Many tourists visit downtown Nashville to check out the music and bar scene. Few tourists check out the ruins of an old Civil War fort on a hill a few miles south of downtown. Fort Negley was built by Union troops after the capture of Nashville Civil War. It was the largest inland fort built in the United States during the war between the states. Named for Union Army commander General James S. Negley, it was constructed on St. Cloud Hill mostly by freed slaves that were conscripted into the Union Army.
The fort was never used in battle with many battles taking place south of the fort. Shortly after the war, the it was abandoned and fell into ruin. Restoration of the historic fort began in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration but ended at the start of World War II. The old fort sat abandoned for decades until the early 2000s when the ruins were stabilized and a new entrance was added. There were plans to expand the site to include a park but archeologists discovered the remains of African Americans who died while constructed the fort and it was believed they were buried in a makeshift grave. The plans were scraped and it was decided to not disturb the remains of the unmarked graves.
Today, the ruins are open to tourists and they can walk the pathway around the site. Boardwalks pass through and over the remains of the stone walls for visitors to get a closer look at the old Civil War fort. If you are ever in Music City be sure to check out the ruins of Fort Negley and you can get a good view of Nashville from atop of St. Cloud Hill
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