The Dickson - Williams Mansion

The Dickson - Williams Mansion (HMFOI)

Location: Greeneville, TN 37745 Greene County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 9.861', W 82° 49.915'

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A House Divided

Dr. Alexander Williams. Catharine Williams, a famous Greeneville hostess, counted Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson among her guests. She and her husband also entertained Davy Crockett, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, South Carolina Gov. Wade Hampton and his daughters.

Dr. Williams died in 1852, but his wife kept the home prominent until her death in 1870. During Greeneville's Civil War years, it was truly a house divided. Her daughter, Elizabeth, married William Sneed, a former U.S. congressman. Her son, William Dickson Williams, was a captain on Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan's staff. Another son, Joseph Alexander, was a Union soldier, and a third son, Thomas Lanier, was a Confederate soldier. Catharine Williams would not say which side she favored, and she entertained both Union and Confederate officers when they were in town. Union Gens. Ambrose Burnside and Alvan C.Geillem and Confederate Gens. James Longstreet and John Hunt Morgan each visited the mansion when they were in Greeneville.

The Federal raid on Greeneville on September 4, 1864, targeted the Dickson Williams Mansion, to capture Morgan, who was killed a few hundred yards away. Union Gen Alvan C. Gillem returned Morgan's body to the Dickson-Williams Mansion, where Catharine and Lucy Williams and their slaves, including Minerva Clem, dressed the body in a clean shirt and uniform and then laid it in a walnut coffin in the mansion's parlor. "God only knows how I felt when I entered my room and saw what remained earthly Gen. Morgan," recalled Lucy Williams. Soon local women, both Unionists and Confederates, filled the house and were "all deeply affected, and seeming, without distinction, to deplore his fall," said Confederate Capt. John H. McAfee.
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil Wars Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 3:19am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 335228 N 4003732
Decimal Degrees36.16435000, -82.83191667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 9.861', W 82° 49.915'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 9' 51.66" N, 82° 49' 54.90" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 115-199 W Church St, Greeneville TN 37745, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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