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Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Fort Negley

Defending the Capital

 

— Hood's Campaign —

 
Fort Negley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 18, 2014
1. Fort Negley Marker
Inscription.  In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood led the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman’s supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman’s army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin. The bloodbath here on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas’s strong defenses. Hood’s campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16.

(main text)
After the Confederate defeat at Fort Donelson in February 1862, Nashville surrendered to Union forces. Tennessee Military Governor Andrew Johnson insisted on the fortification of Nashville, a key transportation and supply hub. On August 6, Union Capt. James St. Clair Morton began implementing an elaborate design that made the capital the most heavily defended Unites States city outside Washington, D.C. More than 2,700 African American laborers constructed Fort Negley, the largest
Fort Negley Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 18, 2014
2. Fort Negley Marker
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and most complex of Nashville’s five major forts. Soldiers occupied the fort in October while the laborers occupied the slope. The formidable stronghold protected Nashville’s southern approaches and deferred Confederate attacks. On November 5, the fort’s guns helped drive off Confederate forces under Gens. Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Hunt Morgan. The Nashville Banner announced the fort’s completion on November 16.

In spring 1863, Mary Overall, a young Confederate spy, capitalized on amiable relations between civilians and the military while attending a dance party here to gather information. Union Gen. Zebulon B. Tower proposed $20,000 in improvements in October 1864. On December 15-16, two newly installed Parrott guns provided artillery support during the Battle of Nashville, firing at targets more than three miles away. The 12th Indiana Light Artillery, along with soldiers from Illinois, Ohio, and Tennessee, as well as U.S. Colored Troops, occupied Fort Negley. It remained a federal post until 1867.

(sidebar)
In 1928, after recognition of Fort Negley as a national military park failed in Congress, the city took possession. The Works Progress Administration reconstructed the fort between 1936 and 1938, but it subsequently fell into disrepair. The city later reopened the stabilized and interpreted Fort Negley as a Metro Park, and the
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visitors center was completed in December 2007.

(captions)
(lower left) Fort Negley, under construction, 1862 Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives
(upper right) View of Nashville from Fort Negley, looking northeast March 1864 Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #17 Andrew Johnson, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
 
Location. 36° 8.582′ N, 86° 46.559′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker is on Fort Negley Boulevard north of Chestnut Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is on the grounds of Fort Negley Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Nashville TN 37203, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Negley Site (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fort Negley (within shouting distance of this marker); War in the West (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civil War (within shouting distance of this marker); The Road to War (within shouting
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distance of this marker); War in the West: Battles and Campaigns (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nashville Surrendered (about 500 feet away); Decline and Restoration of Fort Negley (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 12, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 627 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 12, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 28, 2022