Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Boats on the Tennessee

Marker ID:  
Location: at the end of Signal Point Road, in Signal Point Park, Signal Mountain, TN
County: Hamilton
Coordinates: N 35° 7.176    W 085° 22.02
  35.1196    -85.367
Waymark: None


Boats on the Tennessee
Civil War supply boats challenged the treacherous narrows here

The mighty Tennessee River extends 652 miles from its source near Knoxville to its confluence with the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky. During the Civil War the river was a natural highway through this region, but sections of rapids were impassable for large vessels.

One of the most treacherous stretches was the "Narrows" which extended several miles downstream to your right. Supply boats bound for Chattanooga had to be pulled by ropes through man-made side channels. This vital supply line strengthened the Union army for Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's advance on Atlanta in the spring of 1864.

Today the Tennessee Valley Authority operates a series of dams to allow navigation along the entire length of the river.

Erected by Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.