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

The Dickson - Williams Mansion

A House Divided

 
 
The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 27, 2009
1. The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker
Inscription. The Federal-style mansion in front of you was the home of Catharine Dickson Williams and Dr. Alexander Williams. Catharine Williams, a famous Greeneville hostess, counted Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson among her guests. She and her husband also entertained Davy Crockett, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, South Carolina Gov. Wade Hampton and his daughters.

Dr. Williams died in 1852, but his wife kept the home prominent until her death in 1870. During Greeneville's Civil War years, it was truly a house divided. Her daughter, Elizabeth, married William Sneed, a former U.S. congressman. Her son, William Dickson Williams, was a captain on Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan's staff. Another son, Joseph Alexander, was a Union soldier, and a third son, Thomas Lanier, was a Confederate soldier. Catharine Williams would not say which side she favored, and she entertained both Union and Confederate officers when they were in town. Union Gens. Ambrose Burnside and Alvan C. Gillem and Confederate Gens. James Longstreet and John Hunt Morgan each visited the mansion when they were in Greeneville.

The Federal raid on Greeneville on September 4, 1864, targeted the Dickson-Williams Mansion, to capture Morgan, who was killed a few hundred yards away. Union Gen. Alvan C. Gillem returned Morgan's body to the Dickson-Williams
The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 4, 2012
2. The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker
Mansion, where Catharine and Lucy Williams and their slaves, including Minerva Clem, dressed the body in a clean shirt and uniform and then laid it in a walnut coffin in the mansion's parlor. "God only knows how I felt when I entered my room and saw what remained earthly of Gen. Morgan," recalled Lucy Williams. Soon local women, both Unionists and Confederates, filled the house and were "all deeply affected, and seeming, without distinction, to deplore his fall," said Confederate Capt. John H. McAfee.
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil Wars Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 9.861′ N, 82° 49.915′ W. Marker is in Greeneville, Tennessee, in Greene County. Marker is on West Church Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 169 West Church Street, Greeneville TN 37743, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Death of Gen. John Hunt Morgan (here, next to this marker); General Morgan Inn (within shouting distance of this marker); Death of John Morgan (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Dickson - Williams Mansion
Tennessee Civil War Trails Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 4, 2012
3. Tennessee Civil War Trails Markers
Two Civil War Trails markers are found at this location. The Dickson - Williams Mansion marker is seen here on the right.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Opera House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Greenville Cumberland Presbyterian Church (about 400 feet away); First Presbyterian Church (about 400 feet away); John H. Morgan (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greeneville.
 
Categories. Antebellum South, USWar, US Civil
 
The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 27, 2009
4. The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker
The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 27, 2009
5. The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker
The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, September 27, 2009
6. The Dickson - Williams Mansion Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,424 times since then and 65 times this year. Last updated on March 17, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1. submitted on October 26, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   2, 3. submitted on August 8, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5, 6. submitted on October 26, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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