Battle of Nashville / Civil War Sites
Battle of Nashville Preservation Society
Tennessee State Capitol
(Union Fort Johnson)
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Tour Sites

Tennessee State Capitol

Left: The Capitol as seen from its southeast corner on Charlotte Avenue.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger image in a new window:

State Capitol Tower

Close-up of the Capitol tower

Andrew Jackson Statue

Statue of Andrew Jackson, U.S. President and hero of the Battle of New Orleans

Andrew Johnson Statue

Statue of Andrew Johnson, U.S. President

President Polk Tomb

Tomb of President and Mrs. James K. Polk

Sam Davis Statue

Statue of Sam Davis, "Boy Hero of the Confederacy"

Seeing It:
Tennessee State Capitol
Charlotte Ave., between 6th and 7th Ave, in downtown Nashville. Brochure for self-guided tour available.
Call (615) 741-2692 or 741-1621.

Admission is free. Open to public, Mon.-Fri., 9-4

Directions: From I-40 take Charlotte Ave. exit, turn right and travel toward downtown. Capitol is four blocks on the left. Public parking lots (fee) are nearby.

Location Maps.

Federal fort during Union occupation:
The majestic Tennessee State Capitol, completed in 1859, is located on a high hill in downtown Nashville. It was one of the most magnificent public buildings of its time, anywhere in the U.S.

The distinctive tower is designed after the monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece. The architect, William Strickland, died in 1854 and is entombed above the cornerstone. The exterior and interior walls are massive blocks of limestone.

During the Union occupation of Nashville (1862-65), the Capitol was tranformed into Fortress Andrew Johnson. The artillery located there never had to be fired in battle, but were used for drills and celebrations.

View from State Capitol during the War.

The Capitol, still in use by state government, features numerous works of art, historical murals and frescos, portraits, massive chandeliers, the House and Senate chambers and library, and the Governor’s Office.

The grounds include the tomb of President and Mrs. James K. Polk, the famous equestrian statue of President Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans, and statues of President Andrew Johnson (also governor and military governor) and Sam Davis, “Boy Hero of the Confederacy," World War I hero Sgt. Alvin York, and Senator Edward W. Carmack.

About the architecture:
Designed by William Strickland, who moved here from Philadelphia to supervise construction, the capitol is one of the most highly regarded Greek Revival style buildings in the nation.

It is considered by many the masterpiece of Strickland's distinguished career, which began with an apprenticeship to Benjamin Latrobe, first architect of the U.S. Capitol.

The interior is a match for the exterior in elegance and refinement. Worth mentioning is Strickland's extensive use of cast iron, an avant garde building material in the 1840s.

Strickland died before construction was completed; according to his wishes, he was buried in the walls of the capitol. His tomb is visible at the northeast corner of the building near the north entrance.

Nearby Attractions:

"Women of the Confederacy," a bronze statue by xxxxxx, can be seen at the War Memorial Building's south plaza. The War Memorial Building is located south of the State Capitol.

North of the State Capitol, across James Robertson Parkway, is the Bicentennial Mall State Park, which features several attractions related to the history of Tennessee.

Several blocks from the State Capitol are St. Mary's Cathedral and the Downtown Presbyterian Church, both built before the war and used as hospitals during the war.

Source: Metropolitan Historical Commission