Civil War History


 Clarksville in the Civil War  | Surrender of Clarksville  |  Recapture of Clarksville  |  Battle of Riggins Hill  |  Whitefield, Bradley & Co.  |  Fort Defiance

Clarksville Walking History Trails  |  Map of Civil War Areas in Clarksville  |  Welcome Home Veterans Celebration  |  More Resources & Links

Clarksville & Montgomery County Tennessee Civil War Journey - Crossroads of Change 1861-1865  


The Civil War Trails program has installed more than 1,000 interpretive markers at Civil War sites in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina. Driving tours following major campaigns have been created, and a series of regional brochures is available.

Jump to Virginia, Maryland, TennesseeWest Virginia and North Carolina for a complete listing of Trails sites. Pick up printed Trails information at visitor centers in those states or fill out the Request Information Form to receive most of the Trails information by mail.

Download pdf versions of the Trails maps from




Clarksville in the Civil War | back to top

Trails sign at 1 Public Square, Clarksville TN 37040

(click image to see full size PDF)

Military struggles over this important Cumberland River transportation and communication center continued almost until the end of the war. Union control of the town and its forts fell to the Union after nearby Fort Donelson’s fall. But Federal control remained tenuous until late 1864. The town also was flooded with refugees and became a recruiting station for United States Colored Troops.


Surrender of Clarksville| back to top
Trails sign in McGregor Park, 305 Riverside Drive, Clarksville TN 37040

(click image for full size PDF)

Troops on Union gunboats seized Confederate river forts near here Feb. 19, 1862, following the Federal capture of Fort Donelson. Union Flag Officer Andrew Foote, landing near here, met with local officials and negotiated the town’s surrender.


Recapture of Clarksville| back to top
Trails sign at 524 College St., Clarksville TN 37040

(click image for full size PDF)

The February 1862 Union capture of Clarksville was short-lived. The area remained pro-Southern and a hotbed of Confederate guerilla activity. Confederate partisans, eventually joined by local citizens, approached the town August 18, 1862 aiming to recapture it. Federals hurried to this area to repulse the attack but ended up surrendering to the combined Confederate force.


Battle of Riggins Hill | back to top
Trails sign at 590 Magnolia Drive, Clarksville TN 37042

(click image for full size PDF)

After Confederates recaptured Clarksville in August 1862, a Union detachment was sent to reclaim the town. Confederates defended this area but were soon pushed back through town by the larger Union force. Clashes continued in this area continued until late 1864.


Whitefield, Bradley & Co.| back to top
Trails sign at 135 Commerce St, Clarksville TN 37040

(click image for full size PDF)

One of the few ironworks in the Confederacy at the start of the war, this facility quickly shifted from household goods to cannon, shot and shell for the Southern war effort. Whitefield, Bradley was shut down when Clarksville was occupied by Union troops in February 1862.


Fort Defiance | back to top
Trails sign at 120 A St, Clarksville TN 37040

(click image for full size PDF)

This was the site of one of the Confederate fortifications constructed (largely by slave labor) on the Cumberland River at the outset of the war. The fort was abandoned following the Union victory at Fort Donelson early in 1862. The fort was spared destruction and was occupied by Union troops the rest of the war.

Learn more about Fort Defiance Interpretive Center. Located at 120 Duncan Street / 931-472-3351. 



Civil War Sites in Clarksville, Tenn. | back to top


Even more resources and information available:

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Clarksville History Trails -- Three walkable trails ranging from 1 - 5 miles designed from by the Montgomery County GIS Department and local historian Carolyn Ferrell.

Tennessee War Commission - The duties of the Wars Commission include the coordination of planning, preservation, and promotion of structures, buildings, sites, and battlefields of Tennessee associated with the French and Indian War (1754-1763), American Revolution War (1775-1783), War of 1812 (1812-1815), U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848), and the War Between the States (1861-1865). See more. 

Civil War Traveler - Your headquarters for 150th Anniversary information. Civil War battlefields & sites in 30 states plus maps, events, reenactment schedules, podcasts, books, e-newsletter and more. Everything you need to plan your Civil War travel is all here.

Civil War Maps - Courtesy of Civil War Traveler

Clarksville Foundry Inc. - Clarksville Foundry has been owned and operated by a member of the Foust family since 1912 and has a historical connection to the Civil War by manufacturing weaponry throughout the conflict. 

Tennessee Civil War Heritage - Learn about the people, places, and events that take place in Tennessee that involve the Civil War. 

Vintage Interactive Map of Clarksville-Montgomery County

Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area - The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area tells the whole story of America's greatest challenge, 1860-1875: the powerful stories of vicious warfare, the demands of the home-front and occupation, the freedom of emancipation, and the enduring legacies of Reconstruction.





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