In 1862, the widow Mary Jane Gibson and her children lived here in a small cabin. The Gibsons were poor tenant farmers who scratched out a living on land owned by Henry Bottom, their first cousin.
On October 8, the household was spun into confusion as blue-clad Union troops swarmed around the house. Soon, Donelson's Confederate brigade attacked and the Federal soldiers fell back to this ridge, where they reformed on the high ground around the cabin.
For the Gibson family, it must have been a terrifying experience. Artillery shells exploded overhead, bullets cracked against the cabin walls, and wounded Union troops swarmed around the structure desperately looking for shelter. The frightened Widow Gibson took an axe, chopped a hole in the floor and hid with her family beneath the house. The family was so scared that they refused to emerge from their hiding place for several days.
As every barn, home, church and stable was used as a field hospital following the battle. it is likely that the Gibson cabin also served as a hospital. However, archeological work on the site has determined that cannon fire damaged the cabin so severely that the Gibson family abandoned it shortly after the battle.
We all bounded to our feet like so many parched peas, determined to pour the contents of our muskets, into the ranks of our ungodly opposers ... our bullets found them in their hiding places and strewn the ground with their mutilated carcases — the legitamate fruits of (their) own treason and folly - Union Soldier Joseph Gloren, 80th Indiana Infantry
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