Cumberland Gap, natural passage through the Cumberland Mts., near the point where Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. The gap was formed by the erosive action of a stream that once flowed there. It was explored and named in 1750 by Dr. Thomas Walker, leader of a land company exploration party. Daniel Boone 's Wilderness Road ran through the gap. A strategic point in the Civil War, the gap was held alternately by Confederate and Union forces.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established in 1940 (see National Parks and Monuments , table).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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