Civil War in Tennessee: Invaders, North and South
In 1861, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which I-65 largely parallels today, connected the mid-South to the Ohio River and the industrial centers of the North. During the war, however, it brought invaders to both Tennessee and Kentucky as a vital Union supply line. It was a target for Confederates, who established Camp Trousdale, a major Confederate induction and training center, at Portland, Tennessee, because of the railroad's proximity. In February 1862, Union Gen. Don Carlos Buell took Bowling Green, in southern Kentucky, and then moved down the railroad and occupied Nashville, the Tennessee capitol. Retreating Confederates destroyed railroad bridges, trestles, and facilities, but by April trains again operated between Louisville and Nashville, supplying the Union armies.