Nashville Civil War fort gets ‘slave route’ designation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A fort built by African Americans during the Civil War in Nashville has received an international designation for its significance to the history of slavery.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has named Fort Negley a “Site of Memory,” as part of its Slave Route Project.

The Union forces that occupied Nashville in 1862 forced more than 2,700 free blacks and escaped slaves to build the fort in miserable conditions. About 600 to 800 died.

Vanderbilt University history professor Jane Landers has helped lead the charge to recognize and preserve Fort Negley.

Developers dropped plans for a housing and entertainment complex near the site after archaeologists found it likely still contains the buried remains of the African American laborers who were pressed into service to build it.

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