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White Bluffs in Dickson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Civil War in White Bluffs

Building the Railroad

 
 
The Civil War in White Bluffs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Darren Jefferson Clay, December 26, 2019
1. The Civil War in White Bluffs Marker
Inscription.  In 1862, the extension of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad through White Bluffs to the Tennessee River brought not only growth to the area, but also chaos. Union forces stationed near here were responsible for constructing a depot, railroad turntable, telegraph office, and supply building, as well as protecting the newly laid tracks.

In order to delay the project, Confederate Capt. Alexander D. McNairy and Lt. Joseph Chester led a guerrilla band that raided the railroad. Two miles east of here, the A.B. Ayers sawmill provided the Federal army with lumber and water. McNairy's men derailed supply trains, killed laborers and guards, and burned the sawmill. At times, McNairy and his men camped along Main Street here, stopping at nearby houses for food and supplies.

The 5th Iowa Cavalry was stationed one mile west of here at Poplar Spring. McNairy placed his forces where he could ambush the Federal troopers and then retreat when pursued. As the construction of the rail facilities progressed, Union troops moved farther west. McNairy's men returned to White Bluffs, where they burned the telegraph office and several other
The Civil War in White Bluffs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, March 8, 2020
2. The Civil War in White Bluffs Marker
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buildings. Partisan attacks continued until the end of the war.

To Lt. Joseph Hedges, commanding 4th U.S. Cavalry: "Proceed with your command to White Bluffs on the line of the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad; …break any organized band of guerrillas you may encounter. Seize all the inhabitants suspected as being engaged in the destruction of the railroad train on the 20th November …and arrest and bring to Nashville any parties who cannot give a satisfactory account of themselves and their loyalty." —Gen. James H. Wilson, November 22, 1864

(captions)
Railroad guard camp and blockhouse, Tennessee Courtesy Library of Congress
Capt. Alexander D. McNairy Nashville & Northwestern History File
Lt. Joseph Chester Courtesy Tony England
Nashville & Northwestern Railroad, Cut 29 trestle Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archives
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1862.
 
Location. 36° 6.5′ N, 87° 13.502′ W. Marker is in White Bluffs, Tennessee, in Dickson County.
Chattanooga, Tenn., vicinity. Blockhouse on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad image. Click for full size.
1864
3. Chattanooga, Tenn., vicinity. Blockhouse on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad
Library of Congress [LC-B8171-2669]
Marker is at the intersection of Broadway Street (U.S. 70) and Graham Street, on the left when traveling west on Broadway Street. Located in front of White Bluff City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 52 Graham Street, White Bluff TN 37187, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McNairy’s Attack (approx. 3 miles away); Birth of a Church (approx. 3.3 miles away); The Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 3.4 miles away); The CCC at Montgomery Bell (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Civilian Conservation Corps and Montgomery Bell State Park (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Old Log House (approx. 3.9 miles away); Cumberland Presbyterian Church Monument (approx. 3.9 miles away); Connection To Johnsonville (approx. 6.2 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 26, 2019, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 143 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 26, 2019, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia.   2. submitted on March 9, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   3. submitted on January 2, 2020. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 16, 2021