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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

Historic Lebanon Square
"Located at roughly equal distances from Nashville, Gallatin, Hartsville, and Carthage, Lebanon was an important commercial crossroads for the Cumberland Valley.  A small battle in may 1862 took place around the square with General Ebenezer Dumont surprised the forces of Confederate cavalry leader John hunt Morgan.  By 1863, the square was both a center of Union occupation and a haven ...more

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

Green Travel Vendor

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

Green Travel Vendor

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 Watertown Square
"Historic town square on the National Register of Historic Places. Arts and antiques shop. Excursion train, restaurant and bed and breakfast. The square has changed very little since the turn of the century. You’ll find antiques, specialty stores and art galleries, plus unique places to grab a bite or have a cup of coffee. Visit Jim's Antiques, Blue Tomato Market & ...more

City:  Watertown, TN
Phone:  615-237-9999

Green Travel Vendor

Iron Furnaces
"Remnants of Dickson County’s once flourishing iron industry can be viewed at this state park.  African-American slaves worked the furnaces, which were directed toward the Confederate military effort early in the war. ...more

City:  Burns, TN
Phone:  800-250-8613

Green Travel Vendor

James K. Polk Ancestral Home
"Built in 1816, the only surviving home of the eleventh U.S. President (other than the White House) now displays original belongings of President and Mrs. Polk. It was here that James K. Polk began his legal and political career, living in this house until he was inaugurated 11th president of the United States in 1845. He was the first “dark horse” ...more

City:  Columbia, TN
Phone:  931-388-2354

Green Travel Vendor

Jerry Amish Wagon Tours

City:  Ethridge, TN
Phone:  931-629-0764

Green Travel Vendor

John Hunt Morgans Raid to Ohio
"Traveling Highway 85 to Highway 292 to Celina on to Burksville, KY Livingston, as one of the crossroads of the Upper Cumberland region, was an important place in the Civil War career of Confederate cavalry Gen. John Hunt Morgan. Morgan’s raiders first came here on July 7, 1862, as they approached the Kentucky line for a succ4essful summer raid. Three ...more

City:  Gainesboro, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Johnston's Last Bivouac
"Confederate commander Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston made his camp here after meeting with his top generals April 5, 1862, before the Battle of Shiloh. Awakened the next morning to the sound of musketry, Johnston rode to the opening battle and was killed just hours ...more

City:  Shiloh, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Jonesborough Historic District and Visitors Center
"Take a trip back to the early 1800s as you explore Tennessee’s oldest town. Amidst the numerous historic sites, you’ll find one-of-a-kind specialty shops and cafés. Pick up an official Historic Jonesborough Visitors Guide, seasonal events calendars, local and regional maps as well as an answer to any questions you may have by our knowledgeable hostess staff. The Center also houses ...more

City:  Jonesborough, TN
Phone:  (866) 401-4223

Green Travel Vendor

Jonesborough-Washington County and Chester Inn Museums
"The museum tells the history of Tennessee's oldest town and county, from the movement towards statehood to the 20th ...more

City:  Jonesborough, TN
Phone:  866-401-4223

Green Travel Vendor

Knoxville Civil War Driving Tour
"The driving tour highlights the divided loyalties among East Tennesseans. It includes stops at historical museums and homes, battle sites and ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  800-727-8045

Green Travel Vendor

Knoxville Driving Tour, the Siege of Knoxville & Battle of Fort Sanders
"Tour features sites relating to the Nov. 1863, attempt by Confederate General James Longstreet to capture Knoxville and the army of Union General Ambrose E. Burnside.  Some of the sites include: Longstreet’s headquarters, Fort Dickerson, cemeteries, hospitals, site of mortal wounding of Union General William P. Sanders, and the site of the unsuccessful Confederate attack on Fort Sanders.  Brochures by ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  (800) 727-8045

Green Travel Vendor

Knoxville National Cemetery
"<p>Union dead from the siege are buried in the Knoxville National ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  800-727-8045

Green Travel Vendor

Cotton Museum of the South
"Features a 1915 cotton gin. Located in a rural antique village with dining, shops, country church, arboretum, log buildings and a one-room ...more

City:  Alamo, TN
Phone:  731-663-3319

Green Travel Vendor

Cotton Museum of the South
"Features a 1915 cotton gin. Located in a rural antique village with dining, shops, country church, arboretum, log buildings and a one-room ...more

City:  Bells, TN
Phone:  731-663-3319

Green Travel Vendor

Courthouse Burning in Livingston
"In April 1865 a company of Confederate guerrillas led by Captain John Francis made a raid on Livingston and burned the county courthouse. U.S. authorities had collected information about the pro-Confederate activities of many local residents and this material was stored in the courthouse, awaiting use in trails. By destroying the courthouse and the evidence against them these residents were ...more

City:  Livingston, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Cowan
"Cowan was an important wartime location because of its proximity to the Cowan railroad tunnel south of town.  The 2,228-foot long tunnel was constructed from 1849-52.  Its destruction would have put rail activity from Nashville to Chattanooga at a standstill for a lengthy period of reconstruction.  At the junction of U.S. 41-A and the railroad, look for the marker for ...more

Phone:  800-799-6131

Green Travel Vendor

Craigmiles House
"In 1866, business leader P. M. Craigmiles announced the beginning of post-Civil War recovery in Cleveland with the construction of this impressive Italianate-styled brick home.  The Local History Collection of the Cleveland Public Library contains significant records about the Civil War and Reconstruction years in Bradley ...more

City:  Cleveland, TN
Phone:  (423) 479-8367

Green Travel Vendor

Crockett Tavern Museum
"Reconstruction of original 1790s John Crockett Tavern, on site of boyhood home of Davy Crockett. Association for the Preservation of TN Antiquities site (APTA). Period furnishings and textiles. Loom room, Conestoga wagon, gift shop and ...more

City:  Morristown, TN
Phone:  423-587-9900

Green Travel Vendor

Cronanville Confederate Cemetery
"Confederate soldier cemetery located near the Island #10 ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  731-253-8144

Green Travel Vendor

Cross Plains Heritage Museum, Library & Archives
"Exhibits detail more than 200 years of local history including military and sports rooms and many local photos. Specializing in family histories with lots of local family information to share wth genealogists and those interested in finding their CrossPlains ...more

City:  Cross Plains, TN
Phone:  (615) 654-2228

Green Travel Vendor

Cross Plains Historic Main Street
"Shop for gifts, crafts, antiques and Victorian garden art in a town with 225 years of history. Since 1779, "people have been coming and going across the plains." Call visitor bureau for free self-guided tours and event ...more

City:  Cross Plains, TN
Phone:  615-654-2256

Green Travel Vendor

Crutchfield House
"The city’s first railroad hotel, opened in 1856, hosted Jefferson Davis after he resigned from the U.S. Senate. Violence nearly broke out when the pro-Union owner confronted the future Confederate president. The hotel served travelers on both the Western and Atlantic Railroad and the Nashville and Chattanooga. During 1862, Confederate officers occupied the building followed by Union ...more

Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

Cultural Museum
"Committed to the promotion of social tolerance and appreciation of diverse heritages through educational programs and artifact-based ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-340-7481

Green Travel Vendor

Cumberland County Driving Tour
"The audio tour tape “Civil War Trails Across Cumberland County” is available in the office of the county ...more

City:  Crossville, TN
Phone:  931-484-6165

Green Travel Vendor

Cumberland Furnace Historic District
"Visit more than 23 historic buildings in the first iron ore village of middle Tennessee, where cannon balls for the War of 1812 were ...more

City:  Cumberland Furnace, TN
Phone:  877-718-4967

Green Travel Vendor

Cumberland Gap General Store
"A unique shop. Over 6,000 gift items. On the Wilderness Road. Walk in Daniel Boone's foot steps. Visit two historical parks, Lincoln Museum and the ...more

City:  Cumberland Gap, TN
Phone:  423-869-2282

Green Travel Vendor

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
"Tours of the historic Hensley Settlement, cave tours, camping, and bird watching allow visitors a chance to experience the past and present of the region. The Pinnacle Overlook provides an exceptional view of bird migration. A museum, dramatic films, crafts, and a bookstore can be found in the visitor ...more

City:  Cumberland Gap, TN
Phone:  (606) 248-2817

Green Travel Vendor

Livingston Historic Courthouse & Square
"Post-Civil War courthouse reflecting the area's patriotism with monuments honoring the fallen of all wars. Public square features quaint shops. In April 1865, a company of Confederate guerrillas led by Captain John Francis made a raid on Livingston and burned the county courthouse. U.S. authorities had collected information about the pro-Confederate activities of many local residents and this material was stored ...more

City:  Livingston, TN
Phone:  800-876-7393

Green Travel Vendor

Long Island of the Holston
"Long Island was sacred ground of the Cherokee Nation. "The rendezvous place" for settlers and muster grounds for colonial ...more

City:  Kingsport, TN
Phone:  800-743-5282

Green Travel Vendor

Lotz House
"The Lotz House, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976, is located in the heart of downtown historic Franklin, Tennessee, at the epicenter of the Battle of Franklin, which was a pivotal battle of the Civil War on November 30, ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  615-790-7190

Green Travel Vendor

Lynnville Historic Downtown
"A quaint village with 59 homes and businesses on the National Historic Register. It has shopping, restaurants and a theatre. A railroad museum is housed in a reproduction depot. Tour a steam locomotive, passenger car and ...more

City:  Lynnville, TN
Phone:  931-527-3158

Green Travel Vendor

Mabry-Hazen House Museum
"The Mabry-Hazen House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located on five acres atop Mabry Hill and includes the four-acre Civil War Bethel Cemetery. This stately, elegant home of the Victorian and Civil War periods showcases one of the largest collections in America containing original artifacts including china, silver, crystal, and antique furnishings. Built in 1858 ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-522-8661

Green Travel Vendor

Magevney House
"Note: Temporarily Closed Home to pioneer schoolmaster, Eugene Magevney, this charming cottage built in 1836 offers a glimpse into the lives of early Memphis ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-523-1484

Green Travel Vendor

Mallory-Neely House
"Note: Temporarily Closed This Italian villa mansion, built in 1852, stands as a time capsule of the late Victorian-era lifestyle of Memphis' wealthy cotton ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-523-1484

Green Travel Vendor

Matt Gardner Homestead Museum
"House Museum and Farmstead The Matt Gardner House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 as a significant farmstead associated with African American heritage, agriculture, commerce, and architecture from 1870 to 1942. The farm provides for the interpretation of a variety of significant historical topics, including slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, education, religion, architecture, and agriculture. The house is ...more

City:  Elkton, TN
Phone:  (931) 468-0121

Green Travel Vendor

McGavock Confederate Cemetery
"Nation's largest private Confederate cemetery holds remains of 1481 Confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War Battle of ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  615-794-0903

Green Travel Vendor

Mexican War Monument
"This monument in the U.S. is dedicated to the U.S./Mexican War. The monument saved the courthouse during the Civil ...more

City:  Lawrenceburg, TN
Phone:  931-762-4911

Green Travel Vendor

Monthaven
"A beautiful 2 story frame home that was built around 1860. It served as a hospital during the Civil War and is listed on the National Historic Register. Monthaven is the current home of the Hendersonville Arts Council which features art exhibits and ...more

City:  Hendersonville, TN
Phone:  615-822-0789

Green Travel Vendor

Mousetail Landing State Park
"This 1, 247-acre area is located on the east banks of the Tennessee River in the state's picturesque Western valley. Tradition has it that Mousetail Landing received its name during the Civil War period when one of the area's tanning companies caught fire. The exodus of mice fleeing the burning tannery was so profuse that the area in proximity of ...more

City:  Linden, TN
Phone:  731-847-0841

Green Travel Vendor

Nashvilles Trace

City:  Nashville, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Parkway
"The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway and Byway commemorates the ancient trail used by animals and people that connected portions of the Mississippi River to the salt licks in central Tennessee. It took “Kaintucks” about 30 days to walk along the Trace, carrying goods to sell at the port of New Orleans. Numerous short hiking trails are some of the ...more

City:  Pasquo, TN
Phone:  800-305-7417

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Wine Trail
"The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway commemorates an ancient trail that connected southern portions of the Mississippi River, through Alabama, to today's central Tennessee. The Tennessee cities along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway are Nashville, Franklin, Leiper's Fork and Brentwood. Visitors can experience this National Scenic Byway and All-American Road through driving, hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping. Along the Trail, enjoy ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  (800) 305-7417

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

Upcoming events

Date: Oct 29, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014
Pumpkin Lights and Carving Contest
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

Date: Oct 29, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014
Pumpkin Lights and Carving Contest
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

Date: Sep 26, 2014 - Nov 1, 2014
Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern
Location: Chattanooga, TN

See more October events »

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