“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Fort Negley

Defending the Capital


—Hood's Campaign —

Fort Negley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 18, 2014
1. Fort Negley Marker
Inscription. In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood led the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman’s supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman’s army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin. The bloodbath here on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas’s strong defenses. Hood’s campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16.

(main text)
After the Confederate defeat at Fort Donelson in February 1862, Nashville surrendered to Union forces. Tennessee Military Governor Andrew Johnson insisted on the fortification of Nashville, a key transportation and supply hub. On August 6, Union Capt. James St. Clair Morton began implementing an elaborate design that made the capital the most heavily defended Unites States city outside Washington, D.C. More than 2,700 African American laborers constructed Fort Negley, the largest and most complex of Nashville’s five major forts. Soldiers occupied the fort in October while the laborers occupied the slope. The formidable stronghold protected Nashville’s southern approaches
Fort Negley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 18, 2014
2. Fort Negley Marker
and deferred Confederate attacks. On November 5, the fort’s guns helped drive off Confederate forces under Gens. Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Hunt Morgan. The Nashville Banner announced the fort’s completion on November 16.

In spring 1863, Mary Overall, a young Confederate spy, capitalized on amiable relations between civilians and the military while attending a dance party here to gather information. Union Gen. Zebulon B. Tower proposed $20,000 in improvements in October 1864. On December 15-16, two newly installed Parrott guns provided artillery support during the Battle of Nashville, firing at targets more than three miles away. The 12th Indiana Light Artillery, along with soldiers from Illinois, Ohio, and Tennessee, as well as U.S. Colored Troops, occupied Fort Negley. It remained a federal post until 1867.

In 1928, after recognition of Fort Negley as a national military park failed in Congress, the city took possession. The Works Progress Administration reconstructed the fort between 1936 and 1938, but it subsequently fell into disrepair. The city later reopened the stabilized and interpreted Fort Negley as a Metro Park, and the visitors center was completed in December 2007.

(lower left) Fort Negley, under construction, 1862 Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives
(upper right) View of Nashville from Fort Negley, looking northeast March 1864 Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 8.582′ N, 86° 46.559′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker is on Fort Negley Boulevard north of Chestnut Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. The marker is on the grounds of Fort Negley Park. Marker is in this post office area: Nashville TN 37203, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Negley Site (a few steps from this marker); Nashville Blacks in the Civil War (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gen. Sam G. Smith (approx. 0.4 miles away); William Driver (approx. 0.4 miles away); Felix K. Zollicoffer (approx. 0.4 miles away); Major Henry M. Rutledge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Richard S. Ewell (approx. 0.4 miles away); William Carroll (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Nashville.
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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