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

Nelson House Hotel

A Tragic Death

Nelson House Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 27, 2020
1. Nelson House Hotel Marker
Inscription.  On June 26, 1863, Confederate Lt. Andrew Wills Gould, son of a prosperous Nashville merchant and an artillerist in Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry, died here at the Nelson House Hotel. He had been badly injured in a clash with Forrest.

Forrest and his men were stationed at Columbia to guard the left flank of Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's army at Shelbyville. In April, Forrest received orders to ride from Columbia into northern Alabama in pursuit of Union Col. Abel Streight's cavalry brigade, which had been raiding Confederate supply lines. During the pursuit, a two-gun section of Forrest's artillery was ambushed and captured in Alabama. Forrest held Gould responsible for the loss and planned to transfer him out of his command. On June 23, Gould confronted Forrest in downtown Columbia at the old Masonic Temple (since demolished), located on the northeast corner of West Seventh and North Garden Street. The two men fought; Gould shot Forrest, who stabbed Gould. Although Forrest quickly recovered, Gould suffered a massive infection and died here in the hotel three days later.

During the course of the war,
Nelson House Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 27, 2020
2. Nelson House Hotel Marker
The hotel building is in the background.
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Columbia changed hands six times. Many officers of both sides spent time dining and residing at the Nelson House Hotel.

Pleasant Nelson, a local businessman, politician and close associate of President James K. Polk, built the Nelson House Hotel in 1826. For many years, it was the area's premier hotel. Prominent dignitaries, including President Andrew Jackson and future president Andrew Johnson, stayed here during the antebellum period.

Top left: Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress; Lt. Andrew W. Gould Courtesy Maury County Archives
Bottom left: Masonic Hall - Courtesy Maury County Archives
Bottom right: Andrew Jackson - Courtesy Library of Congress; Andrew Johnson - Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 23, 1863.
Location. 35° 36.951′ N, 87° 2.016′ W. Marker is in Columbia, Tennessee, in Maury County. Marker is on North Main Street south of East 6th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map
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. Marker is at or near this postal address: 700 North Main Street, Columbia TN 38401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Freedmen's Savings Bank and Trust Company (a few steps from this marker); Nathan Vaught (within shouting distance of this marker); James K. Polk (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Maury County War Memorial (about 300 feet away); The Founding of Maury County and Columbia (about 400 feet away); James Edwin R. Carpenter (about 400 feet away); Andrew Johnson (about 400 feet away); The Forrest-Gould Affair (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 175 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 28, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 26, 2022