Civil War Battles of Tennessee

Monuments to the various regiments who fought in the Battle of Shiloh are located within the park.

Monuments to the various regiments who fought in the Battle of Shiloh are located within the park.

Much of the Civil War was fought in Tennessee’s cities and farms; only Virginia saw more battles. Geography dictated a central role for Tennessee. As a border state with its rivers being key arteries to the Deep South, it was a major target for the Federals. From the early days of the war, Union efforts focused on securing control of those transportation routes and major roads and mountain passes such as the Cumberland Gap.

Tennessee was one of the border states that sent large numbers of men to fight on both sides of the Civil War. A sizeable part of the male population — 187,000 Confederate and 51,000 Federal soldiers — mustered in from Tennessee.

Many important battles occurred in Tennessee, including the vicious fighting at the Battle of Shiloh, which was the deadliest battle in American History at the time. Other large battles included Stones RiverChattanoogaNashville, and Franklin. Making matters worse for the Tennessee Confederates were pockets of strong pro-Union sentiments, which remained throughout the war, particularly in East Tennessee’s mountains.

The Vice President of the United States, Andrew Johnson, was a loyalist, a number of congressmen and state politicians. On the Confederate side, significant leaders included noted cavalryman Nathan B. Forrest and Corps Commanders Leonidas Polk and Benjamin F. Cheatham and Governor Isham Harris.

When the war was over, Tennessee would see more than its share of devastation resulting from years of warring armies traveling through the state.

Tennessee Civil War Battles

Fort Henry (February 6, 1862)

Fort Donelson (February 11-16, 1862)

Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862)

Plum Run Bend (May 10, 1862)

Memphis (June 6, 1862)

Chattanooga (August 21, 1863)

Murfreesboro (July 13, 1862)

Hatchie’s Bridge (October 5, 1862)

Hartsville (December 7, 1862)

Stones River (Dec 31, 1862-Jan 2, 1863)

Lexington (December 18, 1862)

Jackson (December 19, 1862)

Trenton (December 20, 1862)

Parker’s Cross Roads (December 31, 1862)

Dover (February 3, 1863)

Thompson’s Station (March 5, 1863)

Vaught’s Hill (March 20, 1863)

Brentwood (March 25, 1863)

Franklin (April 10, 1863)

Hoover’s Gap (June 24-26, 1863)

Chattanooga (August 21, 1863)

Blountsville (September 22, 1863)

Wheeler’s Raid (October 1-9, 1863)

Blue Springs (October 10, 1863)

Wauhatchie (October 28-29, 1863)

Collierville (October 11, 1863)

Collierville (November 3, 1863)

Orchard Knob (November 23, 1863)

Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863)

Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863)

Campbell’s Station (November 16, 1863)

Siege of Knoxville (November 17-December 4, 1863)

Fort Sanders (November 29, 1863)

Bean’s Station (December 14, 1863)

Mossy Creek (December 29, 1863)

Dandridge (January 17, 1864)

Fair Garden (January 27, 1864)

Fort Pillow (April 12, 1864)

Memphis (August 21, 1864)

Johnsonville (November 4-5, 1864)

Columbia (November 24-29, 1864)

Spring Hill (November 29, 1864)

Franklin (November 30, 1864)

Murfreesboro (December 5-7, 1864)

Nashville (December 15-16, 1864)

Bull’s Gap (November 11-13, 1864)

Tennessee Battle Summaries:

Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers Campaign (February – June 1862) 

Also called the “Mississippi River Campaign” and the “Fort Henry and Fort Donelson Campaign,” this force by the Union began on February 6, 1862, as a strategy to allow the North invasion routes by land and by water, as well as cutting off supplies to Confederate Forces. General Ulysses S. Grant moved swiftly, moving his troops down the Tennessee River toward Fort Henry on river transports on February 2nd and coordinating with  United States Navy Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote. The campaign ended with the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, in May 1862.

Fort Henry (February 6, 1862) – Taking place on February 6, 1862, in Stewart and Henry Counties of Tennessee and Calloway County in Kentucky, this battle resulted in a Union victory. By the time of the attack, Fort Henry, a Confederate earthen fort on the Tennessee River with outdated guns, was partially inundated, and the river threatened to flood the rest. On February 4-5, Union General Ulysses S. Grant landed his divisions in two different locations, one on the Tennessee River’s east bank to prevent the garrison’s escape and the other from occupying the high ground on the Kentucky side, which would ensure the fort’s fall. At the same time, Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote’s seven gunboats began bombarding the fort. Commanding Fort Henry’s garrison, Confederate Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman quickly realized that it was only a matter of time before Fort Henry fell. While leaving artillery in the fort to hold off the Union fleet, he escorted the rest of his force out of the area and sent them safely off on the route to Fort Donelson, some ten miles away. Tilghman then returned to the fort and, soon afterward, surrendered to the fleet, which had engaged the fort and closed within 400 yards. Fort Henry’s fall opened the Tennessee River to Union gunboats and shipping as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After Fort Donelson’s fall, ten days later, the two major water transportation routes in the Confederate west, bounded by the Appalachians and the Mississippi River, became Union highways for the movement of troops and material. The conflict resulted in estimated casualties of 40 Union. and 79 Confederate.

2 thoughts on “Civil War Battles of Tennessee”

  1. Looking for information on the 22nd Virginia cavalry. Trying to find out all the battles they fought after May 1863 up until November of 1863. Thanks for any and all help

    1. It’s more than you asked for, but hope this helps

      22nd Cavalry CSA “Bowen’s Regiment Virginia Mounted Riflemen”
      May Formed by adding eight companies to Baldwin’s Partisan Rangers. Baldwin’s two companies became Company A and Company E of the new regiment. Colonel Henry S. Bowen, Lieutenant Colonel John T. Radford and Major Henry F. Kendrick were assigned as field officers.
      Many of the new recruits had served in the 37th Virginia Infantry Regiment. The regiment was assigned to the Department of Western Virginia.
      September 1 Jonesboro, Tennessee
      September 12 Jonesboro, Tennessee
      September 21 Jonesboro, Tennessee
      October 24 Nicholas County
      December 9 Logan County
      December 15 Scott County
      December 17 Russell County
      April Assigned to Jenkins’ Cavalry Brigade, Department of Western Virginia.
      April 24 Breathitt County, Kentucky
      May Assigned to McCausland’s Brigade of Lomax’s Cavalry Division, Army of the Valley.
      May 7 Abb’s Valley
      May 9 Cloyd’s Mountain
      May 10 New River Bridge
      May 13 Jackson’s Ferry & Covington
      May 15 Abb’s Valley
      May 31 Pike County
      June 1 White Sulpher Springs, WV
      June 2 Covington VA
      June 4 Panther Gap
      June 6 Goshen
      June 7 Buffalo Gap
      June 8 Staunton Road
      June 10 Arbor Hill, Newport, Middlebrook and Brownsburg
      June 11 Lexington
      June 13 Buchanan
      June 15 Fancy Farm
      June 16 Otter River
      June 17 Forrest Depot
      June 18 Lynchburg
      June 20 Liberty
      June 21 Salem
      July 3 Leetown
      July 4 North Mountain Depot
      July 7 Hagerstown, MD
      July 8-9 Battle of Monocacy
      Major Kendrick was wounded in the hip and captured.
      July 10 Urbana, MD
      July 11 Rockville, MD
      July 12 Attack on Fort Stevens, Washington D.C.
      July 14 Edwards Ferry VA
      July 15 Snicker’s Gap, VA

      July 16 Loudoun County
      July 18 Ashby’s Gap, VA

      July 19 Berry’s Farm
      July 20 Stehenson’s Depot, VA
      July 23 Second Battle of Kernstown
      July 29 Mercersburg, PA
      July 30 Burning of Chambersburg
      August 2 Cumberland, MD
      August 4 New Creek, WV
      August 5 Shenansoah Valley
      August 7 Battle of Moorfield
      Federal cavalry caught McCausland’s brigade in camp by surprise after Union ‘Jesse Scouts’ dressed in Confederate grey captured the picket. The camp was overrun at dawn, capturing around five hundred men from the brigade. The catured men were imprisoned at Cam Chase, Ohio, for the rest of the war.
      August 9 New Creek Station VA
      August 10 Charles Town, WV
      August 11 Newtown, VA
      August Assigned to Bradley Johnston’s Brigade of Lomax’s Cavalry Division

      August 15 Charles Town, WV
      August 17 New Creek, WV
      August 21 Summit Point, WV
      August 25 Kearneyville, WV
      August 28 Opequan Creek, VA
      September 1 Brandy Station, VA
      September 2 Bunker Hill, VA
      September 3 Berryville, VA
      September 4 Maritinsburg, WV
      September 10 Big Spring WV
      September 12 Darkesville, WV
      September 19 Third Battle of Winchester
      The regiment acted as rear guard while Early’s army retreated after the battle to Fisher’s Hill.
      September 21 Front Royal Pike
      September 22-24 Battle of Fisher’s Hill

      September 24 Harrisonburg and Timberville, VA
      September 25 Gaines Crossroads, VA
      October 1 Port Republic, VA
      October Returned to McCausland’s Brigade.
      October 8-9 Battle of Tom’s Brook
      October 19 Battle of Cedar Creek

      October 23 Bentonville, VA
      October 26 Milford, VA
      October 29 Beverly, WV
      November 12 Nineveh (Cedarville), VA
      Lieutenant Colonel Radford was killed.
      November 22 Front Royal, VA
      December 17 Berry’s Ford, VA
      December 20 Madison Court House, VA
      December 23 Jack’s Shop, VA
      December 24 Gordonsville, VA
      January 29 Moorfield WV
      February 6 Balltown, WV
      February Major Kendrick was exchanged.
      March Ordered with the rest of Rosser’s Division to leave the Valley and join the Army of Northern Virginia at Petersburg.
      March-April Siege of Petersburg
      March 29 Quaker Road, VA
      March 31 Dinwiddie Court House, VA
      April 1 Battle of Five Forks

      April 2 Sutherland Station, VA
      April 3 Namozine Church, VA
      April 5 Avery’s Church Road, VA
      April 6 Jetersville, VA
      April 6-7 High Bridge, VA
      April 7 Cumberland Chuch (Farmville)
      April 9 Appomattox Court House
      The regiment cut its was through Union lines and escaed the surrender. Only two men, Corporal J.W. Whitman and Private A.H. Tate of Company G, surrendered with Lee’s army.
      Mid-April The regiment disbanded

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