Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Clarksville Fell 150 Years Ago-- Part 1

From the Feb. 19th Clarksville (Tn) Leaf-Chronicle "Fort Defiance keyed the fall of Clarksville" by Jimmy Settle.

Clarksville's role in the Civil War was primarily one of occupation and guerrilla warfare from 1862-1865. Today, the story is told at the Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center. They recently added an 1851 24-pdr. replica field cannon to the site, much like the ones that would have originally been at the fort.

Today, the fort's remains are nearly pristine owing to its post-war abandonment and being overtaken by bush and trees growth.

The city was surrendered Feb. 19, 1862, 150 years ago as a direct result of the fall of Fort Donelson, downriver a few days earlier.

The Leaf-Chronicle's forerunner, the Clarksville Chronicle, in its last edition printed Feb. 14, 1862, reported on the success of Confederate forces at Fort Donelson saying that the sounds of battle could be heard in town from that fort 30 miles away.

In 1860, Clarksville had a population of 5,000 and was big into tobacco. It's location as a port on the Cumberland River and the new Memphis and Louisville Railroad showed that there would be continued growth.

More to Come. --Old Secesh

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