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Jackson's
Military Road

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Introduction

Road Trip

Internet Resources

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Introduction

Introduction

 

      Jackson's Military Road was a route from Nashville, Tennessee to New Orleans, Louisiana. After the War of 1812, it was improved with federal funds, and it was named after Andrew Jackson.

     The Tuscumbian of Tuscumbia, Alabama printed a description of "General Jackson's Military Road" on November 12, 1824. It states its length at 436 miles (Nashville to Madisonville) or 516 miles (Nashville to New Orleans), an improvement of 200 miles over the Natchez Trace. The article describes the construction gang as averaging 300, "including sawyers, carpenters, blacksmiths, etc."

     The road included 35 bridges and 20,000 feet of causeway, particularly through the swamps of Noxubee County, Mississippi.  From Columbia, Tennessee, the Military Road passed through Lawrenceburg and crossed the Tennessee River between Killen, Alabama and Florence, Alabama. The road intersected the Gaines Trace at Russellville, Alabama (where it still exists as Jackson Avenue). It then cut cross-country through then-mostly unoccupied lands

of Alabama and Mississippi, including some still owned by the Choctaw Nation.

     In Hamilton, Alabama, "Military Street" marks the route of the Military Road. The road crossed the Tombigbee River in Columbus, Mississippi; the route still  exists  in  that  town  and  still  bears  the  name "Military Road" from the Alabama border to downtown. 

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West of the Tombigbee, the road passed through lands later assigned to Lowndes, Noxubee, Kemper, Newton, Jasper, Jones, Marion, and Pearl River Counties before crossing into Louisiana at the Pearl River twenty miles west of Poplarville, Mississippi. The road then passed directly from the future site of Bogalusa, Louisiana to Madisonville, Louisiana on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain.

Jackson's Military Road declined in importance in the 1840's due to disrepair and the difficult route through the swamps of Noxubee, and was largely replaced by the Robinson Road.  The route later became part of the Jackson Highway.

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Winding Road 1

Road Trip

Road Trip

Winding Road 2

If you have traced your 18th or 19th century ancestors to any of the counties listed below it is quite possible that they traveled to that location along this migration route.  Therefore you may find additional relevant information about your ancestral lineages by taking the following road trip through these localities.

COUNTY (Road Trip Segment)

COUNTY (Road Trip Segment)

COUNTY (Road Trip Segment)

Clarke County, MS (6)

Clay County, MS (4)

Colbert County, AL (2)

Covington County, MS (6)

Davidson County, TN (1)

Dickson County, TN (1)

Fayette County, AL (3)

Forrest County, MS (7)

Franklin County, AL(2,3)

Giles County, TN (2)

Hancock County, MS (8)

Hickman County, TN (1)

Itawamba County, MS (3)

Jasper County, MS (6)

Jefferson Davis County, MS (7)

Jones County, MS (6,7)

Kemper County, MS (5)

Lamar County, AL (3,4)

Lamar County, MS (7)

Lauderdale County, MS (5,6)

Lauderdale County, AL (2)

Lawrence County, AL (2)

Lawrence County, TN(2)

Lewis County, TN (1)

Limestone County, AL (2)

Lowndes County, MS (4)

Marion County, AL (3)

Marion County, MS (7)

Marshall County, TN (1)

Maury County, TN (1)

Monroe County, MS (3)

Morgan County, AL (2)

Neshoba County, MS (5)

Newton County, MS (5,6)

Noxubee County, MS (4,5)

Okbibbeha County, MS (4)

Pearl River County, MS (7,8)

Perry County, MS (7)

Pickens County, AL (4)

Scott County, MS (6)

Smith County, MS (6)

St. Tammy Parish, LA (8)

Stone County, MS (7)

Washington Parish, LA (8)

Wayne County, MS (6)

Wayne County, TN (2)

Williamson County, TN (1)

Winston County, MS (5)

 

Genealogy Road Trip

This “Family History Road Trip” is divided into segments that require between 1 and 2 hours of driving time.  The entire 541 mile journey should take approximately 12 hours to drive at 45 miles per hour.  Within each segment you will find links to resources that will assist you in planning a successful and enjoyable experience.  The following maps are designed to show a close-up view of the counties and communities along this historical route. 

Please understand that it is NOT our intention to document the EXACT course of this historical route.  After thoroughly researching the original documentation of an historical route we attempt to design a “road trip” that generally follow along U.S. (USR), State (SR), and County (CR) designated roadways.  We do advise that if you are unsure of following local or unpaved roadways that you consider bypassing them by utilizing the aforementioned government maintained roadways.

SEGMENT 1

From: Nashville, TN

To: Mount Pleasant, TN

SEGMENT 2

From: Mount Pleasant, TN

To: Florence, AL

SEGMENT 3

From: Florence, AL

To: Hamilton, AL

SEGMENT 4

From: Hamilton, AL

To: Columbus, MS

SEGMENT 5

From: Columbus, MS

To: DeKalb, MS

SEGMENT 6

From: DeKalb, MS

To: Hickory, MS

SEGMENT 7

From: Hickory, MS

To: Collins, MS

SEGMENT 8

From: Collins, MS

To: Angie, MS

SEGMENT 9

From: Angie, MS

To: Madisonville, LA

 

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Segment 1

SEGMENT 1

From: Nashville, TN

To: Mount Pleasant, TN

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Driving Distance = approximately 59 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

 Start Your journey along the route of historic Jackson’s Military Road at Fort Nashborough located on 1st Avenue at Riverfront Park in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is capital of Tennessee as well as the seat of Davidson County.

The town of Nashville was founded by James Robertson, John Donelson, and a party of Overmountain Men in 1779, near the original Cumberland settlement of Fort Nashborough. In 1806, Nashville was incorporated as a city and became the county seat of Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1843, the city was named the permanent capital of the state of Tennessee.

  From the Park take Broadway (USR 70) to 9th Avenue and turn left onto USR 31.  Follow USR 31 (8th St. South) out of Nashville.  Continue on this route into Williamson County and on through Franklin the county seat. 

Franklin was founded in 1799.  The historic district of downtown Franklin is built around a town square located at 3rd Avenue and Main Street (U.S. Route 31). Located at the center of the square there is a Civil War Monument. There are also several historic homes located in this area. The Battle of Franklin was fought in the city on November 30, 1864, resulting in almost 10,000 casualties (killed, wounded, captured and missing) and turning forty-four buildings into field hospitals.

From Franklin continue south on USR 31 ro the city of Columbia, Tennessee.  Columbia is the seat of Maury County. 

 Columbia was originally laid out in 1808 on the south bank of the Duck River. The town is notable for being the self-

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proclaimed "Mule capital of the world" and honors this with Mule Day, a large celebration held annually in April. Columbia is also the home of the national headquarters for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

At the downtown center of Columbia turn right onto USR 412.  After about seven blocks take the left fork onto USR 43.  Soon USR 43 will also become SR 243 as it enters Mount Pleasant, Tennessee.

Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 2

SEGMENT 2

From: Mount Pleasant, TN

To: Florence, AL

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Driving Distance = approximately 63 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

Leave Mount Pleasant on SR 243 to where it transitions onto USR 43.   Continue on USR 43 south the Lawrenceburg the seat of Lawrence County, Tennessee.

In the early 19th century, David Crockett established a powder mill on Shoal Creek. Crockett was elected as a commissioner and served on the board that placed Lawrenceburg four miles (6 km) west of the geographic center of Lawrence County. Crockett was opposed to the city being located in its current location, largely out of fear of flooding. He and his family lived in Lawrenceburg for several years before moving to West Tennessee after a flood destroyed his mill.  The Lawrenceburg Commercial Historic District is roughly bounded by N. Military St., Public Sq., E. Gaines St., and E. Pulaski St.

From Lawrenceburg follow USR 43 south to Florence, the seat of Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Florence was surveyed for the Cypress Land Company in 1818 by Italian surveyor Ferdinand Sannoner, who named it after Florence, Italy. Florence was incorporated in 1826. This city boasts seven historic district listings on the National Register of Historic Places.  Florence is renowned for its annual tourism events, including W.C. Handy Music Festival in the summer, and the Renaissance Faire in the

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fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.

Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 3

SEGMENT 3

From: Florence, AL

To: Hamilton, AL

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Driving Distance = approximately 54 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.00 hours

Leave Florence by crossing the Tennessee River on USR 43 through Sheffield and Muscle Shoals to Tuscumbia the seat of Colbert County, Alabama.

Tuscambia was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa and is one of Alabama's oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring[ and on December 22, 1822 to Tuscumbia after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws. Both Sheffield and Tuscumbia have historic Districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Continue on USR 43 south to Russellville, the seat of Franklin County, Alabama.  St the town limite take ta right fork onto Jackson Avenue and proceed into the center of Russellville.

Russellville is named after Major William Russell, an early settler in the area who helped in the construction of Jackson's Military Road. The town grew at this road's intersection with the Gaines Trace. Russellville was incorporated on November 27, 1819.

Leave Russellville via Jackson Street and transition back to USR 43 south.  At Isbell turn right at CR 36 then take the left fork onto CR 61 continue on CR 61 to it’s intersection with CR 22.  Turn right follow CR 22 to the intersection with SR 187.  Turn left and proceed to and through the town of Hodges. From Hodges SR 187 will

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eventually return to USR 43.  Just south of this intersection you will enter the city of Hamilton located along the Buttahatchee River.  Hamiltion is the county seat of Marion County, Alabama.

Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 4

SEGMENT 4

From: Hamilton, AL

To: Columbus, MS

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Driving Distance = approximately 66 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

Just south of the Hamilton city limits leave USR 43 by turning right onto CR 35.  Follow this route south along the Buttahatchee River to where it intersects with SR 17.   Turn left and proceed on SR 17 to Vernon the seat of Lamar County, Alabama.  At Vernon turn right onto SR 18 and proceed to the Alabama-Mississippi State Line.  In Mississippi the route will be marked as SR 12 and is named “Military Road”.  Follow this route to Columbus, the seat of Lowndes County, Mississippi. 

Columbus was founded in 1821. Before its incorporation, the town site was referred to informally as Possum Town, a name which was given by the local Native Americans. The name Possum Town remains the town's nickname among locals. Columbus has three designated historical districts. The Columbus Central Commercial Historic District is along U.S. Routes 45 and 82.  The Factory Hill-Frog Bottom-Burns Bottom Historic District is roughly bounded by 2nd and 6th Aves. and 2nd and 5th Streets, and the South Columbus Historic District is located along U.S. Route 82; to 1124 Main Street.

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Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 5

SEGMENT 5

From: Columbus, MS

To: DeKalb, MS

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Driving Distance = approximately 60 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

Continue on SR 12 to South Columbus and turn right onto SR 187.  After about 6 block take to left fork onto Island Road (Highway 182W).  At USR 45 turn left and proceed south.

At this point the original route of Jackson’s Military follows a route much closer to the the west bank of the Tombigbee River.   This route may be approximated by following a series of local roads such as Evans Road, Old Macon Road, Carson Road, W. Nashville Ferry Road, and Togo Road.

Continue on USR 45 through Brooksville to Macon the seat of Noxubee County.  Ourside of Macon take the right fork onto SR 145 and proceed into the downtown area.

Founded on February 9, 1833 as Taladega, the name was changed to Macon on August 10, 1835. The Jackson Military Road crossed the Noxubee River just west of Macon, located at the old Choctaw village of Taladega, now the site of the local golf club. The city served as the capital city for the state of Mississippi during the Civil War.  The Macon Historic District is roughly bounded by Adams, Pearl, West, and Wayne Streets.

Leave Macon on SR 145 south to where it transitions back onto USR 45 and continue on to the historic town

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of Shuqualak.  Turn right at SR 39 and proceed through Central Shuqualak Historic District.  Follow SR 39 south to SR 16 and turn left and right to follow SR 39 into the center of  De Kalb the county seat of Kemper County.

Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 6

SEGMENT 6

From: DeKalb, MS

To: Hickory, MS

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Driving Distance = approximately 60 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

Leave De Kalb via Jackson Street beyond De Kalb to route will be named “Old Jackson Road”.  Continue on through Moscow to SR 491.  Turn left here and follow along this route.  After you cross SR 19 you will be in Newton County where the road becomes the Chunky-Duffee Road.  Continue on this route south past Interstate 20 to the town of Chunky.

Chunky was named for a Choctaw Indian Village called Chanki Chitto, meaning "Big Chunky". The name comes from an old Native-American game of Chunka, which was a ball game played with Chunka Stones. The original white settlement of Chunky was called Chunkyville, and was adjacent to the Native-American settlement of Chunky Chitto.

At Chunky turn right onto USR 80 and follow west to the town of Hickory.

The town is named after Andrew Jackson, nicknamed "Old Hickory," who passed through the area on his way to fight the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

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Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 7

SEGMENT 7

From: Hickory, MS

To: Collins, MS

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Driving Distance = approximately 65 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

At Hickory turn left onto SR 503.  Take this route south from Hickory to Mount Vernon and turn right onto the Gip Wall Road (CR 5044).  Follow this road a few miles to where it intersections with  SR 504.  At Garlandville, in Jasper County. where SR 504 turns right you will make a left tun onto an unmarked road that will take you past the Garlandville Cemetery and on to a junction with CR 24.  Turn left onto CR 24 and follow to intersection at SR 15.  Turn left and follow SR to Bay Springs located at the intersection of state highways 15 and 18. 

Bay Springs and Paulding are the two County Seats of Jasper County.  Jasper is one of ten counties in Mississippi that has two county seats, and two courthouses.

At Bay Springs turn right onto SR 18. After about 2 miles turn left at ST 531.  Take this road south into Smith County, MS and through Old Taylorsville to its intersection with SR 28.  Turn right and enter Taylorsville. 

Taylorsville was established on The Gulf and Ship Island Railroad in 1900. The site was selected by an employee of the railroad. The post office was originally located about five miles away in Old Taylorsville, then was moved to New Taylorsville.

At the center of Taylorsville turn left onto SR 37 (Pine Street) and proceed south to junction with USR 87. 

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Turn right and take this highway into Collins the county seat of Covington County.

A Mississippi State Historical Marker about Jackson’s Military Road can be found on Magnolia Street in Collins.

Use the following LINKS to find information about the counties and localities found along this segment of the Route.

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

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Segment 8

SEGMENT 8

From: Collins, MS

To: Angie, MS