Knoxville, TN - A new Tennessee Civil War Trails Marker to be unveiled on December 5 will focus on Knoxville as a bitterly divided city.  Located at the Knox County Courthouse, the marker tells the story of the happenstance of simultaneous Union and Confederate rallies taking place in April 1861 only blocks apart on Gay Street.  Knoxvillian Samuel Bell Palmer witnessed the rallies firsthand, and with amazing accuracy, sketched the scene from memory while a prisoner-of-war at Camp Douglas, Illinois.  Those familiar with downtown will recognize several of the buildings, such as the Lamar House on the south end of Gay and the tower of the Catholic Church to the north.

The dedication will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., December 5 at the Knox County Courthouse, Main Street.  Participating in the dedication will be Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.  Representing the state is Tennessee State Historian Dr. Carroll Van West, who, along with Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker, co-chairs the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Others participating in the program are East Tennessee Historical Society Director Cherel Henderson, and Calvin Chappelle, chair of the Knox County Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

The Tennessee Civil War Trails Program is part of a five-state trails system that encourages visitors to explore both well-known and familiar sites associated with events of the Civil War.  Tennessee has 310 markers, and its trails guide is the most requested of the five states, which also include Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.  “Knoxville: A Divided City” is the eighth Civil War Trails marker in Knox County.  Local sponsor for the marker is the East Tennessee Historical Society.


PROGRAM:Unveiling and Dedication of Tennessee Civil War Trails Marker “Knoxville: A Divided City”


DATE:Friday, December 5, 2014 at noon


LOCATION: Old Knox County Courthouse 300 Main Street Knoxville, TN 37902


 About the ETHS

Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society is widely acknowledged as one of the most active history organizations in the state and enjoys a national reputation for excellence in programming and education.  For 180 years the East Tennessee Historical Society has been helping East Tennesseans hold on to our unique heritage—recording the events, collecting the artifacts, and saving the stories that comprise the history we all share.


The program is free and open to the public.  For more information on the marker unveiling, exhibitions, or other programs, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at