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Johnny Clem Drummer Boy of Shiloh Battle of Shiloh Battle of Pittsburg Landing Shiloh Tennessee April 1862
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Tennessee is a state located in the Southern United States. In 1796, it became the sixteenth state to join the Union. Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State", a nickname earned during the War of 1812 because of the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from Tennessee, especially during the Battle of New Orleans. The capital city is Nashville, and the largest city is Memphis.

The capital is Nashville, though Knoxville, Kingston, and Murfreesboro have all served as state capitals in the past. Memphis has the largest population of any city in the state, but Nashville has had the state's largest metropolitan area since circa 1990; Memphis formerly held that title. Chattanooga and Knoxville, both in the eastern part of the state near the Great Smoky Mountains, each has approximately a third of the population of Memphis or Nashville. The city of Clarksville is the fifth significant population center, some 45 miles (70 km) northwest of Nashville.

Tennessee celebrated its bicentennial in 1996.

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Many battles were fought in the stateómost of them Union victories. Ulysses S. Grant and the United States Navy captured control of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers in February 1862 and held off the Confederate counterattack at Shiloh in April of the same year.

Capture of Memphis and Nashville gave the Union control of the Western and Middle sections. Control was confirmed at the Battle of Stones River at Murfreesboro in early January 1863. After Nashville was captured (the first Confederate state capital to fall) Andrew Johnson, an East Tennessean from Greeneville, was appointed military governor of the state by Lincoln. The military government abolished slavery in the state and Union troops occupied much of the state through the end of the war. The long occupation depleted resources and contributed to a breakdown in the social order in many areas.

The Confederates continued to hold East Tennessee despite the strength of Unionist sentiment there, with the exception of pro-Confederate Sullivan County.

The Confederates besieged Chattanooga in early fall 1863 but were driven off by Grant in November. Many of the Confederate defeats can be attributed to the poor strategic vision of General Braxton Bragg, who led the Army of Tennessee from Shiloh to Confederate defeat at Chattanooga.

The last major battles came when the Confederates invaded in November 1864 and were checked at Franklin, then totally destroyed by George Thomas at Nashville in December.

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