Civil War Trails Program
The Civil War Trails program is a multi-state initiative that creates driving tours and interpretive markers for both famous and lesser known Civil War sites. The program has placed "Trailblazer" signs and markers with maps and text at more than 700 sites through out the U.S. and provides maps and other literature for Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. For a list of historic markers placed as part of this program, click here.
Lairdland Farm House
3238 Blackburn Hollow Road — This is the post-war home of Confederate Capt. James Knox Polk Blackburn, who served with the 8th Texas Cavalry and fought at Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. He was captured near here in 1864 while recovering from a wound. Before the end of the war he met the Laird family but left to fight in the final battles in North Carolina. After the war, he married Mary Laird in this, her family home. Lairdland Farm is open for tours and offers a Civil War museum.
Fighting on the Tennessee River
225 Marina Road, Hwy 191 N — Several Tennessee River engagements between Confederate cavalry and the Union navy occurred within 5 miles of this site. On April 26, 1863, near the mouth of the Duck River east of here, Confederate artillery opened fire on Union gunboats. The gunboats eventually drove the Confederates off. Union marines then pursued their antagonists inland.
Chalmer's Collierville Raid
Walnut Street Park, 500 Poplar View Pkwy — As Union Gen. William T. Sherman advanced east toward Chattanooga in early November 1863, Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston ordered Gen. James Chalmers to harass the march and break up the railroad behind him. Chalmers attacked what he believed to be a small garrison at Colliersville, but he soon found the Union defense more than he could handle.
Battle of Collierville
Walnut Street Park, 500 Poplar View Pkwy — Colliersville's strategic location on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad provoked much attention from both sides during the war. Union forces often occupied the town and Confederates operated against it, hoping to disrupt the Federal supply line. Three thousand Confederate cavalrymen attacked about 600 Union soldiers camped along the railroad on Oct. 11, 1863.
317 East Eaton Street — The Female Collegiate Institute was occupied by Union troops during the war before being destroyed by an accidental fire. Following the war, Confederate veteran Julius Freed built a house on the site and helped the town rebuild.
Gibson County Courthouse
309 S. College Street — Forrest's men captured this important stop on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad Dec. 20, 1862. He and his men occupied the town briefly before riding on toward Union City the next day.
First Street and Depot Street — After putting up a brief fight in the depot area, Union defenders surrendered rather than face destruction by Forrest's artillery. The Confederates destroyed military supplies in the town and then Forrest moved on to Union City.
8th Street and Brownsville Street — In 1895, a monument was erected to honor nine Confederate soldiers (six known and three unknown) buried here. Local residents interred here include Col. Thomas J. Freeman and Col. Munson R. Hill.
Sullivan County Courthouse
3411 Highway 126 — The interior of the courthouse was burned during the Union attack on Blountville on September 22, 1863, as Confederate and Federal forces vied for control of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, located a few miles east of here.
St. John's Episcopal Church
TN Route 243 and Polk Lane — Along this road on Nov. 23, 1864, a small contingent of poorly-armed Union cavalry delayed the advance of Confederate horsemen under Gen. N.B. Forrest who were riding ahead of Hood's main army. The Federals made a stand here and fought off swarming attacks. The time bought by this Union cavalry unit prevented the immediate capture of Columbia and allowed more time for Schofield's troops to withdraw toward Nashville.
1412 Trotwood Ave — This was the site of a Nov. 26, 1864, artillery duel and a feigned Confederate attack on Union forces defending Columbia. Hood hoped to pin the Federals in place here with this demonstration, then march around the Union flank and block the road to Franklin and Nashville. Despite Hood's effort here, Union Gen. Schofield managed to withdraw and win the race to Franklin.
Date: Jan 1, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014
AiM Book Club - 3rd Tuesday Jan.-Nov.
Location: Selmer, TN
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