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TN History for Kids

Stewart County

The view from Fort Donelson
The hotel in Dover where Grant accepted the
surrender after the battle of Fort Donelson

Fort Donelson, near Dover, was the site of the first major Union victory in the Civil War.

The Battle of Fort Donelson left the city of Nashville wide open to invasion by the Union Army; it also established Ulysses S. Grant's reputation and gave him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender."

Bear Springs Furnace

Stewart County is also known for its early iron industry. From the 1820s until the 1850s, iron mining and smelting took place at a pace unmatched in the South (see the article on the right) Today there are still remnants of this early iron industry in Stewart County.

A closeup of Bear Springs Furnace

The most intriguing remnant of the iron industry is called Bear Springs Furnace, which you can see on the side of the highway!

Here's the Stewart County Courthouse.

Stewart County

County Seat: Dover

Population (2015 estimate): 13,259

Primary Source

Stewart County doesn't have any large employers today. However in the 1830s, the largest single employer in the state may very well have been there. It was called the Cumberland Iron Works, and it made bars of iron that were shipped all over the country to be made into stoves, tools, pans and other things.

Here is an article about the Cumberland Iron Works that appeared in the November 21, 1837 New York Evening Post:


What can we say about 230 of the 1,100 employees of the Cumberland Iron Works?


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