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Richly illustrated with hundreds of maps, photos, and diagrams, Fortress Nashville tells the fascinating story of how Tennessee’s capital became one of the heaviest fortified cities during the Civil War. How engineers actually fought valiantly in battle. How mechanics and laborers kept vital supplies flowing to the Federal armies at the front, both on rail and riverway. How fugitive slaves and freedmen built the forts, enlisted in the newly created U.S. Colored Troops, and eventually fought bravely for their freedom. Fort Negley is the major focus of these profound stories, but also covered are depots, railroads, garrison towns, and pioneer forts.

By Mark Zimmerman

Zimco Publications LLC, Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-578-37936-4

Retail Price: $29.95

338 Pages, Paperback, Perfect Bound, 8.5 x 11

200 Photos, 76 Maps, and original artwork

by John Paul Strain, Andy Thomas, Rick Reeves, David Meagher, Philip Duer

Retail Outlets: Available at Ingram, full 55% discount/returnable


Praise for “Fortress Nashville:”

“Fortress Nashville” superbly documents both Federal and Confederate plans to fortify Nashville and surrounding locations in the attempt to secure or destroy the South’s natural resources. Thoroughly researched and masterfully informative, Zimmerman’s book is an in-depth read for all students of the Western Theater of war, and the defenses of Nashville and surrounding area.

--Fred Prouty, Former Director of Programs for the Tennessee Wars Commission and Military Sites Preservation Specialist

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Frontier Stations

Cumberland Settlements, Fort Nashborough, Buchanan’s Station, Mansker’s Station, Rock Castle, Cragfont, Sevier Station.

The River Forts

The Federal Gunboat Flotilla

Building the River Forts

Capture of Fort Henry

Battle of Fort Donelson

Capture of Clarksville and Nashville

Defenses of Nashville

Nashville 1864

Fort Andrew Johnson

Fortified Railroad Bridge

Pontoon Bridges

Fort Negley

Fort Morton

Blockhouse Casino

Fort Houston

Redoubt for Hill 210

Fort Gillem

Fort Whipple

Fort Garesché

Railroad Redoubt

Magazine Granger

Brentwood Stockade

Middle Tennessee Infrastructure

US Army Corps of Engineers

US Signal Corps

U.S. Military Hospitals

Fort Granger and Triune Works

The Pioneer Brigade

Fortress Rosecrans

U.S. Military Railroads and River Freighters

First Michigan Engineers & Mechanics

Guerrillas, Gunboats & Convoys

Johnsonville & Nashville & Northwestern RR

Federal Garrison Towns

Columbia, Gallatin, Sumner Co., Tullahoma, Shelbyville,
Bridgeport, Stevenson, Paducah, Decatur, Bowling Green, Pulaski.

Federal General/Engineer Also Spymaster

The Battle of Nashville

The Confederate Redoubts

U.S. Colored Troops

Granbury’s Lunette

Peach Orchard Hill

Battle of Nashville Trust

Addendum A: Glossary of Fortification Terms

Addendum B: Timeline of Events

Addendum C: Reports on Defenses

Acknowledgements & Notes on Sources

Bibliography and Suggested Reading

About the Author and Zimco Publications LLC

Melissa Barker of the Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy & History:

“Fortress Nashville is a title that anyone researching the Civil War in Middle Tennessee must have in their reference library.”

“The photos, maps, drawings, documents and other visuals are worth the price of the book alone. Some of these can even be described as beautiful.”

“Be prepared to be amazed by the research he has done…”

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Did you know?

Slaves who worked on an estate south of Nashville in 1860 ended up fighting and dying as Union soldiers during the Battle of Nashville in 1864?


The father of the brilliant engineer who built Union Fort Negley (a major refuge for fugitive slaves during the war) was a renown Philadelphia physician who founded the theory of scientific racism, the theory that mankind is divided into different species based on cranial capacity?


General James S. Negley of Pennsylvania was a brilliant horticulturalist who conducted staff rides during military marches to examine native flowers and plants?


Capt. James St. Clair Morton, designer of Fort Negley and leader of the Pioneer Brigade, was a hero of the Battle of Stones River, his engineers holding off successive Confederate attacks to protect the main turnpike there?


The fortifications at Nashvillle, the second heaviest defended city in the nation during the Civil War, were not nearly completed until scant weeks before Hood’s invasion in December 1864?


Fort Negley was built so rapidly and stoutly, and armed so well, that the enemy dared not attack it? Same goes for Fortress Rosecrans in Murfreesboro.


Fort Negley, the masterpiece of Nashville fortifications, was allowed to deteriorate for 80 years until stone masons rebuilt it during the Great Depression, then allowed to literally fall to pieces once again?


That for several decades Fort Negley shared land with a minor-league baseball stadium and a children’s museum?


William T. Sherman never would have captured Atlanta without his supply and logistics base at Nashville?


During the war, the U.S. Army built a railroad from Nashville to the Tennessee River in order to process more war materiel?


Confederate gunners defeated the ironclad gunboats of the U.S. Navy at Fort Donelson only to have their generals surrender the fort to the U.S. Army?


Nashville, the first Confederate state capital to fall to the Federal army, was captured without firing a shot?

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