Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Camp Gillem - Gillem Station

Marker ID:  
Location: 210 Ferbee Road, Dickson, TN
County: Dickson
Coordinates: N 36° 5.55    W 087° 30.936
  36.0925    -87.5156
Waymark: None


In 1864, just to your left, the Federal army established Camp Gillem to protect the locomotive yard here at Gillem Station. Both were named for Gen. Alvan C. Gillem, commander of the troops guarding and constructing the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad. Gillem (1830-1875) was born in Gainesboro in Jackson County and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1851. He fought against the Seminole Indians and did garrison duty on the Texas frontier. After serving with distinction early in the war, he became colonel of the 10th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry (US) in May 1862. Promoted to brigadier general in August 1863, Gillem then supervised the troops protecting the new military railroad.

Camp Gillem and its surrounding fortifications guarded a long trestle that ran through the nearby valley. Union patrols left Camp Gillem to scout the countryside in search of Confederate guerrillas who sought to attack vulnerable points along the railroad. Detachments of the 10th Tennessee Infantry, posted at Gillem Station, patrolled the railroad until its completion. The 8th Iowa and 12th Tennessee Cavalry regiments and the 12th, 13th, and 100th U.S. Colored Troops infantry regiments also defended the tracks and facilities.

A small community emerged around Gillem Station during the war. In 1886, the name of this community was changed to Tennessee City at the request of W.A. Schoenfield, a land speculator who purchased several thousand acres nearby and hoped to establish a large city. His plans never materialized.

“I have just returned from the Tennessee River. Grading on Northwestern Railroad progressing. All the guerrilla bands infesting the country between the Cumberland and Duck Rivers west of this place have been routed and mostly driven beyond Tennessee River. Two of the worst leaders are disposed of—Perkins killed, and Ray and his gang captured.” — Gen. Alvan C. Gillem