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Fort Dickerson Park in Knoxville, Tennessee

Updated on August 22, 2010

The wife, dog, and I visited Fort Dickerson Park located in South Knoxville, about a mile south of the Tennessee River. I had just recently found out about this place, though I have drove by it probably a thousand times. It's relatively secluded, but very pretty.

It's relatively high up on a hilly area of town, so the views are marvelous. The negative aspect is that it's currently August, so all the green foliage is out and blocking most of the views of the UT Campus and the Downtown Knoxville area. My camera and I plan on going back sometime after the trees lose their leaves and snapping off a few more pictures of the view.

Directions:
Fort Dickerson Park is located on 3000 Fort Dickerson Road for those of you with GPS. For those of you without that luxury, here's some simplified driving directions: From downtown, take the Henley Street Bridge south to Chapman Highway; about three-quarters of a mile after crossing the bridge turn right onto Fort Dickerson Road, park is at the end of road.

Facilities:
Fort Dickerson is located on 85 acres of mostly wooded area. The park contains 2 shelters/pavilions, plenty of picnic tables, lots of open space, and quite a bit of unpaved scenic walking trails. You will also be able to walk through the Fort Dickerson Earthen Fort and get a close up look at 3 authentic replica canons. The park also contains the Harold Lambert Overlook, which overlooks a beautiful quarry. The parking lot is also large enough to make parking easily accessible for handicapped visitors.

Park Rules & Regulations
The rules are pretty simple, straight forward, and mostly common sense:

  • No alcoholic Beverages
  • No Firearms
  • No Open Fires
  • No Hitting of Golf Balls Anywhere in the Park
  • No Motorized Vehicles in the Park
  • No Equestrian Activity
  • All pets must be maintained on a leash
  • Be Respectful to Others on the Trail
  • Dispose of Trash in the Proper Receptacles

The park is open from dawn til dusk, unless otherwise posted.

Fort Dickerson Park Map

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Defending Knoxville

On November 4, 1863, Confederate General James Longstreet led two reinforced divisions from Chattanooga to attack Union General Ambrose E. Burnside's garrison at Knoxville.  Burnside confronted Longstreet below Knoxville, then withdrew on November 17.  Longstreet followed, besieging the city.  In Chattanooga, Union General Ulysses S. Grant's army defeated Confederate General Braxton Bragg's forces at the end of the month.  Grant ordered General William T. Sherman to reinforce Burnside.  Longstreet withdrew on December 4, as Sherman's 25,000 men approached.  Sherman soon rejoined Grant.

Click to Enlarge.
Click to Enlarge.

Civil War Earthen Fort, 1863

  • One of sixteen Union Army earthen forts and battery positions protecting Knoxville, November 1863-May 1865.
  • Named for Captain Johnathon C. Dickerson, 112th Illinois Mounted Infantry, who was killed near Cleveland, TN on September 18, 1863.
  • Repulsed assaults by 5,000 Confederate Calvary under General Joe Wheeler, November 15-16, 1863.
  • Withstood the Siege of Knoxville, November 17-December 4, 1863.
  • Provided artillery support for the Battles of Armstrong Hill, November 25 & 29, 1863.
  • Construction completed by the 104th Ohio Battery, February 1864.

Victor Ashe was the Mayor of Knoxville when Fort Dickerson became an official city park.  Samuel P. Anderson, was the Recreation Director.

Photos from the Fort:

Gun Embrasure
Gun Embrasure
3-Inch Ordnance Rifle
3-Inch Ordnance Rifle
Just a sample of the beautiful scenery located here
Just a sample of the beautiful scenery located here
I'd be willing to bet that during the Civil War, this fort didn't overlook a Ruby Tuesday
I'd be willing to bet that during the Civil War, this fort didn't overlook a Ruby Tuesday
For some reason, I thought these stairs were really neat
For some reason, I thought these stairs were really neat
With all the foliage still on the trees, this was about as good of a view one could get of the University of Tennessee campus & Downtown Knoxville area
With all the foliage still on the trees, this was about as good of a view one could get of the University of Tennessee campus & Downtown Knoxville area

Harold Lambert Overlook

Here's a view of the quarry from the Harold Lambert Overlook.  It's a beautiful sight.
Here's a view of the quarry from the Harold Lambert Overlook. It's a beautiful sight.
I found this sign to be quite ridiculous. Who would assume illegal activities would lead to an arrest?
I found this sign to be quite ridiculous. Who would assume illegal activities would lead to an arrest?

Comments

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    • profile image

      Debra 

      7 years ago

      Wow! Thanks for this review and photos. I look forward to exploring this.

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