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Red Bank, Tennessee
Location in Hamilton County and state of Tennessee.
Location in Hamilton County and state of Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Hamilton
Incorporated 1945
 • Total 6.4 sq mi (16.7 km2)
 • Land 6.4 sq mi (16.7 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
722 ft (220 m)
 • Total 11,817
 • Density 1,927.9/sq mi (744.4/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-61960
GNIS feature ID 1299035

Red Bank is a city in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 12,418 at the 2000 census and 11,817 in 2012. Red Bank is an enclave, being entirely surrounded by the city limits of Chattanooga. Red Bank is part of the Chattanooga, TN-GA, Metropolitan Statistical Area.


In the mid-1800s, the Red Bank area was known as Pleasant Hill. When the community was given a federal post office in 1881, the community was notified that another name would have to be used, because a Pleasant Hill, Tenn., already existed. The postmaster's wife reportedly looked at the red soil along the bank of Stringer's branch and suggested the name Red Bank.

In 1955, the communities of Red Bank and White Oak incorporated into a town called Red Bank-White Oak. In late 1966, the community voted to call itself Red Bank beginning in 1967 for simplification purposes. Originally, the meetings and city business were conducted in a downstairs room of the Masonic Building off Unaka Street. Later, City Hall was moved to a small wooden structure at 3005 Dayton Blvd. The city hall at 3117 Dayton Blvd. opened in 1971 and was later remodeled and enlarged.

Although no Civil War battles were fought in Red Bank, troops moved through the area on several occasions. In early June 1862, Union Gen. James S. Negley led a force of some 6,000 troops from the west across the Southern portion of Red Bank. From there, they positioned their artillery on Stringer's Ridge and bombarded Chattanooga, damaging churches, homes and businesses.

In late August 1862, Confederate Gen. William Hardee's men crossed the southern end of Red Bank and Mountain Creek while heading across Waldens Ridge and toward Kentucky with Gen. Braxton Bragg's army. On Aug. 21, 1863, Union Capt. Eli Lilly, who in 1876 would start the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, marched his Indiana battery down historic Poe Road through the heart of what is now Red Bank toward Stringer's Ridge. There, his men set up gun emplacements and fired rifled cannon shells upon the city of Chattanooga for 19 days.

In the area around the Memorial Drive duck pond, Gen. William T. Sherman and his man hid out in November 1863. The move had resulted after Gen. U.S. Grant took command of the Union forces in the West and ordered his old friend, Gen. Sherman, to move the Army of the Tennessee from Mississippi to Chattanooga quickly.

Department of the Cumberland Chief Engineer William F. Smith, who planned Gen. Sherman's movement, had noticed during a previous reconnaissance that Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederate troops would not notice Sherman's troops once they crossed the Tennessee River at Brown's Ferry. As a result, they could move behind the hills on the north side of the river. The Confederates would also not know if the Union troops had gone to Knoxville or were waiting for future operations in Chattanooga. So, from Nov. 20 to 22, 1863, thousands of Sherman's men moved into temporary camps among the hills in the southern Red Bank area. While there, they prepared for battle. When they moved toward Missionary Ridge for the attack beginning on Nov. 23, they left the concealed camps and some of their supplies behind.


Red Bank is located at 35°6′37″N 85°17′49″W / 35.11028°N 85.29694°W / 35.11028; -85.29694 (35.110372, -85.297048).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 square miles (17 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 10,777
1970 12,715 18.0%
1980 13,129 3.3%
1990 12,322 −6.1%
2000 12,418 0.8%
2010 11,651 −6.2%
Est. 2015 11,769 1.0%

As of the census of 2000, there were 12,418 people, 5,897 households, and 3,290 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,927.9 people per square mile (744.5/km²). There were 6,443 housing units at an average density of 1,000.3 per square mile (386.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.61% White, 8.24% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.89% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.19% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.83% of the population.

There were 5,897 households out of which 22.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.2% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,848, and the median income for a family was $41,696. Males had a median income of $30,832 versus $24,708 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,877. About 5.1% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

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