National Campground

National Campground (HM1BBY)

Location: Greenback, TN 37742 Loudon County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 41.25', W 84° 13.302'

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Bivouac of Reconciliation

In November 1863, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet besieged Knoxville and Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's force there. Late in the month, after the Federal victory at Chattanooga, Gen. William T. Sherman led his corps north through largely Unionist Loudon County to Knoxville to relieve the siege. Sherman's men bivouacked at several places in thecounty, transforming the countryside into an armed camp.

After the war, a camp of a different sort was created. In 1873, R. Peter Hughes sold land here for use as a campground religious services. According to the campground's records, "A few well disposed Christian men conceived the idea of a great meeting to promote the cause of our Great Redeemer and unite the different denominations in Christian fellowship, and to allay the feuds engendered by the late national difficulties." Some of the trustees had been Confederates, others Unionists, but they set aside those loyalties to overcome the war's bitterness and urged others here to do the same.

Originally called Union Campmeeting, the property later was named National Campground. The first meetings were held in a tent. In 1874 the Tabernacle Shed was constructed from timber donated by neighboring farmers. It still stands, appearing as it did then, just beyond the trees to your left. It is the only surviving original building. Thousands of people came by horse and wagon, some staying for the full two weeks of round-the-clock services. Meetings have been held annually since 1873, and today September services are held nightly on five consecutive evenings. The National Campground was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Preachers House - Courtesy Greenback Historical Society
National Campground meeting, 1908 - Courtesy Greenback Historical Society
Boarding House - Courtesy Greenback Historical Society
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 6:18am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 751417 N 3952846
Decimal Degrees35.68750000, -84.22170000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 41.25', W 84° 13.302'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 41' 15.00" N, 84° 13' 18.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1859 King Rd, Greenback TN 37742, US
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