“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)

Two Governors, Two Governments

The Capitol in the Civil War

Two Governors, Two Governments Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
1. Two Governors, Two Governments Marker
Within the walls of this magnificent Greek Revival-style capitol, designed by famed American architect William Strickland, a Confederate governor and a Federal military governor each administered the state during the Civil War.

Governor Isham G. Harris, of Memphis, supported Tennessee secession. From his office, he plotted strategy and planned a military alliance with the Confederacy. He told the legislature in January 1861, “The systematic, wanton, and long continued agitation of the slavery question, with the actual and threatened aggressions of the Northern States and a portion of their people, upon the well-defined constitutional rights of the Southern citizen … have produced a crisis.” The first secession vote failed. After a second vote in June succeeded, Harris led the state into the Confederacy and helped raise 120,000 volunteers for its armies.

After the fall of Nashville in February 1862, a new governor managed the state from the Capitol. Former U.S. Senator Andrew Johnson, of Greeneville, served for three years as Federal military governor until he became U.S. vice president in March 1865. More than
Two Governors, Two Governments Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
2. Two Governors, Two Governments Marker
The Tennessee State Capitol (left) and Tennessee Tower, a state government office building, are in the background.
31,000 whites joined Union forces during the war, and 20,000 blacks served in the U.S. Colored Troops.

By the summer of 1863, the capitol had become the center of the Union occupation in Tennessee. A New York Times reporter wrote, “The Capitol itself is guarded with artillery and a stockade. … Here is going on a great deal of the military and civil business … here Gov. Johnson is carrying on his multifarious affairs; here the officers of the military Government are transacting their appropriate business, and here the Courts-martial meet.”
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #17 Andrew Johnson, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails series lists.
Location. 36° 10.041′ N, 86° 47.075′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker is on 6th Avenue North, on the left when traveling east. 6th Avenue North is a one-way street that loops behind Capitol Hill. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Nashville TN 37219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tomb of James Knox Polk (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Holy Rosary Cathedral (about 300
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feet away); William Strickland 1788-1864 (about 400 feet away); Hell’s Half Acre (about 500 feet away); Founding of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (about 500 feet away); Andrew Jackson (about 500 feet away); Samuel Dold Morgan 1798-1880 (about 700 feet away); Andrew Johnson (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 8, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 47 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 8, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 2, 2021