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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dover in Stewart County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Control the Rivers and Railroads

 
 
Control the Rivers and Railroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 4, 2010
1. Control the Rivers and Railroads Marker
Inscription. During the Civil War rivers and railroads routinely carried soldiers, material, and food to keep the war effort going. The Tennessee and Cumberland rivers were the main arteries that carried the economic lifeblood to the heart of middle Tennessee. Most agricultural and manufactured goods passed through Nashville on the Cumberland River. Tennessee's railroads, which covered most of the state, played a pivotal role in military events west of the Appalachian Mountains throughout the war. Though smaller and not as well-equipped as their northern counterparts, these railroads were able to move masses of people and supplies more rapidly than any previous form of land transport used by Tennesseans.

The surrender of Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson severed both river and railroad arteries. This forced the South to evacuate Bowling Green, an important part of the Confederacy's western defense line, and to give up southern Kentucky and ultimately much of the middle and west Tennessee as well. The rivers and railroads became vital Federal supply lines. Nashville became a huge supply depot for the Union armies in the West. The Confederate heartland was opened to Federal invasion.

(Upper left caption):
Unloading supplies from steamboats on the Tennessee River. Steamboats like these could transport a two-day supply of food
Markers on the River Battery Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
2. Markers on the River Battery Overlook
and other provisions for 40,000 men and 18,000 horses.

(Upper right caption):
As the hub for five railroads, Nashville was a transportation center of great military significance. Its occupation would help clear the way for Union advance into the Deep South. The Tennessee state capitol is seen in the background.
 
Erected by Fort Donelson National Battlefield - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 36° 29.688′ N, 87° 51.375′ W. Marker is in Dover, Tennessee, in Stewart County. Marker is on Lock D Loop, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located at stop 4, the river batteries, on the driving tour of Fort Donelson National Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Dover TN 37058, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Exchanging Iron Valentines (here, next to this marker); Foote's Gunboat Flotilla (here, next to this marker); Reconstructed Powder Magazine (here, next to this marker); See Me Take a Chimney! (a few steps from this marker); Killed By a Loose Bolt (within shouting distance of this marker); The River Batteries (within shouting distance of this marker); Gun Positions (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Gunboat Carondelet (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
 
Also see . . .  Fort Donelson. National Park Service site. (Submitted on November 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 570 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 25, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on November 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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