Visit the Civil War Around Memphis, TN
Memphis is located in a section of the state that is rich in Civil War History. This is why Sweet Magnolia Tours offers a Civil War Day Tour based out of Memphis. Even though the city has plenty of culture and history to offer within the city limits, there are also many interesting places to go outside of Memphis.
Sweet Magnolia Tours has chosen some special locations to bring our guests to give them the context and information necessary to better understand some important battles in the Civil War.
Here are some of the places you can see on the Civil War Day Tour from Sweet Magnolia Tours.
Corinth, Mississippi became known as the â€śCrossroads of the Southâ€ť during the Civil War. This was due to its location near two main railroad lines. These lines connected in the center of the city, which made it a major transportation hub in the region.
As you can imagine, transportation was very important during the Civil War. Control of the connection between these important railroad lines was highly sought-after by both the Confederate and Union armies.
The rail lines are currently operated by Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern. But back in the 1800â€™s, the lines connected Memphis and Charleston, as well as Mobile and Ohio.
The Crossroads Museum is located just off the side of the railroad tracks. It is an eminent source of information both on railroads as well as the Civil War.
The Siege of Corinth occurred just feet from where the museum currently stands. This was a month-long battle in 1862 in which Union forces overtook the Confederacy to claim the town.
Civil War Interpretive Center
This museum features artifacts both from battles taking place in Corinth as well as Shiloh. These battles proved to be very deadly and very consequential for how the Civil War would progress after their completion. The Civil War Interpretive Center aims to provide context and information about both.
The museum is 15,000 square feet and includes various displays, exhibits, and presentations. The films presented here cover how and why the battles began.
There is a water memorial called â€śThe Stream of American History.â€ť A large piece of stone sits at the back which represents the year the US Constitution was ratified. Water flows forward, which represents time, until it comes to a jumbled collection of stone blocks. These blocks represent different battles in the Civil War. They are different sizes which correlates to how deadly each represented battle was. The stream splits in two to go around the blocks, symbolizing the split in the nation, but rejoins to a singular stream after the blocks.
Shiloh was the scene of another intensely deadly battle. In fact, at that point in the Civil War, it was the deadliest (but would be usurped three times by the end of the war). A Union force was camped out on the Tennessee River and was ambushed by a Confederate brigade coming out of Corinth. The dayâ€™s battle was long and bloody but did not carry into the evening.
This break gave other Union factions time to arrive and reinforce the original fighters. They attacked the Confederates the next morning, forcing them to retreat. This allowed the Union fighters to enter northern Mississippi.
Shiloh National Military Park contains the battlefield of Shiloh along with various other historic sites. A Civil War cemetery is located here which holds 4,000 soldiers along with their family members.
Shiloh: Fiery Trail is a 48-minute documentary about the battle which can be viewed here. It tells the story of the epic two day battle and describes why the event was so critical to the war.
La Grange, TN
La Grange is a small town that was an important outpost during the Civil War. It sits high on a bluff which affords it distant views all the way into Mississippi. One of the railways that connected in Corinth (the east-west line) ran through La Grange. This railway was essential for dispersing ammunition and supplies to soldiers, which made the La Grange depot very advantageous.
The Confederate forces retreated after their defeat in Corinth to nearby Holly Springs and established an outpost in La Grange.
General Shermanâ€™s headquarters was located in La Grange at the Woodland Plantation, which was built in 1828.
La Grange might be small now, but it was home to thousands of people in the 1800s. This town does a great job of providing context for what day-to-day life was like back when the Civil War was active. View historic homes, locations, and cemeteries.
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