TECHNOLOGY & INDUSTRY
(Graphic courtesy of www.rrhistorical.com)
The American Civil War is often called the first truly "modern" war, because that conflict experienced the tremendous impact of drastic scientific and technological changes associated with the Industrial Revolution which flowered in America during the nineteenth century. For a general discussion of the impact of the Industrial Revolution on nineteenth century warfare, please visit the Industrial Revolution and Warfare pages.
Tennessee, although primarily agriculturally-oriented
and lagging somewhat behind more northerly states in technological/industrial
development (along with other southern states), nevertheless had begun
to embrace many aspects of the Industrial Revolution at the time of the
Civil War. Moreover, Tennessee's strategic location between the northern
and southern states ensured that it would play a pivotal role in the military
events of the Western Theater during the Civil War. Thus, beyond
the purely military aspects, Tennessee's Civil War experience includes
many technological/industrial components that--along with their human impact--deserve
our deeper interest and further exploration.
Tennessee's Civil War
technological/industrial heritage involves a great variety of topics.
Although full development of this complicated story will require many years,
at the outset of the NHACWTn project only the outlines of the overall story
can be articulated, and are organized into the following table which provides
links to information on the relevant topics. The table emphasizes
Tennessee technologies and industries influenced by the Industrial Revolution
and associated with the Civil War--this listing is not exhaustive, and
additional topics will be added as further information becomes available.
Small Arms Manufacturers
Furnaces, Works & Forges
Copper Mines & Smelters
Saltpeter Caves & Works
Factories & Mills
PRESERVATION & INTERPRETATION
Tennessee's Civil War technological/industrial
heritage constitutes an important component of the state's (and the nation's)
history. This rich heritage, both technological and human in character,
deserves preservation and interpretation for the enlightenment and understanding
of current and future generations. As with most heritage resources,
the physical remnants of early technologies and industries grow increasingly
scarce, so that it becomes vitally important to preserve the survivors
which speak to the realities of the past. For inventories of surviving
technological/industrial resources, please refer to the appropriate thematic
pages linked to the preceding table. The following tables provide
information relating to the preservation and interpretation of Tennessee's
surviving Civil War technological/industrial resources.
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Last update: December 7, 2000