Category Archives: Hospitals

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.

The importance of military hospitals in Louisville & Nashville during the Civil War

Nashville had 20-25 military hospital hospitals operating at any given time during the Civil War. At peak capacity, Nashville hospitals had roughly 14,000 men being treated, including hundreds of Confederates, even during the Union occupation that began in February 1862.

Nashville was the second largest military hospital network devoted to Union-use. Only Philadelphia had a larger military hospital system. As large as the Nashville military hospital system was, it could still could handle the amount of casualties that strained her capacity.

Thousands of wounded and sick Union soldiers were initially treated in a Nashville hospital and then routed to Evansville, Louisville or Jeffersonville for care in their respective hospitals. Many Union casualties from the Franklin-Nashville campaign were taken to Louisville for medical care.

One such Louisville hospital was #8, which later became known as the Monsarrat School (below).

Hospital #8 in Louisville, later known as Monsarrat School.

Hospital #8 in Louisville, later known as Monsarrat School.

Joseph Meyer was 23 years old when he enlisted in October 1864, Co.B., was mortally wounded at Franklin, died of wounds on 12/6/64 at Jeffersonville, Indiana. Buried at New Albany National Cemetery (IN), Gravesite B-86.