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Parks and Recreation

Programs and Services

Fort Negley offers and hosts a variety of events, lectures and programs sure to please every member of your family or group.

Participants Code of Conduct

School Programs and Field Trips

Let Fort Negley’s knowledgeable staff and volunteers provide a memorable experience for your students!

Paul Smith, Museum Operations Specialist at Fort Negley, leads a group of school children on a tour of the fort.

Fort Negley offers FREE school programs and field trips Tuesday through Friday with advanced reservations. Please make reservations at least two weeks in advance using our Educational Group Tour Request Form.

School programs and field trips include a guided tour of Fort Negley, access to Fort Negley Visitors Center exhibits and films and a choice of one or more of a variety of hands-on activities tailored to meet your specific needs.

Groups of 30 or more must be divided and rotated between a film, the tour and other activities prepared by Fort Negley staff.

All programs and tours are adapted according to grade level and address Tennessee state performance indicators for social studies.

Please allow a minimum of one to two hours for your visit.

Our guided walking tour "Fort Negley: A Symbol of Union Occupation" emphasizes the fort’s impact on military operations, race relations and occupied civilians through first-person accounts and official records. Interpretive panels located at the fort illustrate life in occupied Nashville, Fort Negley’s construction, key political and military figures and a variety of other topics. Boardwalks located within the fort offer students access to the largest inland masonry fortification built during the Civil War and better understanding of design and construction. Fort Negley’s commanding position atop St. Cloud Hill, 260 feet above the Cumberland River, provides students a one-of-a-kind view of the city. Please allow a minimum of one hour to tour the fort.

Krista Castillo, Museum Cooridinator at Fort Negley, discusses one of the interpretive panels with a group of students. Fort Negley Visitors Center recommends combining the tour with one of the three films offered.

At 20 minutes “The Fall of Nashville” serves as an introduction to Nashville’s importance to Union and Confederate military objectives in the Western Theater.

At 20 minutes “Defending Nashville: The Story of Fort Negley” focuses on the building of Nashville’s fortification system and Fort Negley’s role during the Civil War.

At 30 minutes "Desperate Days: The Last Hope of the Confederacy"covers the last major Confederate campaign in the Western Theater which culminated in the Battles of Franklin and Nashville.

Hands On Activities

Fort Negley’s staff and volunteers offer a variety of activities tailored to meet your educational needs.

General George Thomas portrayed by Daniel Hughes conducts Fort Construction and Destruction activity with school children.

Our Fort Construction / Destruction activity allows students the opportunity to experiment with fort design and construction. Students love building a fort wall from cardboard boxes and knocking it down with projectiles (bean bags) of different sizes and weights.

Our What Would You Do? activity presents students with thought-provoking scenarios actually experienced during the Civil War challenging them to question how they would have reacted.

Our Fossils at the Fort activity enables students to discover Fort Negley's natural history and why Nashville is home to some of the nation’s most well preserved coral fossils.

Each activity lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Guided Group Tours

Zada Law guides teachers through Fort Negley 

Interested in bringing your group or club to Fort Negley?

Free guided group tours are available Tuesday through Saturday with reservations. Please make reservations a minimum of two weeks in advance by calling Fort Negley Visitors Center at 615-862-8470. Group tours include one or both of our 20 minute videos, a tour of Fort Negley guided by our knowledgeable staff and volunteers and an opportunity to explore the visitors center and the gift shop.

Our guided walking tour "Fort Negley: A Symbol of Union Occupation" emphasizes the fort’s impact on military operations, race relations and occupied civilians through first-person accounts and official records. Interpretive panels located at the fort illustrate life in occupied Nashville, Fort Negley’s construction, key political and military figures and a variety of other topics. Boardwalks located within the fort offer visitors access to the largest inland masonry fortification built during the Civil War and better understanding of design and construction. Fort Negley’s commanding position atop St. Cloud Hill, 260 feet above the Cumberland River, provides visitors a one-of-a-kind view of the city. Please allow a minimum of one hour to tour the fort.

“The Fall of Nashville” serves as an introduction to Nashville’s importance to Union and Confederate military objectives in the Western Theater.

“Defending Nashville: The Story of Fort Negley” focuses on the building of Nashville’s fortification system and Fort Negley’s role during the Civil War.

School Program, Field Trip and Guided Group Tour Reminders

Dave DuBrucq and George Huttick, portraying Union soldiers, discuss life in a Union army with a group of school children.

  • Make reservations two weeks in advance
  • Dress for the weather
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Fort Negley is a protected historic site
  • Climbing on the stonework is prohibited
  • All visitors must remain on the designated path and boardwalks

Hey kids! Become a Fort Negley Junior Historian!

Become a Fort Negley Junior Historian!

The Junior Historian program is free and open to all school age children visiting the site. Just pick up the Junior Historian scavenger hunt in the visitors center and complete the questions using the interpretive panels at the fort. Bring the completed scavenger hunt back to the visitors center to receive your certificate and a prize.

Nashville Civil War Roundtable

Federal and Confederate Flags with Rifle

Founded in 2009, the Nashville Civil War Roundtable provides a relaxed atmosphere for all those interested in the American Civil War to learn and discuss.

Join the Nashville Civil War Roundtable on the third Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Fort Negley Visitors Center for an extraordinary line-up of presentations, lectures and programs.

All programs are free and open to the public but the group also encourages membership. Annual membership dues along with proceeds from the silent auction support programming and local preservation causes. For more information, please visit http://nashvillecivilwarroundtable.wordpress.com/. Find us on Facebook!

Fort Donelson Camp No. 62, Sons of Union Veterans Logo

Fort Donelson Camp No. 62

Sons of Union Veterans

Fort Donelson Camp No. 62, Sons of Union Veterans, meets at Fort Negley Visitors Center on the fourth Tuesday every other month. The business meeting begins at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, check out the web site at http://www.tnsuvcw.org/.

Special Events

Members of the Thirteenth Living History Association with President Lincoln

Each year, Fort Negley Visitors Center and Park offers a variety of special events including living histories. If you would like to receive information on upcoming events by joining our email events list, please send your name and email address to Fort Negley Visitors Center or contact us at 615-862-8470.

For more information on holding special events at Fort Negley, please consult the Acceptable Use Policy. To learn more about events involving military demonstrations and the use of black powder, please see the Black Powder Procedures and Safety Requirements.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Interested in receiving more information about upcoming events and programs at Fort Negley Visitors Center? Our regular events emails and bi-monthly newsletter the Fort Negley Wig Wag will keep you up to date! To subscribe, simply contract us at 615-862-8470 or email us your name and email address.

Fort Negley Wig Wag January/February 2013

Fort Negley Wig Wag March/April 2013

Fort Negley Wig Wag May/June 2013

Fort Negley Wig Wag July/August 2013

Fort Negley Wig Wag September/October 2013

Fort Negley Wig Wag November/December 2013

Fort Negley Wig Wag January/February 2014

Fort Negley Wig Wag March/April 2014

Fort Negley Wig Wag May/June 2014

Fort Negley Wig Wag July/August 2014

Fort Negley Wig Wag September/October 2014

Rental Information

Interested in renting the Fort Negley Park or Visitors Center for your private event? Then check out our Special Event Permit Application and our Acceptable Use Policy. We look forward to hosting your event!

Fort Negley Archives

In 2015 we received a grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives to establish an archive at Fort Negley. The collection currently includes documents relating to development and operations at the site and original research of the Civil War in Middle Tennessee conducted by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Cooling. The archive is open to the public but you can follow the links to browse the Fort Negley Archives List and Dr. Benjamin Franklin Cooling's research files.