Jackson's Military Road

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In 1816 Congress appropriated funds to improve Jackson's Military Road from Columbia to Madisonville.

Jackson's Military Road was built in 1814 (at the close of the War of 1812) to help General Andrew Jackson prepare against a British invasion. The road split off from the Natchez Trace at Tupelo, Mississippi and stretched south to New Orleans, Louisiana.[1] From Nashville to New Orleans is 516 miles (830 km).

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

During the War of 1812 General Andrew Jackson needed to be able to move his army quickly to defend New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, or Pensacola in case of a British attack. A network of roads was created linking these Gulf Coast ports to Nashville, Tennessee.[2]

After the war in 1816, Congress appropriated funds and assigned the Army to improve the road, build bridges and swamp causeways, and named the route from Nashville to New Orleans in honor of General Jackson.[3]

The road quickly became an important pathway for settlers. Many settlers made their homes by the side of the road.[4] It also began to siphon off some of the traffic from the much older Natchez Trace.[5] But times change. By 1845 the Military Road was neglected in favor of Robinson's Road.[6]

Route[edit | edit source]

North to south

  • Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee
  • Columbia, Maury, Tennessee
  • Florence, Lauderdale, Alabama
  • Tupelo, Lee, Mississippi (near the Tombigbee River)
  • Noxubee swamp
  • Meridian, Lauderdale, Mississippi
  • Hattiesburg, Forrest, Mississippi
  • Madisonville, St. Tammany, Louisiana
  • New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana

Settlers and Records[edit | edit source]

No known list of settlers who followed General Jackson's Military Road exists. See records of settlers in the Nashville, Tupelo, and New Orleans area. Also see county histories of counties along the road for early settler lists. 

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Jackson's Military Road

Internet Sites[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. William Dollarhide, Map Guide to American Migration Routes 1735-1815 (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1997)[FHL 973 E3d], 36-37.
  2. Dollarhide, 35-36.
  3. William A. Love, "General Jackson's Military Road," Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society [FHL 976.2 C45p] 11:406-407. Digitized by Google Books.
  4. Love, 415.
  5. Wikipedia Contributors, "Natchez Trace" in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natchez_Trace (accessed 6 August 2010).
  6. Love, 416-17.