Battle of Nashville / Civil War Sites
Battle of Nashville Preservation Society
Metro Planning Dept. Building
Western Military Institute Site (Hospital No. 2 Site)
Next Site

Tour Sites

Western Military Institute Site

Left: This ornate building was originally part of the University of Nashville.

Seeing It:
The historic building, now used by the Metro Nashville Planning Commission, is located at 724 Second Avenue South.

Location Maps.

College building, military school, hospital, museum:
This building, erected in 1853 and designed by famed architect Adolphus Heiman, is the only remaining structure of the original University of Nashville. It was the Literary Department building and is often confused with Lindsley Hall.

The two-story limestone structure is Gothic Revival in style. The walls are articulated by offset buttresses and the low roof is masked by a crenulated parapet.

From 1855 to the Civil War, the building served as Western Military Institute, run by Col. Bushrod Johnson, who became a Confederate general. All of the cadets who attended the school joined the Confederacy. One of them was Sam Davis, who was later hanged by the Union as a spy. The school continued for five more years after the war, run by Johnson and Gen. Edmund Kirby-Smith.

During the Civil War the building was used by the occupying Federal forces as Hospital No. 2, housing 300 beds.

From 1944 to 1973 the building served as the Children's Museum.

Source: "Nashville: A Short History and Selected Buildings," by the Metropolitan Historical Commission, 1974, and

"Cities Under the Gun," by James A. Hoobler, Rutledge Hill Press, 1986.