714 Hillham Highway
Livingston, TN 38570
Camp Zollicoffer, a Confederate induction and training base, operated in Overton County during the first months of the Civil War and prepared thousands of Confederate soldiers for life in the military.
Camp Zollicoffer, a Confederate induction and training base, operated in Overton County during the first months of the Civil War and prepared thousands of Confederate soldiers for life in the military. At the time of the Civil War, J.D. Goodpasture owned this land and his house stood nearby. The farm was suitable for the location of a training camp because it had a large spring to supply water and a field of some 30 acres suitable for drilling.
Officers named the camp for Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer, a prominent Tennessee political leader and newspaperman, who died in Kentucky at the Battle of Mill Springs in January 1862.
The soldiers found camp life challenging. In August 1861, Amanda McDowell of Sparta reported hearing from family and friends that at the camp, “food is beef, bacon and flour bread with no way to cook it. They have a camp kettle, and frying pan, and no dish[es] at all. Jack says they have not even got a dish rag or bit of soap, and they cannot cook decently that way.”
Solider Spencer B. Talley remembered that many soldiers “had no arms save a few old squirrel rifles and occasional pistol.” Confederate Col. John P. Murray, the camp’s ranking officer, complained to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston about trying to operate a camp in a region so devoid of resources. He counted his force as having ten companies with 917 privates but only 665 guns.
Many Confederate units first formed at Camp Zollicoffer. One was the 28th Tennessee regiment, commanded by Col. Sidney Stanton. The regiment fought at Mill Springs, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta Campaign, Franklin and Nashville and surrendered at Greensboro, N.C. on May 1, 1865.
- Supplies and food were very limited. Soldiers had few arms; there were 665 guns to share among 917 privates.