Bolivar in Hardeman County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Several Union generals quartered in nearby dwellings: Gen. Lew Wallace stayed at the Levi Joy House, while Gens. William T. Sherman, James B. McPherson, and Ulysses S. Grant each used Austin Miller's house (Magnolia Manor) as a headquarters.
Early in 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry re-entered West Tennessee to raid and disrupt Union supply lines. When Union Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis learned that Forrest was in Bolivar, he marched here from Memphis on May 2. After a brief fight, Forrest withdrew to the south. To punish Bolivar for supporting Forrest, Sturgis ordered the courthouse and town square burned to the ground. The Methodist and Baptist churches and most of the business district were also destroyed. Fortunately, the courthouse records were saved. According to local tradition, a Union officer and Freemason contacted fellow Masonic brother Austin Miller and gave Miller two hours advance warning. Miller moved the records to his house. The current courthouse was
Bolivar's Confederate monument here on the courthouse square is one of the oldest in the state. Local residents began raising funds for the obelisk to commemorate fallen soldiers in 1868, the year that the new courthouse was completed, and erected it in 1873.
(top left) Hardeman County Courthouse (built 1868) Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archives
(top left) Hardeman County Courthouse (built 1868) Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archive
(bottom left) Gen. Nathan B. Forest; Gen. Lew Wallace; Gen. James B. McPherson; Gen. William T. Sherman; Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis Photos courtesy Library of Congress
(top right) Austin Miller House Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archive
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 15.379′ N, 88° 59.26′ W. Marker is in Bolivar, Tennessee, in Hardeman County. Marker is at the intersection of East Market Street (U.S. 64) and North Main Street (Tennessee Route 125), on the right when traveling west on East Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 North Main Street, Bolivar TN 38008, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. St. James Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Houston Bills (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Hatchie Town (approx. 1.1 miles away); Battle of Middleburg (approx. 6.9 miles away); Sassafras Mill (approx. 10.7 miles away); Hardeman County/Fayette County (approx. 11.8 miles away); Armstrong's Raid (approx. 15.4 miles away).
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2015, by Phillip Knecht of Holly Springs, Mississippi. This page has been viewed 296 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 28, 2015, by Phillip Knecht of Holly Springs, Mississippi. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.