Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Civil War in Tennessee

Marker ID:  
Location: at the Tennessee Welcome Center I-75, Jellico, TN
County: Campbell
Coordinates: N 36° 35.316    W 084° 6.366
  36.5886    -84.1061
Waymark: None


Civil War in Tennessee
War in the Mountains

Tennessee’s mountain residents were bitterly divided about secession in 1861, although most were Unionist. In Huntsville (Exit 141), Scott County residents voted to secede and join Kentucky if Tennessee joined the Confederacy.

Confederate commanders struggled to defend Tennessee’s lengthy border with Kentucky and western Virginia. A confederate fort in LaFollette (Exit 134) overlooked Big Creek Gap, a mountain pass, in case a Federal advance came that way. Other gaps were similarly fortified. Although when Confederated Gen. Simon B. Bruckner inspected the posts from Clinton (Exit 122) east to Cumberland Gap in June 1863, he found them “very imperfect.” Buckner strengthened the Cumberland Gap defenses (Exit 134); today, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park preserves both early Confederate fortifications and later Federal works.

The Confederate forts were intended to protect Knoxville, an important transportation center. In the city (I-275 Exit 1A), Knoxville National Cemetery contains remains of white Federal soldiers and U.S. Colored Troops who died in the area fighting. Both Confederate and Unionist leaders are buried in adjacent Old Gray Cemetery. The East Tennessee History Center on Gay Street interprets the region’s divided loyalties and the effects of the war.

Follow the routes of the armies along the Tennessee Civil War Trails. Colorful markers at each stop tell the story of the war’s interesting people, places, and events. A free map guide to the Tennessee Trails network is available in the Welcome Center. Please drive carefully as you enjoy the beauty and history of the Tennessee Civil War Trails.

Erected by Civil War Trails.