Tennessee River

Tennessee River
Navigable river, Tennessee, northern Alabama, and western Kentucky, U.S. Formed by the confluence of the Holston and French Broad rivers in eastern Tennessee, it flows 652 mi (1,049 km) before joining the Ohio River in Kentucky.

During the American Civil War it served as a strategic invasion route into the western Confederacy. Its development as one of the world's greatest irrigation and hydropower systems began with the establishment in 1933 of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Tennessee River is linked to the Tombigbee River by the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

* * *

      central component of one of the world's greatest irrigation and hydropower systems and a major waterway of the southeastern United States. It is formed by the confluence of the Holston (Holston River) and French Broad (French Broad River) rivers, just east of Knoxville, Tennessee, and flows south-southwest to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Turning west through the Cumberland Plateau into northeastern Alabama, it continues across northern Alabama and bends north on the boundary between Alabama and Mississippi. Continuing north through Tennessee and then Kentucky, it joins the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky, after a U-shaped course of 886 miles (1,426 km). Its drainage basin covers about 40,910 square miles (105,960 square km).

      The name of the river may have come from a Cherokee Indian village located on the Little Tennessee River and spelled variously Tanase, Tennassee, Tanasi, or Tinasse. The Tennessee was explored during the period of rivalry between the French and the English for the territory west of the Appalachians, and a few small forts and posts were established on its banks. Earlier, explorers and fur traders had entered the lower course of the river from the Ohio River. Although the Tennessee served as a route for settlers moving southwestward, its role as a westward passage was negligible compared with that of the Ohio.

      Originally, the Tennessee could be navigated only by flatboats. Its upper course was shallow and filled with short rapids. Its middle course, through the Cumberlands, contained whirlpools and was interrupted by Muscle Shoals (rapids, now submerged by reservoirs) in Alabama. Only its lower course was easily navigable, but the advent of the railroads in the Tennessee River valley after the 1840s kept river traffic from assuming the significance it had on other western and more easily navigated rivers.

      The river's north-flowing lower course was strategically important during the American Civil War, for its valley offered an invasion route into the western Confederacy. Part of the course downstream is paralleled by the Cumberland River. The Confederate forts Henry (Fort Henry, Battle of) (on the Tennessee) and Donelson (Fort Donelson, Battle of) (on the Cumberland) were only 12 miles (19 km) apart. General Ulysses S. Grant's Federal army, accompanied by gunboats, struck southward in the Tennessee River valley in February 1862. The Confederate forces fell back to Corinth, Mississippi, and the Federal troops moved almost to Tennessee state's southern boundary, where the Battle of Shiloh (Shiloh, Battle of) (Pittsburgh Landing) was fought (April 6–7, 1862).

      The development of the river system as an important inland waterway began in 1933 with the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The Tennessee now has a series of locks and reservoirs impounded by multipurpose dams for navigation, power, and flood control. The mainstream dams include the Kentucky (1944); Pickwick Landing (1938) in Tennessee; Wilson (1925), Wheeler (1936), and Guntersville (1939) in Alabama; and Hales Bar (1913), Chickamauga (1940), Watts Bar (1942), and Fort Loudoun (1943) in Tennessee. Its chief tributaries, besides the Holston and French Broad, are the Little Tennessee (Little Tennessee River), Hiwassee (Hiwassee River), Paint Rock, Duck, and Ocoee (Ocoee River) (Toccoa) rivers, all entering from a southerly direction; and the Clinch (Clinch River), Flint, Sequatchie, and Elk (Elk River) rivers from a northerly direction. The main riparian cities are Chattanooga and Knoxville in Tennessee and Florence in Alabama.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tennessee River — Einzugsgebiet des Tennessee River Daten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River —   [ tenəsiː rɪvə], linker und größter Nebenfluss des Ohio, USA, 1 425 km (mit French Broad River) lang, entsteht im Großen Appalachental durch Zusammenfluss von French Broad River und Holston River, durchfließt in südwestlicher Richtung das Große …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Tennessee River — This article is about the river. For the song, see Tennessee River (song). Coordinates: 37°04′02″N 88°33′53″W / 37.06722°N 88.56472°W / …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River — river, flowing through E Tennessee, N Alabama, W Tennessee, and SW Kentucky; 652 mi. long …   Webster's Gazetteer

  • Tennessee River (song) — Infobox Single Name = Tennessee River Artist = Alabama from Album = My Home s in Alabama B side = Can t Forget About You Released = May 16, 1980 (U.S.) Format = 7 Recorded = April 16, 1980 Genre = Country Length = 3:04 Label = RCA Records 12018… …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River Gorge — The Tennessee River Gorge is a 26 mile long, steep canyon formed by the Tennessee River. It is the fourth largest river gorge in the Eastern United States. The gorge is cut into the Cumberland Plateau as the river winds its way into Alabama from… …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River Railroad Bridge — The Tennessee River Railroad Bridge, also called Tennbridge , is a vertical lift railroad bridge over the Tennessee River. It has a main span of ft to m|310, and is one of the longest vertical lift spans in the United States. The original span… …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River 600 — The Tennessee River 600 is a personal watercraft (PWC) event that takes place along the Tennessee River. The trip begin in 1997 as a leisurely ride for PWC enthusiasts, but has since evolved into an annual event with participants from as many as… …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River Sharks — The Tennessee River Sharks are a defunct professional indoor football team based out of East Ridge, Tennessee, a suburb of Chattanooga. They are a member of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL). They played their home games at Camp Jordan… …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee River — noun a river formed by the confluence of two other rivers near Knoxville; it follows a U shaped course to become a tributary of the Ohio River in western Kentucky • Syn: ↑Tennessee • Instance Hypernyms: ↑river • Part Holonyms: ↑Tennessee,… …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”