Hundreds of adventures await visitors on the multi-state Civil War Trails program which now includes Tennessee and more specifically, Rutherford County. Nine signs were installed in the county in October and a tenth will be located at the new Chamber of Commerce building.
Civil War Trails creates driving tours of Civil War sites, focusing on the untold stories as well as the famous events, characters and places of the war, and connects them together throughout the state.
“Being part of this five-state program is a great opportunity for Rutherford County,” said Mona Herring, vice president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Not only will this bring Civil War visitors to our community, but it will also have us poised and ready to celebrate the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the Civil War and the Sons of Confederate Veterans 2012 Annual Reunion.”
Rutherford County’s signs were placed at the Mary Kate Patterson house in La Vergne; Smyrna Depot and Sam Davis Home in Smyrna; the Greenway trailheads at Thompson Lane, Gen. Bragg Headquarters and Old Fort Park; Oaklands Historic House Museum; Evergreen Cemetery and the Rutherford County Courthouse. The final sign will be located at the new Chamber building.
Directional signs and interpretive markers are now placed at Civil War-related sites across Tennessee and will be accompanied by guide maps showing the specific routes of battles and campaigns. The first Tennessee Civil War Trails brochure will be unveiled in December and Rutherford County will be included in it.
“I could describe this program in one word,” said Mitch Bowman, Executive Director of Civil War Trails. “That word is: Access.” Bowman said the program aims to give visitors and residents both intellectual and physical access to our Civil War stories, focusing on appreciation and preservation of those stories.
Civil War Trails has been in place for 14 years and currently includes over 800 sites in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee. This is an exciting new opportunity for Civil War buffs, as most of the sites are first-time interpretations and approximately half are being opened to the public for the very first time.
“This program will never end,” said Bowman, stating his commitment to maintenance of the signs, as well as the plans to continually add new sites as the reasons the program will stay fresh and exciting. For more information, visit www.civilwartrails.org or contact the Chamber of Commerce at 615.893.6565.