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.”

The Bear Springs Furnace

Stewart County is also known for iron industry, which was a big part of Perry County’s economy in the 1800s. Although the iron industry here is long gone, you can still see two beautiful remnants of it in Stewart County.

One, on the left, is the Bear Spring Furnace, which is south of Dover. The other, on the right, is the Great Western Furnace–located in what is now known as the Land Between the Lakes.

At foundries such as these, bars of pig iron were produced and shipped to foundries all over the country, where it was made into tools, machinery and other products. Although hundreds of people (many of them African-American slaves) worked at at these foundries once, these places are almost all abandoned today.



Here’s the Stewart County Courthouse.