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Bolivar in Hardeman County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Bolivar

Strategic Position

 
 
Bolivar Marker image. Click for full size.
By Phillip Knecht, June 27, 2015
1. Bolivar Marker
Inscription. Located midway between Memphis and Corinth, Mississippi, Bolivar's position on the Hatchie River (a navigable route to the Mississippi River) and its junction of north-south railroads made it a strategic location for both armies. By the fall of 1862, Union forces had occupied West Tennessee, where they remained until the war's end.

Several Union generals quartered in nearby dwellings: Gen. Lew Wallace stayed at the Levi Joy House, while Gens. William T. Sherman, James B. McPherson, and Ulysses S. Grant each used Austin Miller's house (Magnolia Manor) as a headquarters.

Early in 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry re-entered West Tennessee to raid and disrupt Union supply lines. When Union Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis learned that Forrest was in Bolivar, he marched here from Memphis on May 2. After a brief fight, Forrest withdrew to the south. To punish Bolivar for supporting Forrest, Sturgis ordered the courthouse and town square burned to the ground. The Methodist and Baptist churches and most of the business district were also destroyed. Fortunately, the courthouse records were saved. According to local tradition, a Union officer and Freemason contacted fellow Masonic brother Austin Miller and gave Miller two hours advance warning. Miller moved the records to his house. The current courthouse was
Bolivar Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Phillip Knecht, June 27, 2015
2. Bolivar Courthouse
erected in 1868 to replace the one that burned.

Bolivar's Confederate monument here on the courthouse square is one of the oldest in the state. Local residents began raising funds for the obelisk to commemorate fallen soldiers in 1868, the year that the new courthouse was completed, and erected it in 1873.

(captions)
(top left) Hardeman County Courthouse (built 1868) Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archives
(top left) Hardeman County Courthouse (built 1868) Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archive
(bottom left) Gen. Nathan B. Forest; Gen. Lew Wallace; Gen. James B. McPherson; Gen. William T. Sherman; Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis Photos courtesy Library of Congress
(top right) Austin Miller House Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archive
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 15.379′ N, 88° 59.26′ W. Marker is in Bolivar, Tennessee, in Hardeman County. Marker is at the intersection of East Market Street (U.S. 64) and North Main Street (Tennessee Route 125), on the right when traveling west on East Market Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 North Main Street, Bolivar TN 38008, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Bolivar Confederate Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Phillip Knecht, June 27, 2015
3. Bolivar Confederate Memorial
At least 7 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. James Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Houston Bills (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Hatchie Town (approx. 1.1 miles away); Battle of Middleburg (approx. 6.9 miles away); Sassafras Mill (approx. 10.7 miles away); Hardeman County/Fayette County (approx. 11.8 miles away); Armstrong's Raid (approx. 15.4 miles away).
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Levi Joy House image. Click for full size.
By Phillip Knecht, June 27, 2015
4. Levi Joy House
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Phillip Knecht of Holly Springs, Mississippi. This page has been viewed 215 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Phillip Knecht of Holly Springs, Mississippi. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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