In the inaugural episode of Nashville Retrospect Conversations, host Allen Forkum talks with Krista Castillo about the history of Fort Negley, the Union Civil War fortification on St. Cloud Hill in Nashville.
In this video Castillo, who is the museum coordinator of Fort Negley Park, discusses the early history of the hill, how Fort Negley was designed to protect Nashville from attacks by the Confederate army, and why the Union army forced “contraband” slaves to build the fort. She also relates the role the fort played in the Battle of Nashville and in the formation of United States Colored Troops. Numerous photos and illustrations show how the site has changed over the years, from a settlement after the war, to being rebuilt by the WPA in the 1930s, to being on the National Register of Historic Places and the UNESCO Slave Route project today.
For more information, visit the Fort Negley Park website and follow them on Facebook.
For more on this topic in The Nashville Retrospect:
• “Fort Negley: Sole Survivor of Nashville’s Civil War Defenses” by Terry Baker, The Nashville Retrospect, December 2009 issue
• “Treasure Trove” on St. Cloud Hill (1868), The Nashville Retrospect, May 2018 issue
• “Fort Negley Used By Old Klan, Veteran Says” (1924), The Nashville Retrospect, July 2019 issue
• “Fort Negley Restoration Before Group” (1963), The Nashville Retrospect, August 2017 issue
• "Encamped Upon Old Fort Negley" (1911), The Nashville Retrospect, September 2013 issue
• “Fort Negley Park: Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Cultural Report” by Metro Historical Commission and Metro Parks and Recreation (download book pdf)
• “Fort Negley” visitors brochure (download pdf)
Video production: Sonua Bohannon of Plum Writing & Marketing
Theme song: “Campfire Song“ by Chris Haugen (YouTube Audio Library)
Image sources: Case Antiques, Fort Negley Archives, Gary Layda, Library of Congress, Metro Archives, Metro Historical Commission, Metro Parks and Recreation, Mike Slate Collection, N. Flayderman & Co., National Archives, New York Public Library, Newspapers.com, Tennessee State Library and Archives.