Middle Tennessee – More Civil War Sites


Johnsonville State Historic Park

New Johnsonville TN 37134

Confederate Gen. N.B. Forrest attacked a large Union supply base here on the east bank of the Tennessee River Nov. 4–5, 1864, hoping to disrupt Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s activities in Georgia. Forrest set up artillery on the west bank of the river and bombarded the base. Union gunboats in the river, attempting to return fire, were disabled by Forrest’s well-placed guns. A fire started by Federal soldiers quickly got out of hand, eventually destroying $2.2 million in supplies. Forrest’s success did little to slow Sherman, however, who began his famous “March to the Sea” shortly afterward. Earthworks that once protected the base are preserved and open to the public. Site open 8 am–sunset. Hiking trail through historic area. Trails sign.

See also Nathan B. Forrest State Park on the west bank of the river.

Connection to Johnsonville

Trails sign at 358 N Main St, Kingston Springs TN 37082

Federal troops camped here oversaw the construction of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, connecting Nashville and Johnsonville on the Tennessee River. Much of the labor came from free blacks and escaped slaves joined by Irish immigrants. Many of the black laborers became members of the United States Colored Troops. Some stayed behind after the construction to guard the railroad.


Both Clifton signs located at 142 Main St, Clifton TN 38425

Occupied River Town

This busy port city on the Tennessee River saw lots of action during the war. Union forces occupied the place in December 1863, locating a garrison on Stockade Hill behind the Clifton Presbyterian (which sustained damage).

Forrest Crosses the Tennessee

Famed Confederate Gen. N.B. Forrest arrived here Dec. 15, 1862, to begin his First West Tennessee Raid. His 2,100 troopers ferried across the river here, dodging Union gunboats.

Linden and area

Source: historytoday.com

Razing the Courthouse

Trails sign located at 121 E Main St, Linden TN 37096

Union infantry, ferried across the Tennessee River on gunboats, attacked and surprised a small Confederate force here. Following the one-sided little battle, Union soldiers burned the wooden Perry County Courthouse, along with other Confederate arms and supplies.

Cedar Grove Iron Furnace

Trails sign located at 6554 Buckfork Road, Linden TN 37096

This is the only remaining double-stack charcoal furnace in the state. Following the fall of Confederate Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862, Union gunboats shelled the ironworks structures, scattering at least 100 employees here.

Tennessee River

Trails sign in Mousetail Landing State Park, 111 Old Pump Station Road, Linden TN 37096

Shortly after the fall of Fort Henry in early 1862, Union gunboats roamed south on the Tennessee River chasing Confederate supply boats and destroying bridges. The Federal vessels passed Mousetail Landing here Feb. 6, 1862, and continued all the way to Florence AL.

Charlotte area

Fighting for Freedom

Trails sign located at 707 Promise Land Road, Charlotte TN 37036

African-American brothers John and Arch Nesbit enlisted in the Union States Colored Troops. John joined up in October 1863 and served with an artillery regiment in Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. Brother Arch fought in the Battle of Nashville then helped guard the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad, part of which ran through the area. Following the war, the brothers and others who had lived as slaves in the area founded the Promise Land community.

Harpeth Shoals

Trails sign located at 1190 Dozier Boat Dock Road, Charlotte TN 37036

This area of treacherous navigation made it a natural place for Confederate guerrillas to harass Union shipping activity on the Cumberland River. On Jan. 13, 1863, Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler attacked and destroyed two Union hospital ships and a gunboat. Union authorities never did solve the problem, but the completion of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad opened another supply route.

Lafayette and area

Source: vox.com

Macon County in the Civil War

Trails sign located at the Macon County Courthouse, 201 County Courthouse, Lafayette TN 37083

Trails gateway sign explains the divided nature of the county during the war and locates the Civil War sites in the area, including those listed below under Red Boiling Springs.

A Family Tragedy

Trails sign located at 1075 Old Highway 52, Lafayette TN 37083

A family sharply divided by the war experienced tragedy near here when Elvis Parker was executed for desertion and “fighting in the ranks against his own countrymen” under orders from Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan. Parker had enlisted earlier in the Confederate cavalry but thought his enlistment up before joining a Federal unit. His father, Dempsey Parker, a strong Unionist, challenged Morgan to no avail.

Ambush at Meadorville

Trails sign located at 3784 Ferguson Hill Road, Lafayette TN 37083

A Confederate partisan band established itself in the county and harassed Union units traveling through the area. In one encounter May 2, 1863, a Federal cavalry unit fought a running battle with what they considered “citizens banded together for plunder and robbery.”

Red Boiling Springs

Red Boiling Springs

Trails sign located in Palace Park at 316 Main St, Red Boiling Springs TN 37150

This mineral springs resort was both a landmark and a crossroads for both armies crossing the Cumberland highlands during the war. A hospital was established here that ended up serving both sides as they passed through.

Gibbs Crossroads

Trails sign located at 5270 Carthage Road, Red Boiling Springs TN 37150

Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg established a headquarters here in September 1862 during his campaign into Kentucky. Fighting erupted here less than a year later when Federal cavalry clashed with some of John Hunt Morgan’s men on these heavily traveled roads.


Epperson Springs

Trails sign located at 9695 Epperson Springs Road, Westmoreland TN 37186

This mineral springs resort at the Epperson Springs Hotel became a Confederate recruitment center and training camp early in the war. Federal authorities and military took control over the area by the middle of the war but faced constant trouble at the hands of regular and irregular Confederate troops.

McMinnville and area

Source: historynet.com


Trails sign located at the Warren County Middle School parking lot, 200 Caldwell St, McMinnville TN 37110

McMinnville occupied a key location on the Union supply line to Chattanooga in 1863, making it the target of Confederate raids. Troops under Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler briefly held the town Oct. 2 after a sharp encounter at “Rebel Hill.” Union forces beefed up the town’s defenses following that attack, building blockhouses and earthworks.

Occupation of McMinnville

Trails sign located at the Warren County Courthouse, 610 W Main St, McMinnville TN 37110

The town’s location, resources and the McMinnville Railroad made this place a strategic objective throughout the war. The town changed hands five times before semi-permanent Federal occupation in April 1863. The Union forces built forts and blockhouses and also sacked, burned and looted buildings. Union forces here suffered nearly constant harassment from Confederate partisan band operating in the countryside.

General Benjamin Hill

Trails sign located at the Warren County Courthouse, 610 W Main St, McMinnville TN 37110

Hill joined the Confederacy when the war broke out, serving under Gen. Patrick Cleburne until the latter’s death at Franklin. Hill fought in the battles of Perryville, Stone’s River, Chickamauga and others. He returned to McMinnville after the war, rebuilding the Warren House hotel and supporting reunification.


Fort Hill at Waverly

Trails sign at 201 Fort Hill Drive, Waverly TN 37185

This earthen fort protected the Union army-operated railroad that ran from Johnsonville on the Tennessee River to Nashville. The site also was headquarters for the 13th U.S. Colored Troops, which was in part manned by fugitive slaves. These men helped both build and protect this important rail supply line.

A Railroad Town

Trails sign located at Pepper Branch Park, Old Morrison Road near North Chancery Street

The McMinnville Railroad, pork and mule breeding, brandy production, saltpeter works and other natural resources here attracted the attention of both sides during the war. Although Federals exerted nominal control after mid-1863, Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan stayed here before raiding north and Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler forced the Union garrison here to surrender Oct. 3, 1863.

Cumberland Caverns

Trails sign located at 1437 Cumberland Caverns Road, McMinnville TN 37110

Saltpeter, a key ingredient in gunpowder, was mined here before and during the war. Production here early in the war was sent to Nashville’s Sycamore Powder Mills until early 1862 when the city fell into Union hands. Remnants of the operation are on display at the cave shop and can be seen during tours.

Tennessee Civil War Railroad Driving Tour

U.S. 70 from New Johnsonville to Pegram, west of Nashville
Brochure available at area visitor centers, or call 931-296-4865

The tour follows the route of a railroad line constructed during the war giving the Union army a link between Nashville and the Tennessee River at Johnsonville. This critical Union supply line, constructed using former slaves, was vulnerable to Confederate raiders, so forts and blockhouses were built to protect it. Remains of some of the forts are visible.

A tour stop:

Humphreys County Museum and Civil War Fort

201 Fort Hill Drive, Waverly TN 37185

Tullahoma Campaign

Following the battle of Stone’s River (ending Jan 2, 1863), Union Gen. William Rosecrans consolidated his position in Murfreesboro while his opponent Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg set up a defensive line near Tullahoma, blocking the route to Chattanooga. Despite frantic urgings from Washington, Rosecrans didn’t move against Bragg until June 24. But his campaign was conducted skillfully as well-armed Union cavalry spearheaded the Union offensive that constantly outmaneuvered Bragg, forcing the Confederates into a series of retreats. By the end of June, Bragg finally was forced to withdraw south of the Tennessee River, giving up all of Middle Tennessee and opening the door to Chattanooga.

A detailed driving tour brochure of the Tullahoma Campaign has been printed by the Tennessee Backroads Heritage Association. Highlights include historic buildings and the battles of Liberty and Hoover’s Gaps. Call 800-799-6131 for a free copy. See also the Tennessee Backroads website.

Fighting in Shelbyville

Trails sign at 1 Public Square, Shelbyville TN 37160

As Union troops advanced toward Shelbyville, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s troops withdrew from the town toward Tullahoma. On June 27 1863, cavalry clashed outside town. The fighting eventually swirled through downtown with cavalry and artillery duels in the streets. The Confederate cavalry eventually withdrew. Bragg continued his march southeast unmolested by Union cavalry.

Fortress Tullahoma

Trails sign at 102 NE Atlantic St, Tullahoma TN 37388

In January 1863, following the Battle of Stone’s River, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg fortified Tullahoma to protect the supply base here. The town also served as Confederate headquarters and a hospital center following the evacuation of Murfreesboro. Union Gen. William Rosecrans made Tullahoma his objective in his operations in June 1863. He forced the Confederates to evacuate in the direction of Chattanooga July 1.

War Comes to Manchester

Trails sign at 100 W Main St, Manchester TN 37355

Following Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s evacuation of Murfreesboro in January 1863, Southern troops settled into Manchester, occupying the courthouse and several other buildings in town. Union troops took control of the town June 27, rushing into the public square. Union troops occupied the town for the rest of the war.

Passing Through Cowan

Trails sign at the Cowan Railroad Museum, 108 Front St, Cowan TN 37318

Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg made his way toward Chattanooga on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad after being outflanked out of his base at Tullahoma July 1, 1863. He briefly considered making a stand here, defending the Cumberland Mountain Tunnel, but fast-moving Union troops prevented that. The last Confederate units passed through Cowan July 3, 1863.

Maplewood Confederate Cemetery

Trails sign at 920 Maplewood Ave, Tullahoma TN 37388

More than 500 Confederate soldiers who died in nearby military actions or in hospitals during the six-month occupation by the Army of Tennessee are buried here.

Beech Grove Confederate Cemetery Park

Near the intersection of I-24 and US 64, Beech Grove TN 37018
Interpretive kiosk with maps and other information describes the action at Hoover’s Gap where heavy rain and Confederate resistance delayed the Union advance. Open daily during daylight hours.

Tims Ford State Park

Trails sign located at 570 Tims Ford Drive, Winchester TN 37398

Trails sign here outlines the 1863 Tullahoma Campaign pitting Union Gen William Rosecrans against Confederate Gen Braxton Bragg. Following the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, Union troops pursued Confederates through the area, ending up in Chattanooga in early July. The nearly bloodless campaign took 11 days.

Old Stone Fort State Park

Source: statecollege.com

Manchester Powder Mill

Trails sign located in Old Stone Fort SP at 32 Stone Fort Drive, Manchester TN 37355

Power from the Duck River and proximity to the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad made this a good location for a Confederate gunpowder mill. By the fall of 1861 the Manchester mill was producing 1,500 pounds of powder a day. Its life was short, however. Union troops burned the mill in March 1862. It never operated again.


Winchester Civil War Sites

Trails sign located at 7 S High St, Winchester TN 37398

When Tennessee didn’t secede with the Deep South states early in 1861, citizens here voted to leave the Union anyway and began recruiting Confederate troops. Buildings in town served as hospitals and headquarters for both sides. Soldiers who died in hospitals here following the battles of Stones River and Chattanooga are buried in the city cemetery.

Pulaski and Area

Giles County Visitor Center

110 N Second St, Pulaski TN 38478

Sam Davis Trail

Sam Davis was a young Confederate soldier carrying papers to Gen. Braxton Bragg in Chattanooga when he was captured near the Alabama border. After he refused to reveal the source of some of the information, Davis was tried as a spy and hanged in Pulaski, becoming a Confederate hero. A Trail brochure includes sites such as Davis capture and execution sites as well as information about other Civil War action in Giles County. A small museum near the monument open by appointment (call 931-363-3789 extension 22).

To get a free copy of the brochure, visit the Pulaski visitor center, call 931-363-3789 extension 22, or email [email protected].

Sam Davis Capture Site

Trails sign at 419 Sam Davis Circle, Minor Hill TN 38273

Confederate courier/scout Sam Davis was stopped by Union cavalry at this spot while carrying dispatches to Gen. Braxton Bragg. He was charged with spying and sentenced to death. He was offered a pardon if he would reveal details about Confederate whereabouts but he declined and was hanged, making him an enduring Confederate hero.

See also

Sam Davis Home in Smyrna

Tennessee State Museum – An exhibit features Davis and the shoe authorities cut off searching for documents is on display.
Tennessee State Capitol – A statue of Davis stands on the grounds.

Lairdland Farm House

3238 Blackburn Hollow Road, Cornersville TN 37047

This is the post-war home of Confederate Capt. James Knox Polk Blackburn, who served with the 8th Texas Cavalry and fought at Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. He was captured near here in 1864 while recovering from a wound. Before the end of the war he met the Laird family but left to fight in the final battles in North Carolina. After the war, he married Mary Laird in this, her family home. Lairdland Farm is open for tours and offers a Civil War museum. Trails sign on site.

Jake Donelson

Trails sign in the Cornersville Town Park, 100 S Main St, Cornersville TN 37047

Jake Donelson, a game rooster, was the mascot of Co. H, 3rd Tennessee Infantry, in the Confederate army. Jake crowed at the enemy and alerted his unit about incoming shells at Fort Donelson and won many fights among his peers in other units. He was taken prisoner after Donelson’s fall and later died in 1864. He was given a military burial in Cornersville. The exact spot is unknown.


Source: cecilcountyhistory.com

Elkton Bridge

Trails sign located at 110 Dixon Town Road, Elkton TN 38455

Because the Elk River here is the narrowest part that could be bridged in the area, the crossing and the network of roads made this a strategic spot during the war. Union Gen. William T. Sherman moved through here Nov. 6-7, 1863, en route to Chattanooga. Nearly a year later, Confederate Gen. N.B. Forrest rode through following a successful attack on Athens AL.


Skirmish at Lawrenceburg

Trails sign at 1 Public Square, Lawrenceburg TN 38464

A detachment of Union troops scattered Confederate defenders Nov. 3, 1862, hoping to rescue captured soldiers and Federal sympathizers held in the jail here. After securing the town, orders were given to burn the courthouse. But local citizens pleaded with the authorities, citing its proximity to a Mexican War memorial. The courthouse was spared.

Mount Pleasant

The Bixby Grays

Trails sign located at 100 Public Square, Mount Pleasant TN 38474

One hundred local men were sworn into Confederate service here April 20, 1861. Known as the Bixby Grays, the unit was surrendered at Fort Donelson in February 1862 and later paroled. It fought at Port Hudson, Vicksburg, Chickamauga (losing half its strength), Missionary Ridge the Atlanta Campaign and Bentonville. It was surrendered by Gen. Joseph Johnson at Bennett Place (NC) April 26, 1865.

Cumberland Valley

Source: pinterest.com

Battle of Hartsville Driving Tour

Cemetery615-374-9243, 615-374-3222

Excellent tour covers sites associated with the Dec. 7, 1862, Confederate attack led by Gen. John H. Morgan against a Union garrison guarding a Cumberland River crossing here. Morgan’s cavalry quickly overwhelmed the Federals in the frosty early morning battle ending up capturing nearly 2,000 Union soldiers. The tour includes Morgan’s Cumberland River crossing and a memorial park with an interpreted trail telling about the battle.

Civil War Trails signs:

The Battle of Hartsville

Sign located on the Courthouse lawn, 101 Main St., Hartsville TN 37074

Sign reviews the Dec. 7, 1862, battle action.

Surprise at Hartsville

Sign located at the old L&N Depot, 240 White Oak St., Hartsville TN 37074

Sign describes the Dec. 7, 1862, battle, the overwhelming Confederate victory, and the event’s impact on the Union command, including a dismayed Abraham Lincoln. An investigation found fault with the Union commander here who was reassigned and eventually resigned from the service.

Morgan at Hartsville

Sign located at the old L&N Depot, 240 White Oak St., Hartsville TN 37074

Morgan used Hartsville as a base in August 1862 from which he and his men planned a raid on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at Gallatin. The Confederates succeeded in obstructing the 800-foot railroad tunnel forcing Union supplies to detour by wagon for three months.


The Civil War in Lebanon

Overview Trails sign at 945 E Baddour Parkway, Lebanon TN 37087

This Trails sign gives an overview of the many Civil War sites in the area including historic homes, monuments and churches.

Morgan’s Defeat

Trails sign located on northwest corner of the Public Square (119 Public Square)
Lebanon TN 37087

Following the battle of Shiloh in April 1862, Confederate cavalryman John Hunt Morgan conducted a raid through Tennessee and Kentucky aiming to disrupt Union supply lines. After several encounters with Union pursuers, Morgan camped here in Lebanon’s Public Square. Finally catching up with Morgan, Federals under Gen. Ebenezer Dumont burst into town surprising Morgan’s men, who fled through town. Morgan’s losses were severe with nearly 50 men killed and 150 captured.

Cedar Grove Cemetery

Trails sign at 609 S Maple St, Lebanon TN 37087

More than 150 men who served with the Confederate army are buried in this cemetery established in 1846. Nine men who were killed in John Hunt Morgan’s Raid at Lebanon also are here as is the widow of the famous Confederate cavalryman.

Seawell Hill Camp

Trails sign at 200 Castle Heights N Ave, Lebanon TN 37087

Confederate Gen. John Wheeler’s cavalrymen camped here during their August 1864 raid through Tennessee. A small Union detachment fled to Nashville. To one Confederate officer “a deathlike stillness prevailed” in the town. Wheeler eventually led his men south into Alabama.

Hattan House

Trails sign at 327 W Main St, Lebanon TN 37087

This is the site of the home of U.S. Congressman and later Confederate Gen. Robert H. Hattan. Eight days after being promoted, he was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines near Richmond, Va. in May 1862. His body was eventually returned here and was buried in nearby Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Pickett County

Source: medium.com


Civil War Trails sign on Caney Creek Road near Crabtree Road, Travisville TN 38577

The first Civil War military action in Tennessee occurred here Sept. 29, 1861, when Union cavalry attacked a Confederate camp. The surprised Southerners scattered after a brief defense, leaving four dead. One of those killed in the action is buried here in a marked grave.


Upper Ferry

Trails sign located at 939 Upper Ferry Road, Carthage TN 37030

This was an important Cumberland River crossing for both sides during the war. Part of Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s army crossed here during his Kentucky campaign in 1862. In early 1863, the Union navy took measures to destroy the “means of crossing” including those at Carthage. After the river was secured, Carthage became a major supply depot.

Smith County Courthouse Square

Trails sign located at 211 N Main St, Carthage TN 37030

This was the control center for a major Federal base from 1863 to the end of the war. Union soldiers stationed here took measures to control partisan units in the area. The cemetery on the square holds the remains of soldiers from both sides.

Battery Hill

Trails sign located at 570 Carthage Bypass, Carthage TN 37030

After taking control of the river, Union occupiers constructed a fort here to protect an artillery battery. From here, soldiers could view traffic on the river and the major roads leading into town. Remains of the fort survive in this three-acre site.

Rome Ferry

Trails sign located at 750 Lebanon Hwy, Carthage TN 37030

Famed Confederate cavalryman John Hunt Morgan used this ferry (luckily for him he found it on this side) to escape after his defeat at Lebanon May 5, 1862. He was forced to leave many of his prized horses behind here.


Civil War in Putnam County

Trails sign at the Cookeville Depot Museum, 116 W Broad St, Cookeville TN 38501

Soldiers from both sides constantly passed through this crossroads community during the war. Citizens were plagued constantly by foraging and guerilla activity. During the nearby Battle of Dug Hill, Feb 24, 1863, Confederate rangers ambushed a Union detachment and killed more than 40 men.

Rock Island State Park

War on Tennessee’s Homefront

Trails sign located in Rock Island SP at 82 Beech Road, Rock Island TN 38581

The power supplied by the Caney Fork River and its tributaries powered a prosperous milling industry here before the war. But raids and an 1863 Union occupation took its toll. In 1863, Union Gen. Joseph Reynolds ordered a mill owned by local Unionist Asa Faulkner burned and this started the general destruction of the area’s facilities. The mill was rebuilt after the war.


War on the Plateau

Trails sign on the Burritt College Campus, 427 College St, Spencer TN 38585

Confederates passed through this area rich in saltpeter during Gen. Braxton Bragg’s 1862 Kentucky Campaign. Following Union occupation in 1863, Confederate partisans under Capt. George Carter engaged in firefights. Union commanders allowed Burritt College to reopen briefly but later closed it, using its main building for stables.


Source: medium.com

Morgan in Alexandria

Trails sign at 112 W Main St, Alexandria TN 37012

Famed Confederate cavalryman Gen. John Hunt Morgan initiated raids into Kentucky from here in late 1862 and mid-1863. A supportive population, good water and Cumberland River crossings nearby made this area a good jumping-off place for the raids. Morgan’s raids, especially the summer 1863 one, struck fear into Northerners and resulted in the deepest penetration north by Confederate troops.


Gallatin Public Square

Trails sign located at 132 W Main St, Gallatin TN 37066

With the Cumberland River nearby and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad running just northwest of here, Gallatin was a logistics hub for the Union army, which occupied the area in February 1862. It was a target of Confederate raids throughout the war. After a destructive raid by John Hunt Morgan in August 1862, Union forces fortified the town. Civil War-era buildings survive in town.

Trousdale Place

Trails sign located at 183 W Main St, Gallatin TN 37066

This was the home of Tennessee governor (1849-1851), diplomat and soldier William Trousdale. During the Union occupation here, he was regarded as an “elder statesman” despite his strong support for the Confederacy and was called upon by both sides to resolve disputes. Both of his sons were seriously wounded while serving in the Confederate army.


Trails sign 810 S Water Ave, Gallatin TN 37066

This was the home of Judge Josephus Conn Guild, who hosted James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson here. Guild became an ardent Confederate once the war began. In 1862, Johnson, then Union military governor of Tennessee, ordered Guild’s arrest. He later returned here but found the estate occupied and stripped of trees. Guild unsuccessfully defended Confederate guerilla Champ Ferguson after the war.

The Clark House

Trails sign located at 2115 Long Hollow Pike, Gallatin TN 37066

This was the home of four brothers who served in the Confederate army. Three of them died in service, all of wounds suffered in battle. The original one-room Sumner County Court House is incorporated in this structure.

Bledsoe Creek

Trails sign located at Bledsoe Creek State Park, 400 Zieglers Fort Road, Gallatin TN 37066

Although Union troops occupied the area in early 1862, raiders from both sides terrorized local citizens and decimated farms. The area became a recruitment center for the USCT, enrolling escaped slaves into the Union army.


Celina During the Civil War

Trails sign located at 145 Cordell Hull Drive, Celina TN 38551

Celina was home early in the war to Oliver P. Hamilton’s Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, a group of Confederate partisan rangers. The group patrolled the Tennessee-Kentucky line and was involved in scrapes with Federal cavalry. The rangers’ run came to an end in April 1863 when Union cavalry destroyed their camp and shelled the town. Federals again routed the rangers a month later. Hamilton was captured in 1864 and charged with guerrilla activities. He was killed by his guards under unknown circumstances.

Donaldson Cemetery

Trails sign at the Clay County Museum, 805 Brown St, Celina TN 38551

Noted Confederate partisan Jacob “Jake” Bennett is buried 4 miles north of here in Donaldson Cemetery. Bennett led a colorful life during the war: He was captured at Fort Donelson (then escaped), and he served with Morgan’s cavalry (again captured and escaping). Forming an independent command, Bennett raided Federal outposts in western Kentucky.

Castalian Springs


Trails sign 200 Cragfont Road, Castalian Springs TN 37031

This was the home of Confederate Maj. George W. Winchester. Winchester joined the army in 1862, leaving his family and slaves to run the plantation. The estate was occupied in 1863 by Union troops, who cut down trees and confiscated crops. The slave quarters emptied and Mrs. Winchester was arrested. Maj. Winchester was later captured and imprisoned. He lost Cragfont after the war and moved to Memphis.


Trails sign located at 210 Old Hwy 25, Castalian Springs TN 37031

This 1828 stagecoach inn was built by Col. Alfred Royal Wynne, who started out a Unionist but switched sides when Tennessee seceded. His four sons enlisted in the Confederate army. Confederate cavalryman John Hunt Morgan operated in this territory and often visited this home.

Hawthorne Hill

Trails sign located at 210 Old Hwy 25, Castalian Springs TN 37031

William Bate, who rose to the rank of Major General in the Confederate army, was born here in 1826. Beginning his Civil War service in Virginia, he fought at the Battle of First Manassas before returning to Tennessee. He led troops in the major battles in the West. He survived the war and was elected governor of Tennessee in 1882, serving two terms.


Mansker Creek

Trails sign located at 745 Caldwell Drive, Goodlettsville TN 37072

The important Louisville and Nashville Railroad ran close to the creek here and, beginning in 1862, was protected by several companies of Union troops. Confederate Col. John Hunt Morgan attacked Union cavalrymen here Aug. 20, 1862, trying to free men and boys arrested in Gallatin. He succeeded in freeing the captives, but Union soldiers retaliated a month later and shot up a nearby Confederate camp.


Cold Spring School

Trails sign 303 Portland Blvd, Portland TN 37148

This was the site of a camp established early in the war for Confederate recruits. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer was the first commander here. More than 6,000 troops eventually trained here. The sick were treated in the old school building. Union troops occupied and fortified the area to protect the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.


Clarksville in the Civil War

Trails sign at 1 Public Square, Clarksville TN 37040

Military struggles over this important Cumberland River transportation and communication center continued almost until the end of the war. Union control of the town and its forts fell to the Union after nearby Fort Donelson’s fall. But Federal control remained tenuous until late 1864. The town also was flooded with refugees and became a recruiting station for United States Colored Troops.

Surrender of Clarksville

Trails sign in McGregor Park, 305 Riverside Drive, Clarksville TN 37040

Troops on Union gunboats seized Confederate river forts near here Feb. 19, 1862, following the Federal capture of Fort Donelson. Union Flag Officer Andrew Foote, landing near here, met with local officials and negotiated the town’s surrender.

Recapture of Clarksville

Trails sign at 524 College St., Clarksville TN 37040

The February 1862 Union capture of Clarksville was short-lived. The area remained pro-Southern and a hotbed of Confederate guerilla activity. Confederate partisans, eventually joined by local citizens, approached the town August 18, 1862 aiming to recapture it. Federals hurried to this area to repulse the attack but ended up surrendering to the combined Confederate force.

Battle of Riggins Hill

Trails sign at 590 Magnolia Drive, Clarksville TN 37042

After Confederates recaptured Clarksville in August 1862, a Union detachment was sent to reclaim the town. Confederates defended this area but were soon pushed back through town by the larger Union force. Clashes continued in this area continued until late 1864.

Whitefield, Bradley & Co.

Trails sign at 135 Commerce St, Clarksville TN 37040

One of the few ironworks in the Confederacy at the start of the war, this facility quickly shifted from household goods to cannon, shot and shell for the Southern war effort. Whitefield, Bradley was shut down when Clarksville was occupied by Union troops in February 1862.

Fort Defiance

Trails sign at 120 A St, Clarksville TN 37040

This was the site of one of the Confederate fortifications constructed (largely by slave labor) on the Cumberland River at the outset of the war. The fort was abandoned following the Union victory at Fort Donelson early in 1862. The fort was spared destruction and was occupied by Union troops the rest of the war.


Source: pinterest.com

An Army in Springfield

Trails sign located at the Robertson Co. History Museum, 124 Sixth Ave, Springfield TN 37172

Springfield was the site of a Confederate induction center before becoming a Union military base after the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson in 1862. The population lived uneasily under Federal control and by 1863 was complaining of misbehavior by Union troops. Confederate cavalryman John Hunt Morgan raided the area in the fall of 1862, destroying a railroad trestle.

Guarding Springfield

Trails sign located at 501 Brown St, Springfield TN 37172

Union soldiers stationed here beginning early in 1862 were charged with controlling the town and guarding the Edgefield and Kentucky Railroad and its many creek-crossing trestles in the area. The local population sometimes chafed under the occupation as all private firearms were confiscated and Union soldiers appropriated what they needed.


Fort Redmond

Trails sign located at 7617 Hwy 41 North, Adams TN 37010

Confederates originally constructed a fort near here to protect the Edgefield and Kentucky Railroad crossing a mile northwest. Early in 1862, the Confederates abandoned the area and Union troops constructed an impressive blockhouse at the bridge site at the Red River.


Rails and Raiders

Trails sign located on West Main Street, Erin TN 37061 (next to the Courthouse)

The Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad, finished just before the war, was an important supply line for both armies at various stages of the war. A bridge spanning the Tennessee River near here was the focus of raids and was damaged, but not destroyed, during the war. The site of the bridge is now submerged under Kentucky Lake.


Duval Groves House

Trails sign located at 5901 Hwy 31 West, Portland TN 37148

This house was constructed 1850-1853 and was situated near Camp Trousdale, a major Confederate training camp early in the war, at times holding more than 6,000 men. The camp, consisting of tents and huts, was abandoned after the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson. Soon, thousands of Union troops streamed by this home on their way deeper into Tennessee.

Dickson and Area

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Mile Post 42

Trails sign Clement Railroad Museum, 100 Frank Clement Place, Dickson TN 38578

The railroad here was part of a transportation network created by the Union army during the war. This military railroad was constructed in 1862 connecting the Tennessee River port at Johnsonville with the Nashville area. Much of the labor was supplied by the U.S. Colored Troops, and they guarded the railroad until the end of the war. See the Clement Railroad Hotel for Civil War exhibits and the railroad.

Camp Gillem

Trails sign at 210 Ferbee Road, Tennessee City TN 37055

This Union camp and surrounding fortifications was established to protect a locomotive yard and long trestle on the military railroad near here. Soldiers from Camp Gillem patrolled the area seeking Confederate guerrillas who sought to disrupt railroad activities.

Irish Shanty

Trails sign at 210 Ferbee Road, Tennessee City TN 37055

On July 2, 1863, Federal forces, campaigning against local Confederate guerrillas, claimed that about 20 men in front of Irish Shanty, a nearby store and tavern, fired at them. Some of the men were arrested and convicted at trial despite their claim of innocence. The verdicts were later reversed by Abraham Lincoln.

Civil War on Yellow Creek

Trails sign at 2199 TN Hwy 46 (Yellow Creek Road), Dickson TN 37055

Confederate sentiment, rough terrain and good food supplies made the Yellow Creek area a refuge for Southern cavalry and guerillas during the war. Federal efforts to suppress the resistance were largely unsuccessful until October 1864.

McNairy’s Attack

Trails sign at Montgomery Bell State Park, 1020 Jackson Hill Road, Burns TN 37029

On Oct 18, 1864, Confederate partisan Alexander McNairy attacked the military railroad near this site. The raiders fired on one train and sabotaged the track causing another to derail. McNairy returned three days later, again damaging the track. Rapid response by Union track crews had the railroad back in action without major disruptions, however.


Henderson at War

Trails sign at 130 E Main St, Henderson TN 38340

Its location on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad made Henderson a popular rallying point for Confederate units early in the war. Union soldiers occupied the town following the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862 but was the target of a raid in November 1862.

White Bluff

The Civil War in White Bluff

Trails sign at 52 Graham St, White Bluff TN 37187

The extension of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad through here in 1862, brought chaos to the town as Confederate partisans wreaked havoc on the line and the Union soldiers trying to protect and improve it.


Civil War in Lewis County

Trails sign at 110 Park Ave North, Hohenwald TN 38462

The people in this area were constantly plagued by foragers from both sides and suffered from random guerrilla attacks as Federals tried to maintain a tenuous control. In February 1864 a detachment of Union soldiers surprised and captured a group of guerillas that had been tearing up railroad bridges and track.


Hickman County Courthouse

Trails sign at 114 N Central Ave., Centerville TN 37033-1454

This area became a battlefield in 1864 as Federal forces, pursued by Confederates, holed up in the courthouse here and temporarily held off the Southerners. After the Federals retreated to Nashville, the Confederates burned the building. Returning Federals burned the rest of the commercial buildings in town in retaliation.


Divided Loyalties

Trails sign located at the Wayne County Visitor Center, 219 E Broadway, Collinwood TN 38450

Although no major military action happened in the county, the area saw two massive troop movements in 1862 and 1864. Union Gen. Don Carols Buell’s army crossed the county to reinforce U.S. Grant at Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh), and Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood marched across the county on his way to defeat at Franklin and Nashville in 1864. Citizens were recruited by and fought for both sides during the war.


Incident at Waynesboro

Trails sign located in the Waynesboro Public Square, 100 Public Square, Waynesboro TN 38485

Confusion reigned here as bullets flew between two Union units. As the 5th Tennessee Cavalry (US) marched toward town to open a recruiting office, it was harassed by Confederate partisans, some dressed in blue. The Tennesseans ran into another Union outfit and mistook them for Confederates. The mishap resulted in three soldiers wounded before officers figured out the situation.

Difficult Times

Trails sign located at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 110 N High St, Waynesboro TN 38485

Services at this church ended as the fighting began. It was occupied by soldiers from both sides during the war. A Union soldier from Waynesboro, Col. William Kindrick, was one of the officers who escaped from Libby Prison in Richmond VA in February 1864. He died at his home (still standing) a month later.


Charlotte in the Civil War

Trails sign at the Charlotte County Courthouse, 22 Court Square, Charlotte TN 37036

Frequent Confederate raids (both regular and guerilla) on the Union transportation center at Harpeth River Shoals on the Cumberland River led to Federal occupation of Charlotte in 1863. Martial law and harsh measures here eventually restored complete Union control in the area.

Cumberland Valley Civil War Tour

Historic homes, cemeteries, river crossings, monuments, battlefields and other Civil War sites in the Cumberland Valley are highlighted. Included are sites in the towns of Lebanon, Rome, Carthage, Lafayette, Cedar Hill and Hartsville. Click to request a copy of the tour brochure.

Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park

The following two Trails signs are located in the park, 1300 Cordell Hull Memorial Drive, Byrdstown TN 38549

Borderland Bandits

Notorious Confederate guerilla Samuel “Champ” Ferguson clashed often with citizens and armed opponents on the Kentucky-Tennessee border near here, opposed at times by area native David “Tinker Dave” Beaty and his band of Unionist raiders. The first military engagement in Tennessee occurred in nearby Travisville when Union cavalry captured a Confederate recruiting camp.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Confederate Stronghold

Trails sign located in the park at 2536 Lakeside Drive, Pikeville TN 37367

Strategic roads and crossroads made this a popular route for armies on the move during the war. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg led his army through here en route to Kentucky in 1862, finding support from the Southern-leaning citizens here.

Cumberland Mt. State Park

Cumberland County Families

Trails sign located in the park, 24 Office Drive, Crossville TN 38535

The area’s citizens were about equally divided between Confederate and Union giving rise to opposing training camps early in the war. Some families were split forever by the war with one couple divorcing when the husband joined the Confederate army.

Port Royal State Park

Source: encyclopediavirginia.org

Raids and Occupation

Trails sign located in the park, 3300 Old Clarksville Highway, Adams TN 37010

Each side plundered this agriculturally rich region and used the Edgefield & Kentucky Railroad. Both sides harassed citizens including plantation owner George A. Washington. Union troops interrogated him for hours, shot him, stole his property and set fire to several outbuildings. Taking control in early 1862, Union forces restored bridges and established guard stations along the railroad.

Chapel Hill

Nathan Bedford Forrest Boyhood Home

Trails sign located at 4435 Pyles Road, Chapel Hill TN 37034

This is the only survivor of the three houses Nathan Bedford Forrest called home as a boy. His father bought the two-story log home in 1830. The family moved close to Memphis three years later. Later a famed Confederate cavalry commander, Forrest came back to this place several times to rest and feed his men during recruiting trips to the area.

Lewisburg area

Farmington Engagement

Trails sign at the Farmington Cemetery, 2286 Highway 64 East, Lewisburg TN 37091

Trails sign explores the two-hour engagement here and near here during Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s October 1863 raid aimed at cutting Federal supply lines to Chattanooga. Union pursuers caught up with Wheeler’s men near here Oct. 7 fighting a pitched back-and-forth battle. Most of the he Confederates managed to escape toward Lewisburg, leaving about 100 captured behind. A monument in the cemetery here honors Confederates killed in the battle. Many were buried here.


Lynchburg in the Civil War

Trails sign Metro Lynchburg/Moore Co. Courthouse, 196 Main St, Lynchburg TN 37352

County men flocked to the Confederate cause here even before the state officially seceded. Many of the men served in Virginia in the famous Army of Northern Virginia, seeing action at Cold Harbor and Gettysburg. Many returned to devastated farms after the war.


The Civil War in Granville

Trails sign at 169 Clover St, Granville TN 38568

This Cumberland River port was a contested area throughout the war. Most of the citizens in town backed the Confederates. Sidney Stanton, a prominent local attorney and state senator, enlisted as a private and later was promoted to colonel after recruiting more than 1,000 men. He was killed during the Atlanta Campaign in 1864.


Civil War in Jackson County

Trails sign located at the Gainesboro Courthouse, 105 E Gore Ave, Gainesboro TN 38562

This Cumberland River county was occupied by Union troops early in the war. The area was sharply divided with men signing up with both sides when the war broke out. In January 1862, Confederate troops retreated to Gainesboro following their defeat at the Battle of Mill Springs KY.

Cumberland River Campaigns

Trails sign at 1085 N. Grundy Quarles Highway, Gainesboro TN 38562

Just north of here in the water was the town of Old Columbus that was a landing on the Cumberland River. In December 1863, Union Gen. U.S. Grant dispatched a convoy up the river on a reconnaissance and supply mission. Confederate guerillas on the shore at Gainesboro and other nearby places fired on the convoy. The area — especially the small town of Columbus — continued to be a hotbed for Southern partisans. During a February 1864 Union raid from Gainesboro, Columbus was burned to the ground.

White House

White House and Tyree Springs

Trails sign at the City Hall, 105 College St, White House TN 37188

Thousands of soldiers from both sides traveled the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike (Route 31W) during the war. In early 1862 Confederate cavalry ambushed a division of Union troops marching from Kentucky to Nashville at Tyree Springs and continually harassed the soldiers during the march. Good water here, about midway between the two cities, made this a popular camping spot for both sides.


Lincoln County in the Civil War

Trails sign at the Lincoln County Courthouse, 112 Main Ave S, Fayetteville TN 37334

Lincoln County, strong in its Confederate sympathies, provided nearly 5,000 soldiers to the Southern cause. Federal forces occupied Fayetteville briefly in April 1862 and permanently after spring 1863. Union soldiers used the courthouse for a stable while both armies stripped the countryside and committed numerous depredations.

Fayetteville Stone Bridge

Trails sign at Stone Bridge Park, 2010 Thornton Taylor Parkway, Fayetteville TN 37334

A huge stone bridge allowed easy and safe transportation of troops and supplies over the Elk River during the Civil War. Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee used the bridge while en route from Memphis to Chattanooga. The bridge survived the war, but was destroyed by a flood in 1969. The stones were used to construct the pedestrian bridge currently in use.


Hendersonville in the Civil War

Trails sign at 101 Maple Drive, Hendersonville 37075

Hendersonville’s location on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad made it an early target during the war. The town was occupied by Union troops as they advanced toward Nashville following the fall of Fort Donelson on the Tennessee River in early 1862. Union troops maintained control over the town, establishing a contraband camp by 1864.

Historic Monthaven

Trails sign at 1154 W Main St, Hendersonville TN 37075

This antebellum home, known during the war as “Liberty Hall,” served as a hospital for wounded of both sides. Union soldiers occupied the area after Nashville’s fall in early 1862. Many soldiers were detailed to protect the nearby Louisville & Nashville Railroad, an important Federal supply line that was the subject of frequent deadly raids.

Hazel Path Mansion

Trails sign at 105 Hazel Path, Hendersonville TN 37075

This was the home of Confederate Gen. Daniel Smith Donelson. Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River is named for him. After fighting in West Virginia and Tennessee, Donelson died of natural causes in 1863. The estate became a contraband camp following the Battle of Nashville in 1864. The property was returned to the family in 1886.

Rock Castle

Trails sign located at Historic Rock Castle, 139 Rock Castle Lane, Hendersonville TN 37075

Rock Castle was a large and prosperous plantation served by 98 slaves when the war broke out. Changes came rapidly when Union soldiers occupied the area early in 1862. Over the years, slaves left for freedom under the protection of the Union army. Owner Harry Smith returned after the war to rebuild the farm with the help of newly free tenants.

Spring Haven Mansion

Trails sign located at 545 E Main St, Hendersonville TN 37075

Constructed in 1825, this home was owned by Joseph Edwards during the war. Previous owner John Armfield with partner Isaac Franklin, created one of the largest slave-trading operations in the South before the war. In August 1862 Confederate Gen John Hunt Morgan and his troops rode through here on their way to raid the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.


101 Maple Drive, Hendersonville TN 37075

Located on the critical Louisville & Nashville Railroad, Hendersonville became a prime target during the early part of the war. Union troops occupied the town soon after the fall for Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862. The war took its toll with Union soldiers occupying town buildings. Confederate Gen. John H. Morgan led several raids on the railroad but the line remained under Union control.


Gen. John T. Wilder

Trails sign located at the Monterey Depot, 1 E Depot St, Monterey TN 38574

Noted for his effective fighting for the Union during the Civil War, Gen. Wilder was just as effective as an industrialist and civic leader in post-war Tennessee. He built a house in Monterey and developed a hotel here. He became mayor of Chattanooga and helped establish the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. A monument to Wilder and his troops stands where they fought at Chickamauga. The New York native was respected by both sides.


Woodbury in the Civil War

Trails sign located at the Cannon County Courthouse, 200 W Main St, Woodbury TN 37190

Located on the Murfreesboro-McMinnville Turnpike, Woodbury saw action in 1862-1863. Confederate Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops camped here July 12-13, 1862, on his way to attack Murfreesboro. Union troops occupied the area following the Battle of Stones River early in 1863. Fighting along the turnpike went on for months.


Lochridge Mill

116 W Main St, Dresden TN 38225

The county’s citizens voted to stay with the Union in June 1861 but most of the county men, more than 1,000, eventually joined the Confederate armed services. Almost 400 joined the Union cause. Confederate Gen. N.B. Forrest attacked a Union garrison at Dresden during his Christmas raid in 1862, ransacking the place and camping nearby.



Confederates under Gen. Felix Zollicoffer were posted near here in the summer of 1861 to “preserve peace, protect the railroad, and repel invasion.” The area remained strategic throughout the war, suffering numerous raids and was the victim of foraging parties.