Category Archives: Historic buildings

A Confederate soldier wounded at the Battle of Franklin falls in love with a local resident while being cared for in a field hospital

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-12-20-19-pmCapt William F. Gibson, a Confederate soldier from Arkansas, was wounded in the face and stomach at the Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864, fighting around the Carter Cotton Gin with Cleburne’s Division. Lying wounded and bleeding on the field, he was saved by a Union soldier, who recognized he was a Mason.

Gibson was carried to the doorstep of the Cummins’s House in Franklin where he was found by a young single woman named Laura Sowell who was visiting her uncle at the time. Miss Sowell was from Columbia and single at the time.

Laura nursed William these first few days and they eventually fell in love, writing letters to one another right after the Franklin conflict, and even 30 years later.

They never married. William was shamed by his disfigured wounds from Franklin and did not think he was good enough for Laura. She later married a prominent businessman in Columbia, Tennessee.

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Here are some pictures of the former Cummins’ home now located at 403 Cummins Street just a little south of downtown Franklin, very close to the Lots House.

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Confederate William F. Gibson, 8th Arkansas Infantry, was wounded in this vicinity where the original Carter cotton gin was positioned, and was found the next day by a Union soldier who noticed William wearing a Masonic pin. The Union soldier carried the wounded Gibson to the home of Dr. Cummins (pictured above) where he was cared for and tended by local Miss Laura Sowell, whom he fell in love with.

Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville used as Union barracks during Civil War

The cornerstone for the Maxwell House Hotel was laid in the summer of 1860. When Federal troops occupied it in 1862 for Confederate prisoners of war the hotel was still being constructed. It was formally finished in 1869. The architect was Isaiah Rogers, of Cincinnati. The original building sat at the corner of what is now Church and Fourth Streets.

Source: Nashville Public Library, Digital Collections