Tennessee Wars Commission

Tennessee Wars Commission

The Tennessee General Assembly enacted legislation in April 1994 creating the Tennessee Wars Commission (TWC), which is administratively attached to the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC). The duties of the Wars Commission are performed by one staff member, the Director of Programs. The Wars Commission’s mission of preserving and interpreting Tennessee’s military heritage is realized in part by funding grants, through civic and governmental engagement, education and interpretation, and by way of conservation efforts.

The Wars Commission has been charged with coordinating planning efforts, the preservation and promotion of structures, buildings, sites, and battlefields in Tennessee from the French and Indian War (1754-1763), American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), War of 1812 (1812-1815), Mexican-American War (1846-1848) through the Civil War (1861-1865) era. The Wars Commission is also charged with acquiring or providing funds for the acquisition of battlefields, cemeteries, Underground Railroad sites, and other properties associated with the aforementioned conflicts.

Since its establishment 30 years ago, the Wars Commission has helped acquire and permanently protect over 8,000 acres of historic properties including the Camp Blount Historic Site, a War of 1812 muster site that gave Tennessee the moniker the “Volunteer State.” With the creation of the Civil War Sites Preservation Grant Fund (CWSPF) in 2013, 1,100 acres of hallowed Civil War ground have been perpetually preserved. To date, the Wars Commission Grant Fund (WCGF) has supported well over one hundred different projects that preserve, protect, and interpret Tennessee’s military heritage. These projects have included funding:

  • archaeological and geophysical surveys of Battle of Nashville sites including the largest inland stone fortification, Fort Negley.
  • the creation of the State-Wide Battlefield Preservation Plan by the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association that aims to realize additional opportunities for Civil War battlefield preservation.
  • the development of the Road to Freedom Brochure and Mobile Application, a heritage tourism resource highlighting the African American experience during the Civil War focusing on compelling stories of strife, growth, and community by surfacing concepts of empowerment and self-emancipation.

War-Related Preservation Resources

  • The Wars Commission produced a comprehensive plan entitled, “Preservation and Interpretation Plan for Civil War Resources in Tennessee” in June 2000. 
  • A Path Divided: Tennessee's Civil War Heritage Trail, is a brochure long-recognized as the most-requested brochure at Tennessee Welcome CentersView the digital version of Path Divided.  
  • An Emmy Award-winning video, Hallowed Ground: Preserving Tennessee's Civil War Battlefields, was produced in 2001. The DVD was sent to over 2,000 Tennessee public schools for use in their libraries and history classes associated with the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades.
    • These DVDs are available for purchase at $7.99 per copy. To purchase, please email Mrs. Angela Campbell.      
  • Ready to Die for Liberty: Tennessee's United States Colored Troops in the Civil War by Maria C. Brent and Joseph E. Brent commemorates the legacy of the USCT during the Civil War. 
    • These books are available for purchase at $9.95 per copy. To purchase, please email Mrs. Angela Campbell.      
Nina Scall
Director of Programs
(615) 770-1095