Town square in Bell Buckle















Bell Buckle, located 18 miles southeast of Murfreesboro in northern Bedford County, is one of the many towns in middle Tennessee created by the railroad.  As the Nashville and Chattanooga came down through the Fosterville gap on its way to connect the Tennessee capital with Atlanta and points east, A. D. Fugitt, a local landowner, established the town site in order to make a whistle stop along this new and speedier route between the interior of the trans-Appalachian south and the Atlantic.  Bell Buckle was the result:  a typical small railroad town combining local manufacturing and commercial services with the refined living (schools and well-appointed homes) characteristic of mid to late nineteenth-century America.  A brick railroad depot was built in 1862, while, after the war, Bell Buckle featured a large creamery and a small factory for shovel making.  Most importantly, the Webb School moved from Maury County.  Built in 1886 by local businessmen and operated by Sawney Webb, a Confederate veteran, the school remains today a major private academy in middle Tennessee.

During the Tullahoma Campaign, the town played a major role in the Liberty Gap engagement, for Liddell’s brigade of Cleburne’s division (originally stationed in the town) took a position near here after units of the Federal army drove him out of the pass.  It is also from this same position that this brigade formed for an attack against Federal troops holding the gap on 25 June 1863.  In early June of 1863, the Army of Tennessee held a review in the streets of Bell Buckle.

Aside from the railroad running on the original bed, there are few structures from the period around the war that remain in the Bell Buckle area.  The town does, however, have an Historic District designation for the business strip fronting the railroad.  These structures were built primarily in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Historic Resources:

Site of Railroad Depot – The depot no longer stands.  However, on the site now sits a restored caboose from the early 20th century that Bell Buckle uses are a symbol of its railroad-related past.


Bell Buckle, Fairfield, Beech Grove, Wartrace, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Manchester, Estill Springs/Allisonia, Decherd, Winchester, Cowan, Sewanee