Smith County Courthouse Square

Carthage’s historic courthouse square was the control center of a major Federal base from 1863 to 1865 in the fight to control the Upper Cumberland River region. When Union Gen. George Crook arrived in Carthage to stay in 1863, he commandeered the courthouse for his headquarters. From here, Crook and subsequent commanders directed the work necessary for the construction of the earthworks on Battery Hill and organized excursions into the countryside. In June 1863, Col. William B. Stokes, 5th Tennessee Cavalry (US), replaced Crook and waged a determined war against the many partisan units in the region. In September 1864, Stokes asked permission to "clear the country" of Confederates so "to prevent them from bush whacking." The cemetery on the square holds the remains of soldiers from both sides.