War Comes to Germantown-Guarding the Railroad - Germantown TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Don.Morfe
N 35° 05.214 W 089° 48.666
16S E 243718 N 3886295
Quick Description: In 1861, Germantown was divided between secessionists and unionists until the news of Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers tilted the balance in favor of secession
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 5/26/2020 2:18:40 PM
Waymark Code: WM12GZQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
Views: 0

Long Description:
War Comes to Germantown-Guarding the Railroad-In 1861, Germantown was divided between secessionists and unionists until the news of Fort Sumter and President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers tilted the balance in favor of secession. Germantown women announced on April 26, “We…offer to the (Confederate) soldiers of Germantown all the assistance in our power with our needles, and promise also to aid in the care and sustenance of their families during their absence. And should the war approach our own homes, we will watch over the sick and wounded (though strangers) as our own brothers or fathers.” Local men and other county residents formed the 4th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A., which trained briefly at Germantown and later fought in such important battles as Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Nashville.

Federal troops entered Germantown in June 1862 and occupied houses, churches, and other buildings. Residents suffered as the soldiers confiscated crops and livestock, while many dwellings and businesses were dismantled or burned. The Presbyterian church became a Federal hospital and headquarters. The Masonic Hall, also used as a hospital, survived because both the Union commander and the Presbyterian minister were Masons.

The Memphis & Charleston Railroad depot became the focal point of the Federal garrison. The men built an earthen redoubt and stockade just east of town. Confederate cavalry and Union troops fought at least eleven engagements around this rail line in the Germantown area.

By war’s end, Germantown’s population had been reduced by more than half. It would be many years before Germantown recovered and again became a thriving community.

(captions)
(lower left) Masonic Hall, which served as a Union hospital (demolished 1985)
(upper center) Germantown Presbyterian Church, constructed 1851 (bell tower added 1867)
(upper right) Germantown railroad depot, constructed 1858 (replaced 1948
(lower right) Fort Germantown, built June 1863 to guard the railroad (burned and abandoned October 1863)
All images courtesy Germantown Community Library
Type of site: Transportation Route or Facility

Address:
the intersection of South Germantown Road and 2nd Street,
on the grounds of the Germantown Visitor Center and former depot.
Germantown, TN USA
38138


Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Phone Number: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

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