Civil War in Tennessee: Memphis During the War
119 North Riverside Drive
Memphis, TN 38103
In 1860, Memphis had Tennessee’s largest cotton and slave markets and was a strategic Mississippi River gateway. The naval battle of Memphis in June 1862 took place as thousands of residents watched nine Union vessels defeat eight Confederate ships. The Federals occupied the city for the rest of the war. Confederate Park, on the bluffs downtown, contains markers and memorials about the battle. Nearby Jefferson Davis Park commemorates the former Confederate president, who lived here as an insurance executive for several years after the war. Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk and Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had their headquarters in the Hunt-Phelan House at different times in 1862. Several U.S. Colored Troops regiments served at Fort Pickering.