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Fortress Nashville tells the story of how the heavily fortified logistics and transportation hub became the key to victory in the Western Theater. The book explores every facet of the Federal infrastructure built in Nashville and Middle Tennessee so that armies under Grant, Thomas, and Sherman could capture Chattanooga and Atlanta and march to the sea. Topics explored include the Pioneer Brigade, the First Michigan Engineers, U.S. Military Railroads, fortification technology and design, military hospitals, army depots and garrison towns, the Confederate river forts and fortifications associated with the epic Battle of Nashville. A 40-page section explores the building and design of Fort Negley, an iconic stone fortress that survived periods of neglect only to become one of the major Civil War and Civil Rights attractions of the South. Featured are literally hundreds of maps and photos, blueprints of forts, charts and graphs, including 14 original artworks by artists such as Philip Duer, David Meagher, John Paul Strain, Andy Thomas, and Rick Reeves. The book also includes descriptions of pioneer forts, a glossary of fortification terminology, and full texts of Federal wartime reports regarding the fortifications.

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Praise for Fortress Nashville:

“Jam packed with maps, line drawings, charts, photographs (both period and modern), and artwork to go along with Zimmerman's detailed text, I don't know of any other single volume that includes this much information about the Nashville fortifications and their role in the war. The material isn't annotated, but the author does include a source discussion and bibliography. The volume looks like a promising addition to the home reference library that might be placed alongside something like B.F. Cooling's Mr. Lincoln's Forts.” -- Drew Wagenhoffer, Civil War Books & Authors. 03-28-2022.


More Praise

The outcome of the Civil War was decided in the heartland of the Confederacy known as the Western Theater. The eventual Union capture of Tennessee’s rivers and rail systems and the occupation of its major cities thwarted Confederate hopes for victory.

“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, 03-31-2022.

Yet More

Mark Zimmerman, noted Nashville Civil War historian and author, has published a new book … which takes its place as the definitive work on the massive fortifications of Nashville during the Civil War. Fortress Nashville is the first major work in which a historian’s research has so comprehensively described the massive fortification of the city, but which also has so clearly explained why this extraordinary task was critical to the war strategy of the U.S. Army. Zimmerman‘s book is a significant undertaking. Consisting of 344 pages, it not only pulls together in-depth research about Nashville’s infrastructure during the War, but also supports its analysis with 80 illustrations, charts and graphs, 204 photos, 76 maps, and numerous original artworks, including those of Philip Duer, former president and current board member of the Battle Of Nashville Trust. Other topics explored include the Pioneer Brigade, the First Michigan Engineers, U.S. Military Railroads, fortification technology and design, military hospitals, army depots and garrison towns, the Confederate river forts, fortifications associated with the epic Battle of Nashville, and antebellum pioneer forts.

—Battle of Nashville Trust, Inc.


Books for the Historically Curious




Publisher’s Note: Three Zimco Publications LLC books—Guide to Civil War Nashville; God, Guns, Guitars & Whiskey; and Gone Under—are updated and expanded 2nd editions. Guide to Civil War Nashville was first published in 2004 by the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, which still sells the first edition. The other two books were originally published in 2012 by Shagbark Publishing, which is now defunct.


Praise for Mud, Blood & Cold Steel:

“Zimmerman’s book served as an excellent guide—and as an inspiration to seek more on these December 1864 engagements.”

—John Banks, Civil War historian/author.


Praise for Iron Maidens and the Devil’s Daughters:

“An engrossing, comprehensive examination of key Civil War river battles.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A very important and needed addition to your Civil War library.”—Greg Biggs, Civil War Historian; President, Clarksville Civil War Roundtable.


Praise for Guide to Civil War Nashville:

“This guide is a MUST HAVE for anyone wanting to learn about the Battle of Nashville and wanting to tour the battlefield. I highly recommend it.” –Edwin C. Bearss, Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service.

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