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

Life as a Garrisoned Union Soldier

 
 
Life as a Garrisoned Union Soldier Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
1. Life as a Garrisoned Union Soldier Marker
Inscription. It has often been said of the Civil War soldier that life consisted of moments of sheer terror followed by months of sheer boredom. For the garrisoned soldier, it tended more towards boredom. For many Union garrisons occupying Clarksville, daily rituals consisted of guarding the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad, the Hopkinsville Turnpike, and the river. Soldiers also checked citizen passes, handled supplies, and drilled. Some were dispatched around Montgomery County on anti-guerrilla patrols and were subject to attack by Confederate cavalry. The rest of the time was spent writing letters home, playing cards, repairing personal items and equipment, and cooking.
Officers often resided in homes or hotels in town. Enlisted troops on the grounds at Stewart College and at the fort lived in tents or small huts of chinked logs. Huts typically had a door at one end and a chimney at the other. A tent canvas usually served as a roof, but if the tools were available, a wooden roof might be added. Soldiers frequently added a wooden floor and a window. Latrines (toilets) consisted of trenches dug in the ground away from the living quarters.
Food supplies, often tainted, lacked variety and nutrition. Safe drinking water was not always available. Living conditions were generally unsanitary. With
Marker near Fort Defiance Interpretive Center. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
2. Marker near Fort Defiance Interpretive Center.
so many men living in close quarters, diseases and infections were easily spread. Illnesses, including measles, colds, influenza, eye infections and dysentery, put hundreds of men into hospitals and graves. The average soldier believed the bullet was his greatest danger, but disease was actually the biggest killer of the war. In the Union army, nearly three out of five deaths were from disease, while in the Confederate army, disease was responsible for two out every three deaths.
 
Erected 2008 by the City of Clarksville.
 
Location. 36° 32.466′ N, 87° 22.391′ W. Marker is in Clarksville, Tennessee, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from A Street 0.2 miles from Walker Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Duncan Street, Clarksville TN 37042, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Freedmen's Camp and the USCT (a few steps from this marker); Building Fort Sevier (Defiance) (within shouting distance of this marker); Bringing the War to Clarksville (within shouting distance of this marker); Forts Versus Ironclads (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Defiance Interpretive Center
This marker is part of the Fort Defiance Pedestrian Trail image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
3. This marker is part of the Fort Defiance Pedestrian Trail
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Defiance (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sevier Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Valentine Sevier, Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Clarksville.
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Fort Defiance Interpretive Center entrance sign. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
4. Fort Defiance Interpretive Center entrance sign.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 145 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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