The reason Nashville became the most important city outside of Washington DC during the Civil War was it's strategic location. It was virtually in the middle of the state. Major highways, like today, entered Nashville from every direction. The Cumberland River was a tributary of the mighty Ohio River and was a major waterway for delivering supplies, armaments, and men. Middle Tennessee, outside of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia was the most fertile region of the South and a major breadbasket. Last but not least there was a railroad system that connected every area of the South. The Louisville and Nashville shipped men, supplies, and armaments from the North and the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad shipped men and supplies along the Nashville and Chattanooga corridor as the Union Army moved South hoping to capture the gateway to the deep South at Chattanooga. The many wounded were shipped North to Nashville hospitals. Both pictures are looking northeast from the area of Church Street near the present day Tennessean newspaper building.