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Gallatin in Sumner County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Gallatin Public Square

Heart of Federal Occupation

 
 
Gallatin Public Square Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 23, 2013
1. Gallatin Public Square Marker
Inscription.  Early in 1861, Gallatin and Sumner County were divided over secession, but after the fall of Fort Sumter, residents voted almost ten to one in favor. Support of the Confederacy never wavered, as Capt. Benjamin S. Nicklin, 13th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery, wrote in 1864, “This County has not even the germ of loyalty in it.”

With the Louisville and Nashville Railroad located just northwest of the public square and the Cumberland River three miles south of here, Gallatin’s logistical importance to the Union was obvious. Federal forces occupied the town in February 1862. Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan raided Gallatin throughout the war to disrupt Union supply routes. In August 1862 Morgan’s troops destroyed the train depot, the railroad tunnel leading to Bowling Green, Kentucky and the railroad bridge leading to Nashville. After Morgan withdrew, Union Gen. Eleazar Paine reoccupied Gallatin in November 1862 and constructed Fort Thomas, a star-shaped work about 900 yards northwest of here, to protect this transportation hub.

The square served many purposes, including that of an enlistment center. In July
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1863, two hundred local African Americans enlisted in the U.S. Army. They were part of the 13th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), formed at Nashville in November 1863, the same month that the 14th USCT was formed in Gallatin.

Today, several significant Civil War-era buildings remain in Gallatin. Trousdale Place (1815), two blocks west of here, served various functions of the U.S. Army. Next to Trousdale Place, First Presbyterian Church (1836) was used as a hospital. The Williamson Adams Carriage Factory (1839), three blocks east of here, became a Federal barracks.

(captions)
First Presbyterian Church Sumner County Archives
Public Square - Courtesy Sumner County Archives
Fort Thomas and Louisville & Nashville RR Courtesy Sumner County Archives
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
 
Location. 36° 23.283′ N, 86° 26.867′ W. Marker is in Gallatin, Tennessee, in Sumner County. Marker is on West Main Street (Tennessee Route 25) west of South Water Avenue (Old Tennessee Highway 109), on the right when traveling west. The marker is on
Gallatin Public Square Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 23, 2013
2. Gallatin Public Square Marker
the grounds of the Gallatin City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gallatin TN 37066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gallatin, Tennessee (within shouting distance of this marker); The Westward Movement (within shouting distance of this marker); Trousdale Place (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Trousdale Place (about 500 feet away); Confederate Soldiers Monument (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Trousdale Place (about 500 feet away); Randy's Record Shop (about 500 feet away); Tennessee's First African-American Civil War Volunteers (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gallatin.
 
Gallatin City Hall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 23, 2013
3. Gallatin City Hall
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 899 times since then and 120 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 29, 2023