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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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Freed House
"During the Civil War, Julius Freed served the Confederate army as a member of the Fifteenth Tennessee Infantry of the Army of Tennessee, was wounded, captured, and held as a prisoner of war until his release in May 1865. He then promptly moved to Trenton and became active in the city’s business and municipal relations, operating J. Freed & Sons ...more

City:  Trenton, TN
Phone:  731-855-1772

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General Longstreet Museum
"General James Longstreet established his headquarters in the Nenney Homestead in Russellville, TN during the harsh winter of 1863 - 1864. Today, visitors can explore the actual historic home showcasing an authentic Civil War era communications center complete with a Civil War telegraph and period furnishings. A walk through the General Longstreet Museum will put you at the ...more

City:  Russellville, TN
Phone:  (423) 586-6382

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General Wilder’s Bed & Breakfast
"Step back in time. Southern hospitality abounds at this historic home of a Civil War ...more

City:  Roan Mountain, TN
Phone:  423-772-3102

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Germantown Fort
"Replicas of howitzer cannons mark the place where 250 Union troops built an earthwork redoubt as part of a series of forts guarding the Memphis and Charleston Railroad during the Civil War. The site is part of a neighborhood park in Germantown. ...more

City:  Germantown, TN

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Giles County Historic Site Tour
"Driving tour of historic homes and sites over the entire ...more

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

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Gravel Hill Community
"Gravel Hill is one of the Cumberland Valley’s oldest rural African American communities, established around the Gravel hill Baptist Church on the border between Wilson and Trousdale counties in 1869.  The church cemetery contains the burials of several federal military veterans, from the Civil War to World War ...more

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
"Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies. Car camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and auto touring are popular activities. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  865-436-1200

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Chattanooga Ducks, LLC
"Ride the Chattanooga Ducks and enjoy a sightseeing adventure of the historical city of Chattanooga. Be prepared to have a splash of a ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-756-3825

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Chattanooga History Center
"Chattanooga's story is amazing. Learn and experience it here. Hands-on interactive exhibits and film lead you through that amazing experience. Originally called the Chattanooga Regional History Museum, the center provides walking tours and several Civil War driving tours in addition to the exhibits in the permanent collection. The center's extensive Civil War collection includes a mountain howitzer; Grant's headquarter's chair; dozens of ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-265-3247

Green Travel Vendor

Chattanooga History Walking Tours on the Riverfront
"The Riverfront is at the core of Chattanooga's history, and it is the one place in our community from which sites related to the first settlers, the Cherokees, the Civil War, reconstruction, industrialization, and the renaissance can be visually referenced. Take a short walk, approximately 6 blocks, with our guide, and get an overview of the fascinating history of this ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-265-3247

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Chattanooga National Cemetery

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-855-6590

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Chattanooga Regional History Museum
"The Chattanooga Regional History Museum has an extensive Civil War collection, including a mountain howitzer; Grant’s headquarter’s chair; dozens of muskets, rifles, swords, knives, pistols, and projectiles; various accoutrements; uniforms; original photographs taken by R.M. Linn and George N. Bernard; dairies and letters.  Open ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:    423-265-3247

Green Travel Vendor

Chattanooga's Railroads
"At the outbreak of the Civil War, Chattanooga had become one of the most important rail centers in the South. Lines here connected the Atlantic Ocean with the Mississippi River and Atlanta to Virginia. After Union occupation of the city in late 1863 and the relief of a Confederate siege, Gen. William T. Sherman staged his Atlanta Campaign from ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  (423) 424-4430

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Cherry Mansion
"Circa 1830, served as headquarters for Major General Ulysses S. Grant in the spring of 1862. Building is not open to the ...more

City:  Savannah, TN
Phone:  800-552-3866

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Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
"Point Park commemorates the soldiers who fought in the 1863 Civil War battles for Chattanooga. The battlefields of Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain and portions of Missionary Ridge are all components of the National Park. The park includes three historic homes. Brotherton House marks the spot where the Union line was broken, Snodgrass House served as a Union field hospital, and Cravens ...more

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

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City of Red Boiling Springs
"The City of Red Boiling Springs offers a quiet relaxing atmosphere with a slowed down ...more

City:  Red Boiling Springs, TN
Phone:  615-699-2011

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City of Trenton
"Historic county seat with Court House circa 1824. Historic homes, cemetery, Civil War site and self guided driving tour, quaint shops. Home of world's largest antique teapot collection and historic Freed Home. Friendly town with choice of ...more

City:  Trenton, TN
Phone:  731-855-2013

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Civil War Living History Weekend
"Civil War reenactment with skirmishes and battles in this historic town of Cumberland ...more

City:  Cumberland Gap, TN
Phone:  423-869-3860

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Clay County Museum & Cordell Hull Law Office
"Designed to preserve and protect Clay County's history. Featuring artifacts of Celina, a historic river town and permanent river history ...more

City:  Celina, TN
Phone:  931-243-4220

Green Travel Vendor

Clement Railroad Hotel Museum
"Lose track of time at the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum. Located in the restored 1913 Hotel Halbrook in downtown Dickson, the museum provides tours, exhibits, special events, and educational programming for learners of all ages. Visitors discover the colorful heritage of railroading, impact of the Civil War on the region, and stories about the people and industry of ...more

City:  Dickson, TN
Phone:  615-446-0500

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Cleveland Downtown Historic Walking Tour
"This self-guided walking tour allows you to personally experience downtown Cleveland's unique history. Enjoy charming shops and eateries located along the tour route. Guide books are available at the Museum Center and ...more

City:  Cleveland, TN
Phone:  800-472-6588

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Coffee County Courthouse

City:  Manchester, TN
Phone:  931-723-5100

Green Travel Vendor

Hartsville Battlefield Park
"This locally established park preserves a battlefield where confederate cavalry leader col. John Hunt Morgan had one of his greatest successes.  On December 7, 1862, with a force of about 1,300 men.  Morgan surprised a federal garrison commanded by Col. Absalom B. Moore.  Morgan’s casualties – 139 killed, wounded, and missing – were light compared to the damage he caused: ...more

City:  Hartsville, TN
Phone:  615-374-9243

Green Travel Vendor

Hawkins County Courthouse
"Oldest original courthouse in TN, built in 1836, and the second oldest in continued use. One of the most photographed buildings in the South, it was occupied by both Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War. ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

Hazen's Raid at Browns Ferry
"By October 1863 the Union army suffered greatly from food shortages, and the supply route was tenuous at best. This raid, begun by Gen. William Hazen near here, floated down the river and established a beachhead on the south bank at Brown’s Ferry. The raid began an offensive that eventually established a more secure Union supply ...more

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

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 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

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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 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

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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

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Historic Lairdland Farm House and Civil War Museum
"Tour historic home filled with antiques and Visit their Civil War Museum containing an extensive and comprehensive collection of both Union and Confederate artifacts. Luncheons for groups of 8 or more may be served upon 2 weeks confirmed ...more

City:  Cornersville, TN
Phone:  (931) 363-2205

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Mansker's Station Frontier Life Center
"Nationally recognized as top living history sites, the Bowen Plantation House and Kasper Mansker's log station serve as a backdrop for the presentation of daily interpretation, special events and filming opportunities. Located in the 200-acre Moss-Wright ...more

City:  Goodlettsville, TN
Phone:  615-851-2241

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Historic Rugby
"British founded 1880s village on Cumberland Plateau. Tour restored Victorian buildings. Award winning film, museum shops, unique lodging in original buildings, and river gorge ...more

City:  Rugby, TN
Phone:  888-214-3400

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Historic Rugby Commissary
"Restored 1880 utopian village founded by famous British author, Thomas Hughes. 17 Victorian-era buildings remain unchanged, including a 7,000 volume Hughes Library & Christ Church Episcopal. Daily tours, museum shop, dining and lodging in historic buildings. Enjoy shopping at the shops of Rugby--The Commissary and the Spirit of Red Hill in the Board of Aid Historic ...more

City:  Rugby, TN
Phone:  (888) 214-3400

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Historic Speedwell Academy
"Restored 1827 building. Retains much of its original aesthetics. Site of much activity during Civil War, it was used as both a hospital and headquarters for both sides. Grounds were called Campground Bluff during the war, and Confederate soldiers used the building's weathervane for target practice. The large "Long Tom" brass cannon was kept at the ...more

City:  Speedwell, TN
Phone:  423-869-3414

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Town of Cumberland Gap
"The Historic Town of Cumberland Gap is nestled at the foot of Cumberland Mountains inside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Breathtaking beauty and charming "Mayberry" atmosphere will greet you as you come into town. First known as the "Gateway to the West", then as the strong hold during the Civil War, Cumberland Gap is now known for everything from ...more

City:  Cumberland Gap, TN
Phone:  423-869-3860

Green Travel Vendor

Historic Town of Saltillo
"Visit Saltillo, an early river town with homes dating from the 1840s. Styles of architecture range from Greek Revival and Italianate influences to country farmhouses. Two cemeteries and a church pre-date the Civil ...more

City:  Saltillo, TN
Phone:  800-552-3866

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

Upcoming events

Date: Aug 2, 2014
Classics in the Park
Location: Mount Pleasant, TN

Date: Aug 3, 2014
Sequoyah Remembrance Day
Location: Vonore, TN

Date: Aug 2, 2014 - Aug 3, 2014
Milky Way Farm Celebration
Location: Pulaski, TN

See more July events »

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