Battle of Nashville Preservation Society
(Confederate Gen. Hood's HQ)
636 Farrell Parkway, Nashville, TN 37220
Call (615) 832-8197
Admission is charged. Group rates available.
Open Tues.-Sat., 10-5; Sun., 1-5. Last tour at 4 p.m. Closed Mondays and most major holidays.
A brochure, Civil War Walking Tour on the Grounds of Travellers Rest, is available at the gift shop.
Directions: From I-65 south, exit at Harding Place (Exit 78) and travel west to Franklin Road and turn left. Proceed 1 mile south and turn left onto Farrell Rd. and turn right onto Farrell Parkway. Follow signs to entrance on the left.
A 1799 Historic House Museum:
Built in 1799, Travellers Rest was the home of John Overton, a member of the state Supreme Court and close personal friend of President Andrew Jackson.
The house began as a two-story, four-room Federal-style clapboard structure with additions built in 1812, 1828, and 1887. The site was first called Golgotha, Place of the Skulls, due to Indian graves there. Today, the home is furnished in the period of the lifetime of Judge John Overton, who died in 1833.
At the beginning of the Civil War, the home was occupied by Overtons widow (she died in 1862), her son John and his wife Harriet and their children. The farm, worked by 80 slaves, covered 1,050 acres and was valued at $68 million.
When the Union occupied Nashville in February 1862, John Overton fled his home to avoid arrest and imprisonment. Col. Overton went south and financed a Confederate regiment and became a militia officer.
During the war, Judge Overtons former law office served as a schoolhouse for local children, with Mrs. A.M. Claiborne, Mrs. Overtons sister, as the teacher. The law office was reconstructed in 1960.
Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood arrived from Franklin on Dec. 2, 1864 and made Travellers Rest his headquarters. From here, he directed the building of a five-mile defensive line south of the Union-occupied city. Also here, he met on Dec. 8 with Gen. Benjamin Franklin Cheatham, who offered his apologies for miscommunications which allowed the Federal army to escape at Spring Hill on Nov. 29.
On Dec. 11, Hood met with Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and ordered him and his troops to remain in the Murfreesboro area, thus denying him a role in the upcoming Battle of Nashville.
On Dec. 12, 1864, following the marriage of a staff officer at a nearby meeting house, Travellers Rest was the site of a grand dinner. Mrs. Harriet Overton stated, The proudest day in my life was when seven Confederate generals sat at my dining table.
During the Battle of Nashville, the women and children huddled nervously in the cellar awaiting the outcome, Gen. Hood having relocated his headquarters to the west. The Confederate lines collapsed and the retreating army moved past the house, followed by Union soldiers. On the night of Dec. 16, Union Gen. W.L. Elliott slept in the same bedroom occupied earlier by Hood.
After the war, Col. Overton took the Oath of Allegiance and committed himself to the service of disabled Confederate veterans.
Travellers Rest is owned by the Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.