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Fort Defiance
Clarksville Tennessee Recreation


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NameFort Defiance
Address120 Duncan Street
Clarksville
Brief DescriptionThis Civil War site now boasts a state-of-the-art interpretive center
TypeActivity
CategoryRecreation
DescriptionOriginally an Earthenworks fort, this site is a Civil War landmark. In 2011 a state-of-the-art Interpretive Center was created, providing a look into Clarksville's Civil War history.

History
Located on a bluff 200 feet above the confluence of the Red and Cumberland Rivers in Clarksville, Tennessee, the Fort Defiance site has been a hub of activity for more than two centuries. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, white settlers began arriving in the late 18th Century. The area became a trading center and settlement. During the Civil War, the hilltop was chosen by Confederate troops as a site to construct a fort to defend the river approach to Clarksville.

In February 1862, the fort was captured by Union forces, renamed and occupied for the remainder of the war. The site was a magnet for runaway and freed slaves, and many were employed in and around the fort. A visitor today will find Fort Defiance remarkably well preserved; the outer earthworks, powder magazine and gun platforms are still discernible.

In 1982, Judge and Mrs. Sam Boaz donated the property to the City of Clarksville. In 2008, the City secured a $2.2 million federal grant that was combined with local funding to begin the construction of the Interpretive Center and nearly a mile of walking trails. The more than 1,500-square-foot Interpretve Center features exhibits about the surrounding area and the fort during the Civil War era.

Amenities:
Gift shop
Picnic Tables
Walking Trail
Temporary and permanent exhibits
Restrooms

Field Trips + Group Tours
Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center offers free group tours and field trips. Students may supplement their knowledge and help address curriculum requirements by exploring local history and the Civil War in Tennessee. In the exhibit “Crossroads of Change: Clarksville, Tennessee 1861-1865,” visitors:
LEARN about early settlement, pre-Civil War agriculture and industry in Clarksville, and the secession debate
HEAR from Clarksville’s soldiers, slaves, and citizens about their experiences of the Civil War and Union occupation
SEE examples of Civil War weaponry and period clothing
EXAMINE & INTERPRET maps
LEARN about emancipation, the United States Colored Troops, and the freedmen’s camp located at Fort Defiance
VIEW a 16-minute film about Clarksville during the Civil War

Field trips and groups also have the opportunity to experience guided tours of the grounds, explore Civil War-era earthwork fortifications, and hear about the equipment and day-to-day life of a Civil War soldier, as well as about the colonial history of the area surrounding Fort Defiance, including Native Americans and Valentine Sevier. Lunch may also be carried in and eaten on the grounds. Depending on the size of your group, we recommend spending one hour minimum at the center. Book your tour by calling 931-472-3351 or email us for more information.

Events
Events at Fort Defiance Interpretive Center + Civil War Park provide opportunities for exploring the historic site in a whole different way. From March to the Past to Christmas in Occupied Clarksville, there is something for everyone. Check out our event calendar for upcoming events: https://www.facebook.com/pg/clarksvilleparksandrecreation/events/?ref=page_internal
Phone 1(931) 472-3351
Emailparksrec@cityofclarksville.com
Handicapped AccessibleNo
Websitewww.fortdefianceclarksville.com
Social LinksTwitter Facebook 
Last Updated11/28/2017
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