Greene County Partnership
July 5, 2011
Some of the Civil War's most unexpected stories are shared in Greeneville, Tenn., the home of President Andrew Johnson and a town with divided loyalties. This 150th year since the start of the war might be the time to visit.
"There were predominately Unionists in (Greene) County, and the town was pretty much split 50-50," said Dr. Robert Orr, a historian who has studied this hotbed of Unionism in a Confederate state.
"Greene County had been an emancipationist stronghold from the pioneer days," he added. "The colleges were very enlightened. They allowed blacks, Indians and women to attend college. …The antislavery movement set them in the direction of staying with the Union when the war came."
The building known as "Old College," on the campus of Tusculum College, remains a popular visitor attraction. Students were deeply divided on secession. The burning in effigy of then-Sen. Johnson led to the suspension of classes during the war.
Visitors to the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site (423-638-3551, nps.gov/anjo) can tour his home and tailor shop and see his grave and monument atop Signal Hill. greenecountypartnership.com/tourism.aspx