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Columbia in Maury County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs

B. December 6, 1818 – D. January 2, 1914

 
 
Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 24, 2022
1. Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs Marker
Inscription.  The Cheairs Family moved to northern Maury County in 1811. The Cheairs patriarch (also named Nathaniel) purchased three hundred acres of land just south of present-day Spring Hill. It was on this land that young Nathaniel was born in 1818. He was the youngest of ten children.

In 1841, he became engaged to Susan McKissack. This should have thrilled the family, as Susan was quite the catch. Her father was one of the wealthiest men in the entire county. Nathaniel's father was not happy with the union, however. There had been five generations of men named Nathaniel Cheairs. All five men had married women named Sarah. The elder Nathaniel offered his son $5,000 if he would call off his engagement with Susan in order to marry a Sarah. The younger Nathaniel refused, and he and Susan were married on September 2, 1841. His father later gave them the $5,000 as a wedding gift.

Nathaniel inherited his father's Spring Hill property when he died in 1846. On this property he began construction of a large home for his young family. Three times the walls of the home were erected and three times he ordered construction halted and the walls torn
Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 24, 2022
2. Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs Marker
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down – he wanted the home to be perfect and to stand for one hundred years. This home was completed in 1855 and still stands today. It is called Rippavilla.

Although against secession, when President Lincoln called for troops to invade the South, Nathaniel Cheairs responded by organizing and equipping what would become Company E of the 3rd Tennessee Confederate Infantry. Nathaniel was elected the Major of the regiment. At Fort Donelson, Major Cheairs was ordered to take the flag of truce and the Confederate surrender to General U.S. Grant. After the surrender, Major Cheairs was taken to a prisoner of war camp in Boston Harbor. He was eventually exchanged and took up arms once again, serving on the staff of General N.B. Forrest and with the Commissary Department. He was again captured and released just prior to the War's end. He fought his last battle with Forrest in Selma, Alabama.

Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs died January 2, 1914 in Texas. He was 95 years old.
 
Erected by Rose Hill Cemetery.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is December 6, 1818.
 
Location. 35° 36.215′ N, 87° 1.822′ W. Marker is in Columbia, Tennessee, in Maury County. Marker can be reached from the intersection
Rippavilla Plantation image. Click for full size.
Brent Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), May 30, 2016
3. Rippavilla Plantation
of Cemetery Street and Whatley Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 219 Cemetery St, 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. Lt. James C. Wooten, II (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward Ward Carmack (within shouting distance of this marker); The Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Rose Hill Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Side by Side (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers (about 400 feet away); Capt. Meade Frierson (about 500 feet away); Lt. Joseph A. Irvine (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 26, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 26, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Mar. 28, 2023