Tennessee Civil War Attractions
Use the tabs above 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.
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. The stories of the Underground Railroad and Emancipation bring out the other side of war in the African American struggle for freedom and citizenship. Many grim reminders of the war—as well as hopeful symbols of heroism and kindness—stand today as testament to how the war transformed Tennessee.
Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum
Located on the beautiful campus of Lincoln Memorial University, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is one of Harrogate's finest attractions. Home to one of the most diverse Lincoln and Civil War collections in the country, The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum offers something for every Abraham Lincoln enthusiast. View many rare items such as the cane Lincoln carried on that fateful night at Ford's Theatre, two life masks, the tea set he and Mary Todd used in their home in Springfield and numerous other fascinating ...more
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
The site marks the home of the 17th president, who succeeded Lincoln and oversaw Reconstruction. Born in 1808, Andrew Johnson ran away from home with his brother to Greeneville, Tennessee, at age 16, where he became a tailor. Johnson and his wife, Eliza McCardle, had five children. Eliza tutored her husband in arithmetic, algebra, basic literacy and writing skills. Johnson organized a worker's party and was elected alderman and, later, mayor. He became a spokesman for farmers and mountaineers against the wealthy, elite planters who had controlled the state and nation. In 1843, he became the first Democrat elected from Tennessee's ...more
Armstrong-Lockett House & W.P. Toms Memorial Gardens "Crescent Bend"
The Armstrong-Lockett House built in 1834 just west of downtown Knoxville, this southern antebellum home was once the centerpiece of a 600 acre working farm and is named for its prominent setting overlooking a majestic crescent bend in the Tennessee River. Meticulously restored in 1977, Crescent Bend is furnished with Eighteenth Century antique furniture, decorative arts, and an outstanding collection of English silver, circa 1569-1830. The Manicured formal Italian Gardens includes nine terraces and five fountains, providing an open air setting of magnolia blossoms, roses, and thousands of colorful blooming flowers. There are four settings for wedding ceremonies at Crescent Bend ...more
Belle Meade Plantation
Once one of the largest private estates in Nashville encompassing 5,400 acres and home to five generations of the Harding-Jackson family, Belle Meade Plantation today is a 30-acre historic site 6 miles west of Nashville. Before the Civil War, Belle Meade flourished; today bullets from the Battle of Nashville scar the house, used as Confederate Gen. Chalmers' headquarters. Known as "Queen of the Tennessee Plantations," Bell Meade was known world-wide for its thoroughbred horses. Experience frontier life of 1819 through living history demonstrations at the Harding Cabin. Demonstrations available every Friday and Saturday April through October. Guided tour of the 1853 Greek ...more
The largest house museum in Tennessee. One of the few 19th-century homes in which the story revolves around a woman. The 1853 home of Joseph and Adelicia Acklen, it served as headquarters for Union General David Stanley and General Thomas J. Wood. After her husband died, the remarkable Adelicia, one of the richest women in America and a shrewd business woman, secretly did business with both sides to survive. During the war, the homes served as headquarters for Union Gen. David Stanley and Gen. Thomas J. Wood. Join historic gardening experts each Saturday for a guided tour of the vibrant gardens ...more
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
The Chattanooga African American Museum was founded in 1983 to provide sources of curricula, historical references, creative works, and the media about the identity of Africans and African Americans, particularly those of Chattanooga. Civil War era exhibits include discussion of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and ...more
Big Black Creek Historical Society
The Big Black Creek Historical Association (BBCHA) was founded in 2006 with the express purpose to identify, preserve and promote historical sites with the communities of Denmark, Mercer, Leighton and Woodland, all small towns West of Jackson, TN. The BBCHA meets on the last Thursday of each month at the Mercer Presbyterian Church in Mercer, TN at 7:00 p.m. You don’t need to be a member to join them as they preserve the history of these important ...more
This museum depicts early life in the mountains featuring Indian artifacts, Civil War artifacts and artifacts from home life. Old town of Butler up to 1948 when gates of Watauga Dam were ...more
Carnton is the restored home of John and Carrie McGavock. The house once a vibrant plantation home, served as field hospital to hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers following the Battle of Franklin in 1864. The house, grounds and garden are open for tours ...more
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 muskets, projectiles and other weapons; uniforms and various accoutrement; original photographs taken by R.M. Linn and George N. Bernard; dairies and letters; and a rare map of the area made by W.F. Dorr of the United States Coastal ...more
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
Confederate Camp at Seawell
<p>During his 1864 raid on Federal positions throughout Middle Tennessee, Confederate cavalry leader Joe Wheeler camped at this site. At the turn of the century, Castle Heights Military Academy was established here, and the remaining buildings of the campus are listed in a National Register historic district. Within City Hall (the old academy’s administration building) is a museum about Lebanon and Wilson County, which contains several exhibits about the Civil War ...more
Confederate Memorial Hall (Bleak House)
Also called Bleak House, the Tuscan style antebellum mansion was built by slaves between 1854 - 1858 for its newlywed owners, Robert and Louisa Franklin Armstrong. Occupied by Confederate Generals James Longstreet and Lafayette McLaws during 1863 siege of Knoxville. Two cannon balls are still embedded in the walls. Furnished with period antiques. Museum of CSA ...more
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