Pulaski, TN – Nov. 2022 – Commemorate Pulaski’s Civil War history as we unveil an official Civil War Trails marker at Cave Springs Heritage Plaza on Wednesday, November 16 at 11:00 am with Civil War Trails Inc., the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and the Giles County Chamber of Commerce.
The community is invited to attend the unveiling event, located at 590 North First Street.
The Civil War Trails interpretive sign, titled “Fort Lilly: Guarding Vital Roads and Railways,” commemorates and educates about the U.S. Army’s Fort Lilly. Fort Lilly was located on what is today known as Fort Hill, visible from much of Pulaski. At Fort Lilly, local U.S. Colored Troops served alongside U.S. soldiers from across the country to maintain the U.S. Army presence in Giles County during the Civil War.
The marker is the first permanent installation honoring local history in the recently rededicated Cave Springs Heritage Plaza. Alderman Ricky Keith says the plaza will become “a learning experience for generations to come and a tribute to those who have gone before.” The next planned installation in the Heritage Plaza is a statue of a U.S. Colored Troops soldier, commissioned by the Community Advisory Council on Inclusive Recognition & Acknowledgement.
As a partnership between the Giles County Chamber, Wolf Gap and Civil War Trails, the sign has been four years in the making as organizers secured a suitable location, sign text and images, and funding. Civil War Trails, Inc. always relies on local partners to design, write, fund, and find locations for new signs. Donations in support of this sign’s creation came from the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, the Eli Lilly Foundation, the Giles County Historical Society, Wolf Gap, and many individual donors. This sign joins five existing Civil War Trails signs located across Giles County, but is the first sign in our area recognizing the service of U.S. Colored Troops. Information about all Civil War Trails signs is available at www.civilwartrails.org.
“Civil War Trails contacted us in 2018 about creating a new sign to share part of the African American and U.S. Army experience in Giles County during the Civil War,” said Wolf Gap Executive Director Kelly Hamlin. “This sign at Fort Hill is a great start, and we’re looking forward to continued work with Civil War Trails to tell a fuller story of the Civil War across Giles County.”
"This is the newest site which is part of the program which offers over 1,400 sites across six states for visitors to explore," said Drew Gruber, Executive Director of Civil War Trails, Inc. "We are constantly receiving new applications which is encouraging but this story is one we've been especially excited to share with the world."
Giles Chamber CEO Jessie Parker mentions that “Civil War Trails has always been a popular tourism attraction nationally, but honoring the U.S. Colored Troops’ efforts in Giles County is personal for this community. We are ready to tell our story our way - not the way that has been more popular in the past. This community is diverse and works together to be a great place to live.”
“Tennessee’s historic sites and trails serve an important role in both preserving our history and inspiring tourism,” said Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “It’s important we recognize and honor the contributions of Black Tennesseans and this new marker in Giles County is an important step in doing just that.”
Leading up to Black History Month, a series of stories about Giles County’s African American History will bring to light the profound impact many individuals have had on making our community what it is today.
(photo) CWT Pulaski Oct 22. Jason Shaffer, Operations Manager for Civil War Trails, Inc. squares up the new sign pedestal. Besides placing the visitor in the center of the ring of fortifications, the sign itself was carefully installed utilizing accessibility guidelines. Courtesy, Civil War Trails, Inc.
(photo) CWT Pulaski Oct 22a. Jason Shaffer (left), Operations Manager for Civil War Trails, Inc. and Kelly Hamlin, Executive Director of Wolf Gap, set the new sign which is located at Cave Springs Heritage Plaza, 590 North 1st St., Pulaski, TN. Courtesy, Civil War Trails, Inc.