American Civil War, 1861-1865

Nashville General Hospital, No. 15, Division 1, May 9, 1865

Nashville General Hospital No. 15, Division 1, May 9, 1865, Library Photograph Collection

Tennessee may have been the most divided state in the Civil War, for its different regions and competing ideologies battled over whether to join other Southern states in seceding or to remain in the Union. The state was the last to join the Confederacy, despite the fact that many regions (most notably East Tennessee) remained enthusiastically supportive of the Union. From 1861 to 1865 the state was ravaged by the war as Confederate and Union forces fought over 3200 battles and skirmishes here. During the Tennessee Sesquicentennial Celebration (2011-2015), TSLA will feature one exhibit a year covering the events of the Civil War in Tennessee. Featured in the current exhibit are photographs, dating from May 1865 to the 1920s, of some of the war’s veterans.

Five Confederate Veterans at a Tennessee reunion

Five Confederate veterans

Five Confederate Veterans, Library Photograph Collection


Men pictured include Billy Nolen, Joe Couch, and Claudius Buchanan.

Six Confederate Veterans

Six Confederate veterans

Six Confederate Veterans, Library Photograph Collection

This April 23, 1923, reunion may have been in New Orleans.

Confederate Veteran John B. Kennedy

John B. Kennedy, Pulaski, Tenn.

John B. Kennedy, Pulaski, Tenn., Library Photograph Collection

Kennedy served the Confederacy as a private with Company A of the 3rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment. He was wounded at Chickamauga and at Jonesboro, Georgia. Kennedy was one of the six original organizers of the Ku Klux Klan on December 24, 1865, in the Pulaski law office of Major Thomas M. Jones, and he would be the last of the six founders to die.

Civil War Veterans

Veterans reunion, 1922, Culleoka, Tenn.

Veterans Reunion, 1922, Culleoka, Tenn., John P. Hickman Civil War Collection

Reunion on January 24, 1922.

Civil War Veterans

Veterans Reunion, 1923, Springfield, Tenn.

Veterans Reunion, 1923, Springfield, Tenn., John P. Hickman Civil War Collection

Reunion on August 11, 1923


Search for more materials regarding the Civil War in Tennessee in the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA)