Cowan was an important wartime location because of its proximity to the Cowan railroad tunnel south of town. The 2,228-foot long tunnel was constructed from 1849-52. Its destruction would have put rail activity from Nashville to Chattanooga at a standstill for a lengthy period of reconstruction. At the junction of U.S. 41-A and the railroad, look for the marker for the Cowan tunnel and the Cowan Rail Museum.
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