Skip to Content

Civil War Markers - Lines of Defense

Federal Defenses

The hill to the west was a strong point in the system of permanent Federal defenses, started in 1862, which extend to the river on both sides of town. Artillery was emplaced here from time to time.

Location: Centennial Park, west of the Parthenon

Federal Defenses—December 2-15, 1864

Near here, the interior defensive lines ran southwest to cross Harding Pike; the total length of these works was about 7 miles. First garrisoned by Wood’s IV Corps, it was occupied December 15 by Donaldson’s Division of Quarter-master employees. Part of the breastworks can be seen on Vanderbilt campus, 300 yards west.

Location: Twenty-first Avenue, South and Edgehill Avenue

Outer Federal Defenses—December 2, 1864

Here the outer Federal defensive line, which stretched 7 miles around the city, crossed Hillsboro Pike. It was used at the commencement of the battle on December 15 by Wood’s IV Corps as a line of departure for the main attack. Faint traces of the old entrenchments are visible a few yards west.

Location: Twenty-first Avenue, South, and Bernard Avenue

Federal Defensive Line—December 15, 1864

The Federal defensive line ran NE and SW through here. Fort Casino was on the hill to the west, Fort Negley to the northeast. Garrisoned on December 2 by Schofield’s XXIII Corps, it was occupied by Cruft’s Provisional Division when the battle began. The XXIII Corps moved out in support of the main effort, 5 miles southwest.

Location: Eighth Avenue, South, on south slope of the City Reservoir

Schofield's Jump-Off Line—December 15, 1864

The Federal defensive line ran northeast and southwest through here. It was garrisoned by Schofield's Corps on arrival here after the Battle of Franklin, December 2, and later became a line of departure for the advance into support positions; Cruft's Provisional Division then occupied this line in reserve.

Location: Twelfth Avenue, South, and Acklen Avenue