Clarksville in Montgomery County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Clarksville in the Civil War
Three forts on the Cumberland River, Forts Donelson, Defiance, and Clark protected this pro-Confederate town and many of Clarksville’s residents rushed to join Southern military units. After the surrender of Fort Donelson in February 1862, however, Union gunboats and troops from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s army occupied Clarksville.
Federal control proved tenuous. The Confederates briefly reclaimed the town in August 1862; it returned temporarily to Union control in September 1862. The Federals occupied Clarksville permanently in December 1862 when Col. Sanders Bruce’s brigade took charge of the town and Fort Defiance, which was renamed Fort Bruce.
Clarksville became a gathering place for white Unionists and escaped slaves who were housed in tobacco warehouses along the river and near Fort Bruce. Eventually more than 3,000 refugees converged on the town, outnumbering local residents.
In 1863, after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation
Col. Sanders Bruce Courtesy Howard Winn
New York Herald, February 24, 1862 — Courtesy Howard Winn
Clarksville, 1876 bird’s-eye view — Courtesy Montgomery County Archives
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 31.683′ N, 87° 21.694′ W. Marker is in Clarksville, Tennessee, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Public Square and Main Street, in the median on Public Square. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 128 Public Square, Clarksville TN 37040, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Court House (a few steps from this marker); Freedom Light (within shouting distance of this marker); John Montgomery Statue (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Whitfield, Bradley & Co. (about 700 feet away); Town Spring (about 700 feet away); Kennedy & Glenn's Bank (about 700 feet away); Clarence Cameron White (about 800 feet away); Surrender of Clarksville (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksville.
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 472 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on September 4, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 2. submitted on September 13, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.