published Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Tennessee county adds markers at three Civil War sites

CIVIL WAR 150 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Times Free Press Civil War sesquicentennial website

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — A central Tennessee county is adding historical markers at a trio of Civil War sites.

Maury County’s Convention and Visitors Bureau wants new markers up by the spring at a gun and knife fight, a home and a soldier’s grave.

Bureau Executive Director Brenda Pierce told The Daily Herald the markers give Civil War buffs another reason to visit.

The new markers commemorate the old Nelson Hotel, the Elm Springs home and the grave of author Sam Watkins at the Zion Cemetery.

Maury County Archives Director Bob Duncan is working on the Nelson Hotel sign’s description.

A large part of the former hotel’s significance lies in what is known as “The “Forrest-Gould Affair.”

The old hotel is where Confederate Lt. Andrew Wills Gould died after a confrontation with Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in summer 1863.

A downtown Columbia Masonic Hall was the setting where Gould faced Forrest, challenging the general about being blamed for losing some artillery pieces.

“Gould confronted Forrest in the hall,” Duncan said. “Now, confronting Forrest took nerves of steel to start with.”

An argument ensued, and Gould shot Forrest in his abdomen. Forrest retaliated and stabbed Gould in his side. The young lieutenant was eventually taken to the Nelson Hotel for medical treatment.

Forrest recovered, but Gould died from infection caused by the stab wound.

Union troops nearly burned down Elm Springs, the current International Headquarters of The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Greek revival style mansion in Columbia.

Watkins wrote the book “Co. Aytch,” a highly regarded work for its detailed accounts into the soldier’s daily plight.

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