Figure 1. Proposed Boundary.
Figure 2. View of fort site, showing hillside, camera facing east.
Figure 3. Former Nashville & Decatur railroad line bed, camera facing north.
Figure 4. Former Nashville & Decatur railroad line bed, camera facing south.
Figure 5. Rifle pits, camera facing east.
The site of the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle retains four of the seven qualities of integrity necessary for National Register listing: Location, Setting, Feeling, and Association.
Location is defined as the place where the historical event occurred. The Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle took place within the proposed expanded National Register boundaries (Figure 1). Recovered military artifacts, written accounts, and the remains of the fort itself clearly indicate that the battle took place in the physical location nominated.
Setting is defined as the physical environment of a historic property. The character of the Sulphur Creek Trestle battle site is clearly identifiable today. The topographic features of the site clearly reveal why the Union lost the battle. The fort site still sits at a lower elevation than the surrounding hills on which Forrest placed his artillery (Figure 2). While the trestle bridge is no longer in place and the railroad lines and ties have been removed, the railroad bed still runs on the west side of the fort as it did at the time of the battle (Figures 3, 4). While the fort site itself is more heavily wooded than it would have been when the battle occurred and some of the land west of the rail line has been turned into pasture, much of the rest of the landscape looks as it did when the battle took place. The physical remains of the fort’s rifle pits (Figure 5) also contribute to the historic integrity of the setting.
Feeling is defined as a property’s expression of the aesthetic or historic sense of a particular period of time. Despite the construction of a modern home in the center of the remains of the fort, the remainder of the site conveys the historical character of the battlefield. Because of the lack of any major development, the landscape has the same sense of time and place much as it would have in 1864.
Association is defined as the direct link between an important historic event or person and a historic property. The proposed site retains association with the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle as it is sufficiently intact for an observer to see the relationship between the site and the battle. The rifle pits, the steep hillsides, the railroad bed, and the surrounding hills clearly links the site with the battle.