Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church – Greeneville, Tennessee - Atlas Obscura

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Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Greeneville, Tennessee

A cannonball from Union forces battling John Hunt Morgan made this church a permanent home. 


At the start of the Civil War, the current Cumberland Presbyterian Church was still unfinished. The property had been purchased by the church from then-Senator Andrew Johnson in 1860.

It was designed to replace a smaller building nearby that its congregation had outgrown. Located on the facade of the church is a cannonball lodged into a brick wall near the front door.

On September 4, 1864, Union forces surprised Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan C.S.A. who was lodging nearby. The cannonball was reportedly one of several fired at Morgan’s troops. A Union rifleman shot Morgan in the back as he tried to make his escape, killing him.

To many eyes, the cannonball may look too pristine to be original. It’s possible that it has been painted black repeatedly over the years to prevent rust. However, there is speculation that the cannonball was replaced at some point. 

Know Before You Go

This is but one of many interesting sites in downtown Greeneville, including the former homes of President Andrew Johnson.

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January 29, 2021

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  • Historical marker next to the Church
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