Nashville via Bicycle: Touring some Civil War sites

Sunday’s weather was pretty spectacular for mid-January in Nashville (mid-50’s and sunny!). Not wanting to let a great day go to waste, I decided to bike around and visit some of the Civil War sites in the area.

I used A Guide to Historic Nashville to plan the sites I wanted to visit. Using The Battle of Nashville auto tour as a starting point, I decided on Shy’s Hill, Stewart’s Line, The Battle of Nashville Monument and finally, Fort Negley.

You can check out my ride details here and below is the route I took.

Shy’s Hill

Shy's Hill
Shy’s Hill

The first stop of the day was Shy’s Hill. It seems that the people who fought the Civil War, enjoyed doing so on the biggest hills they could find so I got to experience more elevation gain than I normally do on my Nashville rides.

As I made my way up to the top of the hill on foot from the trailhead, I was struck by how hard it must have been to be the troops tasked with assaulting up the hill. I was worn out and tired just trying to walk up the dang hill, on a well maintained trail with switch backs and nobody was shooting at me. I can’t imagine having to go straight up this thing, with people trying like hell to kill me.

Once at the top there are the flags, wreath and cannon you see in the photo and nothing else really. Interesting bit of info I learned is that the blue flag is the Minnesota state flag as this battle is the single most deadly battle for Minnesota troops during the Civil War.

Stewart’s Line

Stewart's Line
Yep, just a random Civil War era stone wall running behind everybody’s houses….

The sign says this was a defensive line of Hood’s troops. Cool. 🙂

Battle of Nashville Monument
Battle of Nashville Monument

Battle of Nashville Monument

I’ve passed the monument a few times while driving somewhere else so it was pretty cool to bike to it and spend some time studying the sculptures and reading about it. Cool and cool!

From here I went on into 12 South and ate some lunch at Edley’s while the guys at Halcyon Bikes tuned up my bike.

The bartender at Edley’s was cool and had tattoos and stuff, though I think she had some pretty strange ideas about getting tattoos and the vibe she needs to feel about the place she’s getting them from.

Fort Negley

Fort Negley
Fort Negley

So this was the main destination in my mind and it was pretty damned cool. Since I was by myself, I got to read every placard so yay! When I’m visiting something like this with other people, I just always kind of feel like I have to hurry up because I don’t want to make them wait on my boring placard reading self; it was very nice to take as much time as I wanted here!

I learned a lot about the Civil War in Nashville on my trip today and I won’t bore you too much more with details. I do want to learn more about the Civil War though, so I purchased A Battle Cry for Freedom for the Kindle.

The weather was great, I got 23 miles on the bike, I learned lots of interesting things and I ate some good food while only spending $24 on the day (lunch). It was a great day.

Fort Negley

Here is the set of all the photos but I warn ya, I’m a terrible photographer.

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