This came off the History of Hardeman County page
In 1823, the first hamlet in Hardeman County was established along the banks of the river whose name the village bore, Hatchie Town. Given its location near the river, the town suffered from chronic pestilence and flooding and was ultimately relocated a mile to the south. An Act of the Tennessee State Legislature on October 18, 1825 designated Hatchie the county seat, but shortly afterward, its name was changed to Bolivar in honor of the famed South American patriot and liberator, Simon Bolivar.
Hardeman County has been no stranger to significant historical events. As a result of President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal policy, the Cherokee Nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and resettle in the Oklahoma Territory. Bolivar and Hardeman County paid witness to the resulting “Trail of Tears” on November 16, 1838 when a detachment of the tribe, under the direction of John Bell, crossed the Hatchie River near the old stage road. The party continued westward and crossed into Arkansas on November 24. Facing disease and privation from the long forced march, more than one quarter of the Cherokee Nation perished during this ordeal.
As a significant commercial thoroughfare in the 1830s and 1840s, the Hatchie River supported an active steamboat-based trade which brought wares manufactured in the north into the classic homes being built during the period. Some well-preserved examples of furniture are still located at The Pillars, the home of one-time cotton and retail magnate John Houston Bills. The Hatchie is a designated scenic river which runs across the county, offering a hunter’s and fisherman’s paradise. More than 20 watershed lakes, ranging in size from 10 to 78 acres (320,000 m2) each, have been constructed and stocked with game fish. It is listed by the Nature Conservancy as one of the 75 last great remaining places on earth.
Hardeman County was the scene of bitter fighting during the War Between the States, as was much of west Tennessee. Most notably, the Battle of Hatchie Bridge (also called Davis Bridge and Metamora Hill) on October 5, 1862, resulted in an estimated 900 total casualties (US 500; CS 400). Other key pieces of Civil War history include the Battle of Middleburg and the establishment in Grand Junction of the first “Contraband Camp” for liberated slave