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Belmont Mansion




1862 – Fort Negley Employment rolls listed Randolph as a slave belonging to Co. Acklin who was impressed by the Federal Army to build Fort Negley in 1862. He worked for four months at a promised wage of $7 per month but was never paid for his labor. (Employment Rolls and Nonpayment Rolls of Negroes Employed in the Defenses of Nashville, Tennessee, 1862-1863. File #98, Tennessee State Library and Archives.)

Notes - Once the Federal Army occupied Nashville in February of 1862 they would take African Americans off the streets and make them work on fortifications around the city. They also went to surrounding plantations and took the workers as well. Randolph was impressed at some point between August and November of 1862. While the living conditions were extremely poor at Fort Negley he could have possibly walked the mile back to the Belmont estate in the evening or on weekends. Family letters from the Harding family noted that impressed slaves from Belle Meade returned on Sundays to see their family. Over 2,700 enslaved men were used to build the fornications around the city of Nashville of which only about 600 where every paid and many died from diseased and exposure. It is unknown if Randolph survived.

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