“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Benjamin Franklin Cheatham

October 20, 1820 - September 4,1886


— Nashville Racetrack owner, Confederate States Army major general, farmer, civil servant —

Benjamin Franklin Cheatham Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
1. Benjamin Franklin Cheatham Marker
Inscription.  Cheatham's small stone is about 100 feet back. Cheatham was born in Nashville. His mother's grandfather was James Robertson, the founder of Nashville. He grew up on the family plantation on the Cumberland River's Cockrell Bend. The Cheathams came from the British Isles to Virginia in the 1600s and made it to Middle Tennessee about 1793.

Cheatham did not receive a military education, but he did serve in the Mexican War. As a captain in the 1st Tennessee Regiment, Cheatham was in the assault at Monterrey. He was in the first amphibious assault in American military history at Vera Cruz. Before the war ended, he was promoted to colonel and returned to raise a new regiment.

Cheatham was friends with Gov. Isham Harris, who played the lead role in Tennessee's secession from the U.S. Harris appointed him as a brigadier general in the state army, and when transferred to the Confederate army, he held that rank. His role in the 1861 victory at Belmont, Missouri earned him thanks in a resolution from the C.S. Congress. President Jefferson Davis knew him from the Mexican War, and approved his promotion to major general in March 1862.

Benjamin Franklin Cheatham Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
2. Benjamin Franklin Cheatham Marker
Division established a reputation for bold fighting. At Shiloh (April 1862) Cheatham had three horses shot from under him. At Perryville (Oct. 1862) his division shattered a U.S. army corps as he drove back the U.S. left, compressing three lines into one. At Murfreesborough (Dec. 1862) his division played the key role in driving U.S. out of the Slaughter Pen. At Chickamauga (Sept. 1863) his division made a rare night attack. At Missionary Ridge (Nov. 1863) when the centre of the army's line broke, Cheatham aligned his division to successfully hold the right. After the Atlanta Campaign his combat record earned him promotion to corps command. He led his corps into Tennessee where it was wrecked at Franklin (Nov. 1864), as General Hood ordered assaults against the well-entrenched U.S. Army. The corps fought well at Nashville (Dec. 1864) until nearly surrounded at Shy's Hill. Cheatham remained with the Army of Tennessee until the surrender in April 1865.

Cheatham's marriage to Anna Bell Robertson (not related) in 1866 eventually produced five children. They settled on her family farm in Coffee County where he practiced crop rotation, and other progressive methods. They returned to Nashville so that he could serve as superintendent of prisons. He was the postmaster here when he died. His funeral may have drawn 30,000 making it the largest (in) Nashville history. The procession
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from First Presbyterian Church out to Mount Olivet was a mile long.
Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 28.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureCemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil.
Location. 36° 9.059′ N, 86° 44.013′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Lebanon Pike. Marker is in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Lebanon Pike, Nashville TN 37210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Nelson Rector Beall (within shouting distance of this marker); George Earl Maney (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rachel Carter Craighead (about 400 feet away); William Brimage Bate (about 500 feet away); Caroline Meriwether Goodlett (about 600 feet away); John Bell (about 800 feet away); Adolphus Heiman (approx. 0.2 miles away); Confederate Circle at Mount Olivet (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
More about this marker. Marker is part of Mt. Olivet Confederate Memorial Hall Trail.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Feb. 26, 2021