Take a trip to the past at the nation’s most well-preserved battlefield, Shiloh National Military Park. Start your trip at the park’s visitor center, which displays an impressive collection of Civil War era relics and narratives. Be sure to watch the center’s orientation film, pick up a Tennessee River Museum admission waiver, and check out the well-stocked bookstore. Afterward, enjoy a 13-mile self-guided tour around the park’s 5,000+ acres complete with over 150 monuments, 200 cannons, and 650 historic tablets. The park is also home to one other treasure worth visiting, a nesting pair of bald eagles.
Shiloh Indian Mounds
Shiloh Park is home to something even older than the site of a Civil War battlefield. Hundreds of years ago, a riverside community of Mississippi Mound Builders lived in Shiloh, leaving behind impressive reminders of their lives there. Visitors can learn about this ancient community along the 1.3-mile loop trail that winds around the remaining platform mounds. For a more in-depth interpretation, be sure to visit the Tennessee River Museum located in Savannah.
TN River Museum
Discover the unique history of the Tennessee River Valley at the Tennessee River Museum, located in Savannah. With exhibits ranging from paleontology to the Civil War, the museum offers a wide range of educational and interactive displays perfect for all ages as well as a gift shop stocked with one-of-a-kind books, toys, and other items. The museum provides an in-depth look at the Mississippi Mound Builder community which previously inhabited the Shiloh area and is home to the famous Shiloh Effigy Pipe.
Starting with the famous Cherry Mansion, Savannah’s Historic District features 42 unique homes and buildings offering a peak into the history of this riverside city. The 2-mile self-guided tour allows you to learn more about the now privately-owned homes as well several other points of interest downtown including the Savannah Theater, Savannah Cemetery, and recently rejuvenated Main Street.
With a goal of generating affordable electricity and stimulating the local economy, the Pickwick Dam began construction in 1935 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The name Pickwick was taken from a local post office and originally came from Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers. After completion in 1938, Pickwick became one of the first all-electric cities in the nation and the land that housed the construction workers was later transferred from the TVA to the state of Tennessee in 1969 to form the Pickwick Landing State Park.
Trail of Tears
After decades of rising tensions, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, forcing thousands of native tribes to move west. The following journey is known as the Trail of Tears and remains a marked trail as a reminder of the struggle they faced. Two main paths were traveled including one by land and one by water, both of which cross through Savannah. You can follow the trail today using a map or the Trail of Tears signs posted along the way.
Take a moment to reflect at the Savannah Veterans Memorial Park. The area includes 1.5 acres, a walking trail, and monuments dedicated to those who served in the military. Individual memorials honor veterans of WWI, WWII, the Spanish American War, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War as well as Medal of Honor awardees and World Peace.