formed the 13th Regiment of the U.S. Colored Troops, which fought with distinction for the remainder of the war.  Also, occupying federal troops built Fort Thomas on a hill south of the railroad depot to protect ...more

Phone:  888-301-7866

Green Travel Vendor

Sumner County Museum
"Standing 3 stories tall and spanning more than 10,000 square feet, the museum is home to more than 250,000 artifacts including those recovered from archeological digs at Bledsoe Fort. The museum houses many items that were once owned by local music stars as well as objects from the world famous Randy's Records Shop. The museum includes Native American and ...more

City:  Gallatin, TN
Phone:  615-451-3738

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

November 2014

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Upcoming events

Date: Jan 1, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014
AiM Book Club - 3rd Tuesday Jan.-Nov.
Location: Selmer, TN

Date: Dec 6, 2014
Victorian Christmas
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

Date: Dec 6, 2014
Victorian Christmas
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

See more November events »

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