Located on a bluff 200 feet above the confluence of the Red and Cumberland Rivers in Clarksville, Tennessee, the Fort Defiance site has been a hub of activity for more than two centuries. Originally inhabited by American Indians, white settlers began arriving in the late 18th Century. The area became a trading center and settlement. During the Civil War, the hilltop was chosen by Confederate troops as a site to construct a fort to defend the river approach to Clarksville. In February 1862, the fort was captured by Union forces, renamed and occupied for the remainder of the war. The site was a magnet for runaway and freed slaves, and many were employed in and around the fort. A visitor today will find Fort Defiance remarkably well preserved; the outer earthworks, powder magazine and gun platforms are still discernible.
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