Group eyes state ruling to bar development near Fort Negley

Fort Negley Park – 1100 Fort Negley Boulevard – Wedgewood/Houston, built 1930s (Courtesy: Historic Nashville/ Jodi Totten)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee group wants a state ruling to block Nashville development plans near a Civil War fort.

The Friends of Fort Negley’s petition Monday asks the Tennessee Historical Commission to declare the fort and 21 acres nearby as protected grounds.

Tennessee’s Heritage Protect Act of 2016 prohibits removing historical memorials on public property, unless the controlling public entity requests a waiver and the commission grants it.

More than 2,700 African Americans helped build Fort Negley after Union forces occupied Nashville in 1862.

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Only 300 were paid, 600 to 800 died and many could be buried on the development site, which now hosts an unused baseball stadium.

A development with park, retail, residential and creative space has been proposed.

The city is conducting an archaeological study before deciding on the plan.