Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Red Boiling Springs ~ Enlistment Center and Civil War Hospital Red Boiling Springs

Marker ID:  
Location: on East Main Street (State Highway 151), Red Boiling Springs, TN
County: Macon
Coordinates: N 36° 31.817    W 085° 50.672
  36.53028333    -85.84453333
Waymark: None


Red Boiling Springs

Enlistment Center and Civil War Hospital

Red Boiling Springs has long been a landmark in Macon County. It was a central crossroads for both Federal and Confederate forces during the Civil War.

The war came home for local residents on September 24, 1861, when Capts. Ridley R. West and Joseph L. Bryant organized Co. H, 28th Tennessee Infantry (CS) at the Webb (later the Dedman) Hotel. Webb's Hotel was the only one at the springs, but it was large enough to accommodate the soldiers and officers who passed through the village.

On October 22, 1861, Cols. John W. Head and James J. Turner organized the 30th Tennessee Infantry regiment here. Within months, however, many recruits found themselves in a Union prison, after the Confederate defeat and surrender at Fort Donelson.

Between 1861 and 1864, troops from both sides traversing the rugged Cumberland highlands stopped here, with the sick and wounded remaining for treatment. Dr. James Carson Weir, a Minnesota native who lived in neighboring Jackson County, established a hospital here when Union occupation forces appointed him surgeon.

In September 1862, however, when Gen. Braxton Bragg's army marched this way during his Kentucky invasion, Weir served the Confederates. Bragg wrote from here on September 18, "The troops are in good tone and condition; somewhat foot-sore and tired, but cheerful. They have submitted most heroically to privations and hardships and have maintained their reputation for discipline."

When the Federals reoccupied the springs, they took Weir prisoner but released him when he proved his Union sympathies. After the war, Red Boiling Springs became one of Tennessee's most prominent mineral springs resorts.

Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.