More Nerdy Civil War Stuff!!!!

Okay, historians, let’s go back to the photo.


I learn by way of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society that that’s Fort Morton up there and Franklin Pike running diagonally.  And I’m still trying to situate myself.

If you go to the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society’s map, you see that Fort Morton, Fort Negley, and Fort Casino make a little triangle of forts surrounding Franklin Pike.  But now I’m feeling unsure about where in this photo Franklin Pike is.


Is it where I’ve drawn the black line or where I’ve drawn the light gray line?  Because, if it’s where I’ve drawn the black line, then we have to be standing at about Division and 9th, looking south (Basically right where I-65 merges into I-40).  Though then that would seem to argue that this isn’t actually the Union line, which would have been farther south on the other side of the hill.  This is just some folks standing around back here.  If it’s where I’ve drawn the gray line, then we’re standing at Fort Negley, looking over I-65, but, if that’s the case, we should see Fort Casino and the hill it’s on to the left, I’d think (though it’s possible that it’s just out of frame).

Here’s what I wonder.  I wonder if the black line is Granny White Pike and we’re standing south of Fort Morton, right in the Union Line with the Belmont mansion kind of to our left and Fort Casino kind of to our right and up.

You know, if that is Fort Morton at all.  Not that I doubt you Battle of Nashville Preservation Society!  I’m just curious.

15 thoughts on “More Nerdy Civil War Stuff!!!!

  1. See? You’re having the same problem I am. If we’re on the west side of Franklin Road, looking south, it seems to me that we are looking at Fort Casino (which is where the Reservoir is now), not Fort Morton.

  2. Have you been to the new visitors’ center at Negley?

    I can’t remember for sure, but I want to say part of one of the interactive displays includes a map showing where everything is..

    One of those two other forts is indeed where the reservoir is now, I forget which — Casino, I am pretty sure

  3. I am just ga ga over this post about where things were, b/c my 3rd great grandfather fought in the Battles of Nashville & Franklin. I don’t know if I told you the story or not – but a year or so ago I got in touch with this guy from Mobile, AL – my grandfather fought for the Confederates in the 38th Alabama infantry with this guys grandfather. The man I contacted actually wrote a book on this particular regiment.

    Anyway, the man had my grandfather’s Civil War records. He was paid
    $0.25 to enlist and I forgot how much per day. The best part is I am sitting about a mile from where one of the lines went through, and on a spring day last year, I stood there at my mailbox, 1 mile from where the line came through, holding the records of my 3rd great grandfather. A very full circle moment…

  4. G-duhhhh… I think I have it figured out now. Maybe.

    Presuming that what we’re being told by the historical society is accurate, this is the remnant of the Federal line between Ft. Negley and Ft. Morton, facing WSW from Ft. Negley-ish — sort of on the rim of the hill like you were somewhere between the park entrance and the Adventure Science Center with the ASC at your back. The grey line is Franklin Pike. I drove home from downtown going that way – there’s a pretty good dip going down Chestnut between Greer Stadium and the Fall School, and it keeps sort of climbing either direction.

    Thanks to my Garmin topo software, I see that Negley is atop St. Cloud Hill (623′) while Morton was atop Meridian Hill (633′), which is NE of current day Carter Lawrence School (at the corner of 12th Ave S. and Edgehill, which would be ). The elevation between the two dips to about 550′ (the current roadbed of I-65). The low angle of the camera is obscuring the slightly higher elevation of Kirkpatrick’s Hill (656′), atop which sat Ft. Casino and the current-day home of the 8th Ave. Reservoir. If the photographer had been at the peak of St. Cloud Hill, you’d have been able to see Ft. Casino.

    I think that the edge of the lateral treeline in the upper left third of the pic is about where the hill of current day 8th Ave S. dips down and meets Wedgewood Ave.

    I still hazard that this might be Ft. Casino on the horizon, but giving the benefit of the doubt, that’s about all I can work out.

  5. Do they have any of John Bell Hood’s laudanum bottles in the visitor center? Only a dopehead like him would have attempted the siege of Nashville with a shattered army.

  6. Casey, have you been to the Carter House in Franklin? As a ghost enthusiast, of course I am practically required by my twin hobbies of going and looking at things and of going and looking at places that are supposedly haunted, to have gone there.

    And the best part is that there’s a guy who works there who is still so pissed at Hood that Hood’s name is not allowed to be spoken on the grounds when that guy is working.

    Now that’s a grudge.

    And they have this awesomely hilarious video which is like soft-core war porn with Nathan Bedford Forrest cast as the handsome lead.

    If I were a real historian, I’d die of mortification. But as an amateur, I find it very amusing.

  7. I haven’t been there, which is sad as my novel is about Patrick Cleburne. As a little boy, I was emotional about the war and was pro-southern, didn’t really get it at that point and would have been right there with the guy who hates Hood.

    Do any of you know where the spot that Cleburne died is located? I’ve heard that it is now in the parking lot of a pizza joint. Man, that is sad.

    These pictures really are very cool. You guys should check out the LIbrary of Congress digitized Civil War page. Thousands of non-copyrighted images including war dead.

    And it wasn’t old John Bell’s fault really. the year before he had lost an arm and a leg within two months of each other at Gettysburg and Chickamauga and could only stand the pain with heavy doses of laudanum.

    And his fiance, Sally Buck Preston, was even then chilling to spending life with a war cripple and would soon dump him. Poor sad old Hood.

  8. Fort Negley Interpretive Center is free and a very nice place to visit, especially if the weather’s nice enough to wind up the hill. You can see from the battlements across to the other hills.

  9. Casey, if he died where I think he died, it did indeed used to be a Pizza Hut parking lot. But I haven’t been down there in ages and I know they have been trying to recoup some of the Battle of Franklin battlefield and I know that property is high on their list. I just don’t know if they’ve gotten it yet.

  10. I concur that the grey line is Franklin Pike (8th Ave.)

    I live in Franklin and work in Nashville.. and I LOVE maps and study them often.

  11. I am president of The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and we have had this debate for a long time. You guys need to get on our mailing list.

Comments are closed.