The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area (Heritage Area) works with organizations through out Tennessee to preserve and share the stories, effects, and legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee. It is a federal, state, and local partnership managed by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.
Tennessee is rich in sites, buildings, landscapes, and documented sources that tell the stories of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Geographic location, along with strategic river and rail routes, productive farmlands, and industrial sites, made the state a crucial prize fought for by both armies. Every county in Tennessee was affected by the destruction of the land, loss of life, bitter divisions within families and communities, and political and social turmoil of the war years and the following decades.
Tennessee's landscape contains many powerful reminders of the Civil War. Shiloh, Fort Donelson, Stones River, and Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Battlefields are critical sites preserved by the National Park Service. This military landscape extends beyond the battlefields to churches where soldiers camped, houses where doctors amputated, farmsteads where soldiers stole and plundered, and cemeteries where loved ones were buried. These sites have served as significant places in conflict, memory, and identity for generations of Tennesseans.
Intertwined with these military and political struggles are the stories of the homefront, occupation, and Reconstruction. During this time of tremendous upheaval and uncertainty courageous women took on new roles and responsibilities. At the same time, enslaved African-American men and women contributed to their own emancipation, helped define a new era of race relations as freedpeople, and established new communities throughout the state.
Whether you are a researcher, educator, tourist, or citizen interested in learning more about Tennessee's Civil War and Reconstruction heritage, you will find here information about important sites and organizations, as well as sources for additional research. We encourage you to visit Tennessee and see first-hand the many sites included in the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
Center for Historic Preservation
Middle Tennessee State University
P.O. Box 80
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Phone: (615) 898-2947
Fax: (615) 898-5614