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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

War on the Home Front

Belle Meade and Union Occupation

 
 
War on the Home Front Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2013
1. War on the Home Front Marker
Inscription. William Giles Harding, the owner of Belle Meade Plantation, was an ardent Confederate supporter who provided thousands of dollars to help arm Tennessee’s Confederate forces. He served on the state’s Military Armaments Committee. In March 1862, he helped Col. Nathan B. Forrest during the evacuation of Nashville by sending 30 wagons of munitions south.

After the evacuation, Union commanders soon took control and arrested leading Confederates, such as Harding, who was imprisoned at Fort Mackinaw, Michigan, from April to September 1862. His wife, Elizabeth McGavock Harding, ran the plantation in her husband’s absence. That fall she complained bitterly to Military Governor Andrew Johnson about the treatment of the family’s plantation: “There has been removed already from this place … five hundred wagon loads of hay, corn, oats, wheat, etc. … The Government has made a requisition upon me for horses for the use of the Cavalry and have taken every suitable horse I had except my carriage horses. The soldiers have entered the lawns and killed before my eyes and carried away every head of poultry upon the place, not only my own but the negroes’ also. They broke (into) my dairy and removed from there every onion, potatoes, and winter vegetables which I had provided for the use of a family of 150 persons.”

The arrival
War on the Home Front Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2013
2. War on the Home Front Marker
of Union soldiers also reduced the size of the plantation’s enslaved workforce. According to Harding, “They have taken from me without even giving me a receipt therefore every negro man—able-bodied—on this place, 22 in number.”

(captions)
William Giles Harding, 1856 Courtesy Belle Meade Plantation
Elizabeth McGavock Harding, 1857 Courtesy Belle Meade Plantation
Foraging for hay - Courtesy Library of Congress
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 6.4′ N, 86° 51.864′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Harding Pike (U.S. 70S) 0.2 miles north of Leake Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located in the parking lot of Belle Meade Plantation. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5025 Harding Pike, Nashville TN 37205, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Belle Meade Plantation (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Belle Meade Plantation (here, next to this marker); Belle Meade Farm Freedom
Belle Meade Plantation House image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2013
3. Belle Meade Plantation House
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Natchez Trace (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Harpeth Hall School (approx. 1.4 miles away); Dutchman's Curve Train Wreck (approx. 1.6 miles away); Percy Warner Park (approx. 1.6 miles away); Luke Lea Heights (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Nashville.
 
Also see . . .  Belle Meade Plantation. (Submitted on October 3, 2013.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Slave quarters building on the plantation image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2013
4. Slave quarters building on the plantation
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 422 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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