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Civil War

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. Many grim reminders of the war—as well as hopeful symbols of heroism and kindness—stand today as testament to the war's far-reaching toll.

Use these links 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.

Green Travel Vendor

Shelbyville
"Actress Pauline Cushman (a female spy) had been sent south to Shelbyville, under the guise as a pro-South secesh.  Her real role lay in spying on Confederate officers.  Caught in Bedford County disguised as a man, Cushman was searched for detailed drawings of area fortifications.  General Bragg swore she would face the sternest punishment, death by hanging.  Falling ill, faked ...more

City:  Shelbyville, TN
Phone:  800-799-6131

Green Travel Vendor

Sheriff Buford Pusser Home & Museum
"The Buford Pusser home and museum is the real home, furnishings and memorabilia of the late Buford ...more

City:  Adamsville, TN
Phone:  731-632-4080

Green Travel Vendor

Sherman Crosses the River
"On Nov. 24, 1863, Union troops under Gen. William T. Sherman made a surprise crossing on pontoon boats assembled here and approached the north end of Missionary Ridge. Sherman’s attack on the ridge stalled, however, and the major assault against the final Confederate position at Chattanooga was made ...more

City:  Hixson, TN
Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

Shiloh Civil War Relics & Museum

City:  Shiloh, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Shiloh National Military Park
"Established in 1894 to preserve the scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil War, Shiloh is considered one of the best preserved battlefields in the Nation. Besides preserving the site of the bloody April 1862 battle in Tennessee, the park commemorates the subsequent siege, battle, and occupation of the key railroad junction at nearby ...more

City:  Shiloh, TN
Phone:  731-689-5696

Green Travel Vendor

Signal Point
"Union soldiers stationed here used this spot – the only high point under their control in September-November 1863 – to help guide wagon trains and communicate with supply bases before Grant opened up the “Cracker Line.” Later, the spot was used to observe Confederate troop ...more

City:  Signal Mountain, TN
Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

Silverdale Confederate Cemetery
"The final resting place for Southern soldiers who died at hospitals established by Confederate General Braxton Bragg near Chattanooga in 1862.  A large stone arch is located at the entrance from Highway 11; and the cemetery is well maintained by local volunteers.  Located just off of Exit 7B on ...more

City:  Tyner, TN
Phone:  615-532-1550

Green Travel Vendor

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum (Burkle Estate)
"A white clapboard house built in 1849 by Jacob Burkle is rumored to have served as a way station on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. A tour of the house includes a visit to a small cellar where slaves waited to ...more

City:  Memphis, TN
Phone:  901-527-3427

Green Travel Vendor

Sleepy John Estes House
"Sleepy John Estes, an American bluesman, was also a legendary guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. Born in Ripley, Tennessee, Sleepy John's family moved to Brownsville, Tennessee, when he was 16. His father was a sharecropper who also played guitar, and Sleepy John took a cue from him. Due to an accident in a baseball game, Sleepy John lost sight in his ...more

City:  Brownsville, TN
Phone:  (731) 779-9000

Green Travel Vendor

Smith County Courthouse Square
"Federal forces occupied the square from 1862 to the end of the war and established a depot garrisoned by as many as 3,000 soldiers.  Also, during their Kentucky invasion of 1862, a portion of Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army used the Carthage river crossing.  The current Smith County Courthouse, built at the end of Reconstruction in 1875, is an impressive ...more

City:  Carthage, TN
Phone:  615-735-2093

Green Travel Vendor

Smith County Heritage Museum
"The Smith County Heritage Museum is located in Carthage, in the former W.E. Stephen's Building, one of the first manufacturing companies in ...more

City:  Carthage, TN
Phone:  615-735-1104

Green Travel Vendor

Soldier in Grey
"Dedicated on April 6, 1905, on the 43rd anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. The hand-chiseled granite monument stands guard on the courthouse lawn at the center of Historic Court ...more

City:  Dyersburg, TN
Phone:  731-286-7800

Green Travel Vendor

Soldier Tourists Marker
"The region’s natural beauty attracted soldiers from both sides to the views from Lookout Mountain. Even Union Gen. U.S. Grant posed for pictures from one of the scenic vantage ...more

City:  Lookout Mtn., TN
Phone:  423-424-4430

Green Travel Vendor

South Tunnel Site
"This impressive historic site consists of two railroad tunnels for the Louisville and Nashville railroad and two small forts built by federal troops in 1862 and garrisoned until the end of the war.  In August 1862, Morgan’s Confederates disabled the north tunnel for almost 100 days by crashing a locomotive in the tunnel and starting a fire.  The site is ...more

City:  Gallatin, TN
Phone:  888-425-5286

Green Travel Vendor

Southeast Tennessee Civil War Trail
"Southeast Tennessee's Civil War Trails, Fighting for the Rails brochure provides a designated path for southeast Tennessee travelers to follow as they explore sites associated with the American Civil War in Tennessee. The brochure has 47 sites and covers 10 counties. Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association (SETTA) worked in conjunction with Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation and ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  (423) 424-4267

Green Travel Vendor

Franklin on Foot
"Franklin on Foot is a tour company located in Historic Franklin, Tenn., that offers both daily walking and bike tours. Our daily Classic Franklin guided walking tour is the perfect way to peek behind the town’s charming exterior at the people and events that have shaped it. The tour is offered Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 2 ...more

City:  Franklin, TN
Phone:  615 400-3808

Green Travel Vendor

Freed House
"During the Civil War, Julius Freed served the Confederate army as a member of the Fifteenth Tennessee Infantry of the Army of Tennessee, was wounded, captured, and held as a prisoner of war until his release in May 1865. He then promptly moved to Trenton and became active in the city’s business and municipal relations, operating J. Freed & Sons ...more

City:  Trenton, TN
Phone:  731-855-1772

Green Travel Vendor

Galen School Museum
"Heritage museum dedicated to preserving the history of Macon County. Featuring items from bygone days, such as rare farm tools and vintage ...more

City:  Lafayette, TN
Phone:  615-666-2470

Green Travel Vendor

General Longstreet Museum
"General James Longstreet established his headquarters in the Nenney Homestead in Russellville, TN during the harsh winter of 1863 - 1864. Today, visitors can explore the actual historic home showcasing an authentic Civil War era communications center complete with a Civil War telegraph and period furnishings. A walk through the General Longstreet Museum will put you at the ...more

City:  Russellville, TN
Phone:  (423) 586-6382

Green Travel Vendor

General Morgan Inn & Conference Center
"Situated in the heart of Greeneville's beautiful downtown historic district, the General Morgan Inn features newly renovated guest rooms, upscale amenities for both business and leisure travelers, and on-site dining at Brumley's, the inn's premiere upscale restaurant. Free guided tours of the hotel are available upon request at our Guest Services Desk. Also, two walking tours leave daily from the inn's ...more

City:  Greeneville, TN
Phone:  800-223-2679

Green Travel Vendor

General Strahl's Cannon
"Made in 1820 and originally a main deck gun on the USS Independence during the Mexican War. Used by Confederates in land battles in Civil War. Now rests in old City Cemetery beside the grave of General Otho French Strahl, local Civil War ...more

City:  Dyersburg, TN
Phone:  731-285-3433

Green Travel Vendor

General Wilder’s Bed & Breakfast
"Step back in time. Southern hospitality abounds at this historic home of a Civil War ...more

City:  Roan Mountain, TN
Phone:  423-772-3102

Green Travel Vendor

George L. Carter Railroad Museum
"Learn about Johnson City's railroad history through models and ...more

City:  Johnson City, TN
Phone:  615-929-3733

Green Travel Vendor

Germantown Fort
"Replicas of howitzer cannons mark the place where 250 Union troops built an earthwork redoubt as part of a series of forts guarding the Memphis and Charleston Railroad during the Civil War. The site is part of a neighborhood park in Germantown. ...more

City:  Germantown, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Gibson Girls Southern Goodies
"This tearoom and bakery is located in a lovely authentic Civil War-era mansion dating back to 1848. Legend has it that Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard rebuked an aide here; spurred by anger and alcohol, the aide then ran his large sword through one of the heavy wooden doors, which still stands ...more

City:  Kingston, TN
Phone:  888-376-0150

Green Travel Vendor

Giles County Historic Site Tour
"Driving tour of historic homes and sites over the entire ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN
Phone:  931-424-4044

Green Travel Vendor

Giles County Historical Society & Museum
"Museum of early Giles County history and Civil War in Giles County. Genealogy ...more

City:  Pulaski, TN
Phone:  931-363-2720

Green Travel Vendor

Glenmore Mansion
"This 1869 historic landmark is a near-perfect example of Second Empire Victorian architecture. Built on land where the Civil War Battle of Mossy Creek was fought, the property still maintains the family/Civil War cemetery. Special heritage events are held during the year, such as gardening, storytelling, and holiday fairs. Tours available, ...more

City:  Jefferson City, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Gordon Browning Museum & Genealogical Library
"Gordon Browning Museum is a publicly supported museum/repository for documents, images and artifacts that represent the history and culture of Carroll County, ...more

City:  McKenzie, TN
Phone:  731-352-3510

Green Travel Vendor

Granville Museum
"The Granville Museum tells the story of the riverboat town of Granville, Tennessee. The museum contains a great pictorial display of every aspect of the history of Granville. The museum features a military, school and music room. There are furnishings depicting a home in the early 1900s. Plus an attached agricultural museum. Visitors will also enjoy a ten minute DVD on ...more

City:  Granville, TN
Phone:  (931) 653-4151

Tennessee Heritage Civil War Trails

November 2014

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Upcoming events

Date: Jan 1, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014
AiM Book Club - 3rd Tuesday Jan.-Nov.
Location: Selmer, TN

Date: Dec 6, 2014
Victorian Christmas
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

Date: Dec 6, 2014
Victorian Christmas
Location: Cumberland Gap, TN

See more November events »

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