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GAY STREET BRIDGE: DIVIDED LOYALTIES
 
       

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First Creek: Treaty of the Holston
Gay Street Bridge: Divided Loyalties
Volunteer Landing: Main Pavilion
Secret History Walk
Spy Glasses

gay street bridgeThe state of Tennessee seceded from the Union in the midst of the Civil War. East Tennessee, however, maintained its standing as an island of Union support. The city of Knoxville was home to both a core of avowed Confederates and devoted Unionists.

Divided as it was within the region and from the state, East Tennessee was in a constant state of turmoil during the Civil War. During the first two years of the war, the region was controlled by the confederacy; the Union Army, however, held sway during the last two years. Under these circumstances, the often repeated image of neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother, was very much a grim reality. The uncertainty of it all led one to question who was friend and who was foe.

As a product of East Tennessee's strong divided loyalties, the region sent more men into the Confederate Army than any other Southern state except North Carolina; it also sent more men into the Union Army than four Northern states.

A monument is planned along the Volunteer Landing boardwalk at the base of the Gay Street bridge commemorating the period in the history of the city of Knoxville when it was largely a "Divided City." The "Divided City" monument would consist of a large slab of stone or marble subdivided by the riverfront pathway. The two sections of the monument represent the polarization that occurred in Knoxville during the Civil War as a result of the city's unique ethnic and geographic characteristics. Each section features engraved scenes descriptive of life in Knoxville at the time. Overhead would be a series of shade panels that call to mind the canvas tents of the Union and Confederate troops who at varying times occupied the city. At night, these shade panels and the interior walls of the Divided City sculpture would be dramatically lit.

 

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Markets & Fairs

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