This weeks marks Nashville Past And Present’s first anniversary. Thank you kind readers for your encouragement and patience as I work to develop my literary and journalistic voice.
In honor of our first anniversary I am reposting the article that launched Nashville Past And Present.
Painting Of The Belmont Mansion Grounds, By An Unknown Artist, Around 1859
Belmont Mansion, Past And Present
By Betsy Thorpe
Construction of the Belmont Mansion began in 1850 shortly after Adelicia Franklin married her second husband Colonel Joseph Acklen. Belmont Mansion was their summer home, a respite from their Louisiana plantations.
Tomorrow more than three thousand journalists will gather on what was once the Belmont Mansion grounds to witness the town hall debate between presidential nominees, Senator Barak Obama and Senator John Mc Cain.
Belmont Mansion Grounds, October 7th 2008, A Few Hours Before The Debate
The tower in this photo is the same 105 foot tall brick water tower pictured in the 1859 painting. Early in December of 1864 General T.J. Woods Union commander of the Fourth Army Corps occupied Belmont and installed his headquarters inside the mansion. Belmont’s tall water tower, set atop one of Nashville’s highest hills provided a strategic lookout point for Union scouts. The tower’s prominence on Nashville’s skyline enabled General Wood’s scouts to relay messages to company commanders in the surrounding area. On December 15, 1864 the Battle For Nashville began and General Wood, issued orders from his headquarters inside the mansion, to all the Union commanders engaged in the battle.
After taking this photo today, I moved closer to the tower, to take a photograph of it from a different view, however a very polite gentleman informed me I was not allowed to approach the tower or to photograph it.