Fort Negley Memorial Trail

Fort Negley Memorial Trail

A Fort Donelson Memorial Trail*, Reconnoitering Trail

*A Boy Scouts of America Approved Historical Trail

Download a printable version of the: Fort Negley Memorial Trail.


Hiking Safety Procedures:

All Hikers must hike on the LEFT side of the pathway trail.  Review Chapter 8, “Hiking” in the Boy Scout Handbook. Each group should have a minimum of two adults hiking with the group. Each participant will need a print out of the Trail Instructions, a map and a credential sheet form along with a writing instrument. Each group will need a compass (a least one compass per four people).

Please BE RESPECTFUL, Fort Negley is on the National Register of Historical Places, your behavior and demeanor should be maintained with a high sense of respect.

DO NOT attempt to go over or around any of the barricades that surround certain sections of the Fort.

DO NOT climb on any of the masonry stone works or walls.

DO NOT sit, climb on or use as a table any of the historical plaques.

Please DO NOT litter.

Information on Historical Marker and Historical Plaques

There is only one Metro Nashville Historical Marker located at the entrance to Fort Negley.

The Historical Plaques will have photographs, historical information, maps and artist renditions on them.

Fort Negley is open year round from dawn to dusk. There are restroom facilities, picnic tables and a water source available at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is open Noon to 4PM Tues – Fri, 9AM to 4PM on Sat.  SEPT to MAY. Summertime hours, JUNE to AUG, Noon to 4PM, Tues to Thur, 9AM to 4PM Fri and Sat.

Travel to and enter Fort Negley, located on 1100 Fort Negley Blvd., Nashville, TN 37203, just off of Chesnut Street, drive to the back parking lot behind the Visitor Center. Park your vehicle in the spaces provided. You may also park alongside the sidewalk in designated spaces at the front Entrance to the Fort. Each participant that correctly answers the questions will be eligible for a Fort Negley Reconnoitering Pin for the Fort Donelson Trail medal ribbon.


Enter the Visitor Center and watch the movie regarding the building of Fort Negley. Next hike outside to the entrance to the fort -locate and read the Metro Nashville Historical Commission Marker titled “Fort Negley Site”.

  1. What were the locations of the three turnpikes that the guns of Fort Negley had a commanding view of during the opening of the Battle of Nashville?
  2. What was the date of the Battle of Nashville?
  3. What four materials were used to build Fort Negley?

Next hike to the stone arched entrance of Fort Negley, locate the historical plaque, “Fort Negley”

  1. What was the name of the hill that Fort Negley was built on?

Locate the historical plaque, “The Road to War”

  1. What month and year did the State of Tennessee vote to leave the Union?

Locate the historical plaque, ‘The Civil War”.

  1. How many Americans died from the Civil War between 1861 and 1865?
  2. Who was the Governor of Tennessee in 1861?

Locate the historical plaque, “War in the West”.

  1. Name the four Union major campaigns and engagements that were supplied from Nashville.
  2. How many years did the Federals occupy Nashville?

Using the map on the historical plaque:

  1. How many States were the United States comprised of in 1861?
  2. In 1861 how many states sided with the Confederate States?
  3. How many states sided with the Federal “Union” States?

Next hike on the paved trail to your right travelling west and locate the historical plaque on your left, “Nashville Surrendered”.

  1. What was the name of the Fort on the Cumberland River that was captured by Union forces on February 16, 1862, which would leave Nashville open to the Federal advance?
  2. What was the distance between that captured Fort and Nashville?
  3. What date did the city of Nashville surrender to the Federal forces?
  4. What was the name of the Union gunboat that arrived in Nashville at the Cumberland River wharf below Front St (First Ave) on the day of the surrender?
  5. What was the name of the Federal general that Nashville Mayor R.B. Cheatham surrendered to?

Continue hiking on the trail and locate the historical plaque on the left, “Union Major General ………………”

  1. What was the name of the battle in October of 1862 that he was in, in which he would eventually be relieved of his command?

Continue hiking and locate the historical plaque on the left, “Andrew Johnson”.

  1. What month and year was he appointed as Military Governor of Tennessee by President Abraham Lincoln?
  2. What did Andrew Johnson urge the Federal Army to do when he was appointed Military Governor?
  3. In 1864 he was elected as Vice President, He became President after Lincoln’s assassination in April of 1865. What was his presidential number order?

Continue hiking and locate the historical plaque on the right “Captain ………………”

  1. Who designed Fort Negley?
  2. What month and year was he ordered to design and build the fortifications around Nashville?

Continue hiking and locate the historical plaque on the right, “The Nashville City Cemetery”

  1. What was the name of the Federal Army contractor caretaker who buried the Federal and Confederate dead at the Nashville City Cemetery?
  2. How many Federal and Confederate soldiers did he bury in Nashville during the war?
  3. What year were the Federal dead removed to the Nashville National Cemetery on Gallatin Pike?
  4. Where were the Confederate dead reburied?
  5. Which side did William Driver’s sons fight for during the war?
  6. Where did William Driver conceal “Old Glory” in order to hide it from Confederate supporters?

Continue hiking and locate the historical plaque on the right, “Samuel R. Lowery”.

  1. Which units did he serve as a Chaplin during the Federal Occupation of Nashville?

Continue hiking and locate the historical plaque on the right, “Building Fort Negley”.

  1. Who was the fort named after and what was his position in the Federal Army in Nashville?
  2. How many months did it take to complete Fort Negley?
  3. How many acres of land did the fort cover?
  4. What notable recognition did the fort receive?
  5. Who did the Federals force and impress to build Fort Negley?
  6. How many of them were enrolled as laborers during the construction of Fort Negley?
  7. How many of them died during the construction of Fort Negley and the other fortifications around Nashville?

Continue hiking turning left traveling along the trail toward the fort. Locate the historical plaque on the left, “Sally Port”

  1. What is the Sally Port?

To your right locate the historical plaque “Fortress Nashville”.

  1. Once the Federals occupied Nashville, what were the two primary factors that they utilized the city for regarding their operations in the entire Western Theatre?
  2. During one month in 1863 how many steamboats were able to unload 62,666 tons of cargo for the support of the Federal occupation?
  3. While James S. Morton was a student at West Point in 1851, what was the name of his military Instructor (teacher) who had written a book entitled Treatise on Field Fortifications in 1836?

Continue hiking going through the Sally Port and turning to your left, hike along the boardwalk trail and locate the historical plaque at the second Redan, “Guns of Fort Negley”.

  1. In November of 1862 what was the inventory of Fort Negley’s artillery pieces? List the type of cannon and the number of that type. Include the total number.
  2. In 1864 what upgraded artillery piece did the fort receive?
  3. What was the length of this cannon?
  4. How far could a thirty pound shell travel?

Continue hiking following the board walk trail to your right, locate the historical plaque, “Diary of John Hill Ferguson”

  1. What is the name of the area in Nashville that Sergeant John Hill Ferguson writes about that has men of “inferior character” and “degraded women”?

Continue hiking following the board walk trail to your right, locate the historical plaque, “The Bastions”.

  1. What two roads or pikes did Captain Morton assume an assault against Fort Negley would come from?
  2. What is a bastion?

Hike back toward the Sally Port and turn left, enter the upper interior of the fort and locate the historical plaque on your right “The Inner Works”.

  1. What type of cannon was placed along the northern position of the fort which protected the south area of the State Capital?
  2. What was the Stockade designed for?
  3. What was used as observation and signal towers in the Stockade?

Hike towards the south and locate the historical plaque, “Fort Design”.

  1. What level are the following sections of the fort located on? A. Redans, B. Casemates, C. Stockade.

Locate the historical plaque titled “Peach Orchard Hill”

  1. Which United States Colored Troop Regiment was involved in the assault on the Confederate positions at Peach Orchard Hill during the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864?
  2. How many of their color bearers were killed during the assaults?

Locate the historical plaque “Battle of Nashville”

  1. After the battle of Franklin, on December 2, 1864, Confederate General Hood led the Army of Tennessee to the outskirts of Nashville in an attempt to capture the city and the Federal garrison. What was the name of the road or pike south of Nashville in which Hood’s army spent about 2 weeks building a series of fortified redoubts?
  2. What was the first Confederate position that the Federals assaulted on December 15, 1864?

(This site is located present day on Polk Ave between Nolensville Road and Fessler’s Lane.)

  1. On December 16, 1864 the Federals assaulted Compton’s Hill on the Confederate left flank. What was Compton’s Hill called after the Battle of Nashville?
  2. What were the Confederate and Federal casualties after the battle of Nashville?

Locate the historical plaque “Union Defenses”.

  1. In 1863 what were the two main reasons why work was halted on Forts Morton and Houston?
  2. What was the name of the man whose house was dismantled in order to build Fort Houston?

(Fort Houston was on the site where the Music Row roundabout statue is located present day)

  1. Where was the Blockhouse casino located?
  2. Fort Morton was located at present day Rose Park. List the artillery pieces that were at Fort Morton.

Locate the historical plaque “Union Garrison at Fort Negley”

  1. After the Battle of Stones River (also called the Battle of Murfreesborough or Murfressboro) in January 1863 how many companies did General Rosecrans order to be housed within the works of Fort Negley?
  2. What was the area called where makeshift barracks were constructed?
  3. How many men could be garrisoned at Fort Negley?

Follow the trail back to the Sally Port and turn left following the gravel trail down the hill. Locate the historical plaque “Decline and Restoration of Fort Negley”.

  1. When was the last year that the Federal troops occupied Fort Negley?
  2. In 1936 what was the name of the government entity that recreated/restored Fort Negley?

Congratulations you have completed the Fort Negley Memorial Trail!

Each participant is eligible to receive a FT NEGLEY Reconnoitering Award Pin for your Fort Donelson Trail Medal Ribbon.

Please go to the ordering form for more details.