When it comes to history, more people would associate Cumberland Gap with Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road than with the Civil War. While the famed explorer certainly passed through the Gap on more than one occasion, the area also has very strong connections with Civil War history. Both sides built defenses on the top of Cumberland Mountain. And, not once during the war did these fortifications actually fall to a attack of the enemy. No, usually the enemy simply used another pass, and surrounded the Mountain and the Gap, simply waiting for those on the Mountain to get hungry and surrender.
There were several North Carolina regiments stationed at Cumberland Gap, or the surrounding area, from 1861 until 1863. The 29th NCT was there, and it was the 58th NCT that was left behind to garrison the area in September 1862. In September 1863, a large portion of the 64th NCT was captured at the Gap, with the resulting stay at Northern prisons resulting in numerous deaths.
Cumberland Gap is a place I visit regularly, as it is on the way between my house and the home of my in-laws. This photo of Fort McCook was taken in June 2008.