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BlueShoe Nashville Travel Guide

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Civil War History in Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Civil War Tennessee

150 Years: Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial

The Tennessee Sesquicentennial Commission will sponsor a series of conferences from 2010 to 2015. Conferences will be held annually at locations across the state and will focus on the events which took place 150 years ago. Presenters will discuss the battles, events, and stories of the Civil War, as well as offer brief dramas and musical performances as part of the day's events.
Civil War Timeline
Tennessee Civil War Trails
Tennessee Civil War Museums and Historic Sites
Tennessee Civil War Teaching Tools

battle of nashville Civil War (1861-1865)
Battle of Nashville: Union Troops Broke Through the Confederate Line

Steps of the Capitol with covered guns in Nashville, Tennessee
CREDIT: Barnard, George N., photographer. "Nashville, Tennessee. Steps of the Capitol with Covered Guns; Vista of the City Beyond." 1864. Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865, American Memory collections, Library of Congress.
"There is a terrible war coming, and these young men who have never seen war cannot wait for it to happen, but I tell you, I wish that I owned every slave in the South, for I would free them all to avoid this war." - Robert E. Lee


Nashville Historic Societies

Battle of Nashville Preservation Society: Excellent site with Civil War information, including photos of sites and memorials, regarding the Battle of Nashville. Preservation efforts and opportunities for volunteer service.

Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Save the Franklin Battlefield



TN Historical Commission: A Path Divided--TN's Civil War Heritage Trail (on-line virtual tour and free downloadable PDF brochure): "This handbook offers a guide to sites in Tennessee where the Civil War experience is interpreted or memorialized. The legacy of those momentous years from 1861 to 1865 is most vividly preserved at the places where events and activities of the war actually occurred. Such sites may be on land on which one of Tennessee’s 2,300 engagements was fought or may consist of fortifications, buildings, encampments or other material remains of the war. Other sites include the cemeteries of those who died in combat, monuments that commemorate their sacrifices, and museums that contain the artifacts of war. Most are open to the public, although some are on privately owned property."

Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area


Civil War Battlefields

Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park
Point Park Visitors Center, Lookout Mountain, TN 37350, 423-821-7786. Battle Summary: "On August 16, 1863, Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, commander of the Army of the Cumberland, launched a campaign to take Chattanooga. Col. John T. Wilder’s brigade of the Union 4th Division, XIV Army Corps marched to a location northeast of Chattanooga where the Confederates could see them, reinforcing Gen. Braxton Bragg’s expectations of a Union attack on the town from that direction..."[More]

Fort Donelson National Battlefield [Feb. 14-16, 1862] From this Nat. Park web site: "Unconditional Surrender of Fort Donelson created jubilation throughout the North and silence in Dixie. It was the North’s first major victory of the Civil War, opening the way into the very heart of the Confederacy." P.O. Box 434, 174 Nationa Cemetery Dr., Dover, TN 37058, 931-232-5706.

Stones River National Battlefield [Dec. 31, 1862-Jan. 2, 1863] From this Nat. Park web site: "600-acre National Battlefield includes Stones River National Cemetery, established in 1865, with more than 6,000 Union graves; and the Hazen Brigade Monument, believed to be the oldest, intact Civil War monument still standing in its original location." 3501 Old Nashville Highway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, 615-893-9501.

Franklin-Nashville Campaign [September-December 1864]
Spring Hill

Battle of Franklin [Nov. 30, 1864] From the Carter House: ["(Franklin) is the blackest page in the history of the War of the Lost Cause. It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was the finishing stroke to the Independence of the Southern Confederacy. I was there. I saw it." --Sam Watkins, 1st Tennessee Infantry. Called "The Gettysburg of the West," Franklin was one of the few night battles in the Civil War. It was also one of the smallest battlefields of the war (only 2 miles long and 1 1/2 miles wide). The main battle began around 4:00 pm and wound down around 9:00 pm.]

Battle of Nashville [Dec. 15-16, 1864] From the CWSAC Battle Summary of Nashville: "In a last desperate attempt to force Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s army out of Georgia, Gen. John Bell Hood led the Army of Tennessee north toward Nashville in November 1864. Although he suffered terrible losses at Franklin on November 30, he continued toward Nashville."


Antebellum Mansions

Belle Meade Plantation

Belmont Mansion
: this Italianate-style villa was the summer home of Adelicia Acklen, the extraordinary "Southern Belle" who negotiated during the height of the war with both Union and Confederate armies to permit her 2,800 bales of cotton be shipped to England (bringing her $960,000).

Carnton Plantation
: 1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin. 794-0903. Randal McGavock's mansion, used as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin. Confederate cemetery and 1847-styled garden.

Carter House: Museum and Interpretive Center for the Battle of Franklin (Nov. 30, 1864). 1140 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, Tennessee 37065, Phone 615-791-1861.

The Hermitage: Home of Andrew Jackson

Oaklands Museum
900 N. Maney Avenue, Murfreesboro, TN. Antebellum plantation house built 1815-1806. A raid by Nathan Bedford Forrest occurred here. From web site: "On July 13, 1862, Confederate cavalrymen under Nathan Bedford Forrest surprised and defeated Federal forces encamped on the plantation grounds (front lawn of Oaklands) near the spring and at the courthouse as part of a raid on Union-occupied Murfreesboro. It is said that Lewis and Adeline's children watched the fighting from the window of the second floor hallway. Union Colonel William Duffield, commander of the 9th Michigan Infantry Regiment, was wounded in the skirmish and taken into the house, where he was treated by the family. The Confederates accepted the surrender of Murfreesboro inside the mansion. The town remained in Confederate hands until the Union victory at the December 31-January 2, 1862-63 Battle of Murfreesboro, or Stones River, after which the Federals regained control for the rest of the war. . ." [More]

Travellers Rest: Judge John Overton's 1799 home. Used as a Confederate general's headquarters in the Civil War.


National Civil War Sites

The American Civil War




home: Blueshoe NashvilleAbout BlueShoe Copyright 1998-2011, Cheryl Hiers.


History Articles

Civil War History in Nashville
City Cemetery as Museum
Nashville Timeline
Moonlight & Ice: Belmont Mansion
*Nathan Bedford Forrest
19th Amendment
Historic Nashville: Vintage Postcards
NHN Web Site



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