The Civil War and Reconstruction

Civil War Cannon By 1860 the issue of slavery had become a tinderbox--a moral, social and economic issue which slowly divided the northern and southern states. Tennessee found itself divided when the General Assembly voted to secede. Many people in East Tennessee supported the Union and even fought in the Union Army.

Tennessee was the primary battlefield of the Civil War in the west, with more than 400 battles and skirmishes within its borders. Each of the major battles in Tennessee is highlighted with artifacts from the battlefield. The Tennessee State Museum's holdings of uniforms, battle flags and weapons are among the best in the nation.

Tennessean Andrew Johnson became the country's 17th president in 1865 after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. In conflicts with the U.S. Congress over reinstallment of southern states, Johnson was the first president to be impeached. After a trial in the Senate, Johnson was acquitted by one vote. Johnson's tickets to his own impeachment trial are included in the museum's exhibits about the president.

Displays include:

  • Sam Davis' boot cut open by Union troops to search for hidden papers;
  • General Patrick Cleburne's cap;
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest's revolver;
  • Photographs of Tennessee African-American Union soldiers;
  • Flag of Confederate raider, C.S.S. Alabama;
  • President Andrew Johnson's piano; and
  • Hand-drawn map of the Shiloh battlefield prepared for Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard

Return to Permanent Exhibits





tn4me

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

FREE ADMISSION

Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org

 





tn4me

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

FREE ADMISSION

Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org