Cumberland Gap was both a lookout point and a strategic hold of the south during the civil war. It was referred to as the Keystone of teh Confederacy and both sides felt that an invasion by the other would come through the Gap. To prevent this, the Confederate army cut down a large number of trees covering the mountain and scattered them like a hugh obstacle course. The Confederates also established fortified lookout points atop the mountain, aiming canons downward in case the Union army dared cross the tree strewn and open terrain.
The original earthworks dug by Confederate soldiers remain along Cumberland Gap. When driving to Pinnacle Overlook, you'll see a sign indicating a civil war historic site. Here a short trail leads to a lookout point guarded by a canon and the entrenchments used by Confederate soldiers. The overlook also provides a view of the land these soldiers sought to protect.
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