Bacteria of the genus Shewanella contain an abundant small tetraheme cytochrome in their periplasm when growing anaerobically. Data collected for the protein isolated from S. oneidensis MR-1 and S. frigidimarina indicate differences in the order of oxidation of the hemes. A detailed thermodynamic characterization of the cytochrome from S. oneidensis MR-1 in the physiological pH range was performed, with data collected in the pH range 5.5-9.0 from NMR experiments using partially oxidized samples and from redox titrations followed by visible spectroscopy. These data allow the parsing of the redox and redox-protonation interactions that occur during the titration of hemes. The results show that electrostatic effects dominate the heme-heme interactions, in agreement with modest redox-linked structural modifications, and protonation has a considerable influence on the redox properties of the hemes in the physiological pH range. Theoretical calculations using the oxidized and reduced structures of this protein reveal that the bulk redox-Bohr effect arises from the aggregate fractional titration of several of the heme propionates. This detailed characterization of the thermodynamic properties of the cytochrome shows that only a few of the multiple microscopic redox states that the protein can access are significantly populated at physiological pH. On this basis a functional pathway for the redox activity of the small tetraheme cytochrome from S. oneidensis MR-1 is proposed, where reduction and protonation are thermodynamically coupled in the physiological range. The differences between the small tetraheme cytochromes from the two organisms are discussed in the context of their biological role.