Civil War
Things to See & Do in Tennessee
Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh National Military Park was established in 1894 to preserve the scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil War. The two-day battle, April 6 and 7, 1862, involved about 65,000 Union and 44,000 Confederate troops. This battle resulted in nearly 24,000 killed, wounded, and missing. It proved to be a decisive victory for the federal forces when they advanced on and seized control of the Confederate railway system at Corinth, Mississippi. The battlefield contains about 4,000 acres and has within its boundaries the Shiloh National Cemetery along with the well preserved prehistoric Indian mounds that are listed as a historic landmark. The park is located in Hardin County, on the west bank of the Tennessee River, and about nine miles south of Savannah, Tennessee.
Shiloh National Cemetery
In July 1862, Congress passed legislation giving the President of the United States the authority to purchase land for the establishment of cemeteries "for the soldiers who shall die in the service of their country." This legislation effectively began the National Cemetery system. Shiloh National Cemetery was established in 1866 and has more than 3,500 Union graves. In 1933 responsibility of the cemetery was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service.
Stones River National Battlefield
A fierce battle took place at Stones River between December 31, 1862 and January 2, 1863. General Bragg's Confederates withdrew after the battle, allowing General Rosecrans and the Union army to control middle Tennessee. Although the battle was tactically indecisive, it provided a much-needed boost to the North after the defeat at Fredericksburg. Lincoln later wrote to General Rosecrans, "I can never forget [...] you gave us a hard-earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over." The 600-acre National Battlefield includes Stones River National Cemetery, established in 1865, with more than 6,000 Union graves; and the Hazen Brigade Monument, believed to be the oldest, intact Civil War monument still standing in its original location. Portions of Fortress Rosecrans, a large earthen fort constructed after the battle, still stand and are preserved and interpreted by the National Park Service.
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
Unconditional Surrender of Fort Donelson created jubilation throughout the North and silence in Dixie. It was the North’s first major victory of the Civil War, opening the way into the very heart of the Confederacy. Fort Donelson National Battlefield preserves the site of this battle.
Stones River National Cemetery
In July 1862, Congress passed legislation giving the President of the United States the authority to purchase land for the establishment of cemeteries "for the soldiers who shall die in the service of their country." This legislation effectively began the National Cemetery system. Located in Murfreesboro, Stones River National Cemetery was established in 1865 and has more than 6,000 Union graves. In 1933 responsibility of the cemetery was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service.
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