Whether or not you are a history buff, Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center is definitely an enjoyable place to go. This four-acre park features amazingly well-preserved earthworks fort, powder magazine and gun platforms, and peaceful walking trails around the earthworks of the original fort. There are also some trails meandering along the ridge to view the serene river with a lovely overlook of the downtown Clarksville.

The 1,500-square-foot Interpretive Center highlights exhibits about the life at the fort and the surrounding area during the Civil War era. It also presents a short film on local Civil war history, earthworks, overlooks and cannons on the grounds.


  • Fort Defiance was originally occupied by American Indians. The area became a trading center and settlement when white settlers began arriving in the late 18th century.
  • Fort Defiance, once named as Fort Sevier and again as Fort Bruce, was constructed on the property of Clarksville by pioneer Valentine Sevier. It was renamed as Fort Defiance upon completion.
  • It was a cornerstone of the Confederate defense of the area, and then later on became an important part of the Union’s occupation of Clarksville.
  • During the Civil War, aiming to defend the river approach to Clarksville, the Confederate troops chose the hilltop as the best place to build a fort.
  • When the Union forces captured the Clarksville, Fort Defiance was abandoned by Confederate troops, leading to the fall of Nashville.
  • In 1982, Judge and Mrs. Sam Boaz donated the property to the City of Clarksville.
  • In 2008, the City got a $2.2 million federal grant that was combined with local funding to begin the construction of the Interpretive Center and walking trails.

Exhibit: "Crossroads of Change: Clarksville, TN 1861-1865"

  • Discover early settlement, the secession debate and pre-Civil War agriculture and industry in Clarksville
  • Hear from Clarksville’s soldiers, slaves, and citizens about their experiences of the Civil War and Union occupation
  • Check out the examples of the weapons during the Civil War and the clothing during the era
  • View and interpret maps
  • Know more about emancipation, the freedmen’s camp and the United States Colored Troops located at Fort Defiance
  • Watch a 16-minute film about Clarksville during the Civil War

Source: Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center Website


    • Annual March to the Past living history - live demonstrations of quilting, clothing, children’s games, and period medicine as well as demonstrations of military camp life, drill, and firing of long arms and artillery.
    • 153rd Commemoration of Surrender of Clarksville

         February 21, 2015 (Saturday), 10am-4pm

         Enjoy living history, musket firing demonstration, tour the permanent exhibit and more

Source: Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center Official Website

Contact Information

Website: Fort Defiance Civil War Park

Address: 120 Duncan St., Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: (931) 472-3351

Fax: (931) 553-2432

Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center is a great place to go to gain more knowledge and better understanding of events of the Civil War and Clarksville’s role in it. It is a well-preserved piece of history that everyone can experience and explore, run by people who are very knowledgeable and passionate in helping people learn more about our history.

Been to Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center? Tell us about your experience by leaving your comments below.

Posted by Justin Cory on


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