Near McCalla in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Civil War Site 1861-1865
As the border states began to fall, Alabama iron became critical to the survival of the Confederacy. During the last two years of the war, Alabama’s furnaces were producing 70% of the entire southern iron supply.
That output invited federal invasion in the largest cavalry operation of the war. Known as Wilson’s Raid, a federal force of over 14,000 laid waste to Tannehill and a dozen other Alabama furnaces including the Selma Arsenal as the war came to an end.
The Tannehill Ironworks was attacked by three companies of the 8th Iowa Cavalry under the command of Capt. William A. Sutherland on March 31, 1865. Before leaving, they torched all the adjacent factory buildings, slave cabins, a large gristmill and tannery and a storehouse for food and supplies. In the fire, Tannehill’s workforce of over 500 slaves and white mechanics was scattered and displaced. A mile downstream on Roupes Creek, the Williams & Owen Forge escaped detection.
Sutherland re-joined Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton’s main force of 15,000 cavalrymen which proceeded on to burn the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. En route on April 1, Croxton’s
While iron production ended at Tannehill in 1865, its main financier, John Alexander, continued to operate the cupola furnace producing products from iron scrap before the site was sold to the Thomas iron interests of Pennsylvania, a parent company of Republic Steel Corp., in 1868.
Listed as a Designated site on the Civil War Preservation Trust’s National Discovery Trail.
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1673.
Location. 33° 14.872′ N, 87° 4.07′ W. Marker is near McCalla, Alabama, in Tuscaloosa County. Marker is located in the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park across from the furnaces. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12632 Confederate Parkway, Mc Calla AL 35111, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tannehill Ironworks (here, next to this marker); Fowler House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tannehill Furnaces (about 700 feet away); Eighth Iowa Cavalry (about 700 feet away); Blower House (approx. ¼ mile away); Pipe DL & CO 1889Bessemer Sewer System (approx. ¼ mile away); "Hot Pot", Ensley Works (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McCalla.
Also see . . .
1. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Park website homepage (Submitted on October 6, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.)
2. Tannehill Ironworks. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on April 6, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,640 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on October 6, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.