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Buildings Destroyed at Montvale


Legal documents such as the one transcribed below can be an invaluable source of historical detail when attempting to understand the past. This particular document records a tremendous amount of detail about the buildings which were used as homes for the gardeners and enslaved people at Belmont, the farm buildings, fences, livestock and cisterns. All of which help when staff is attempting to reconstruct how the property functioned and where people lived. The full transcript is included here as evidence of the past and to aid other researchers.

Copy of Record

Nashville Tenn Aug 2 1865


Proceedings of Board of Assessors in the case of Mrs. A. Acklin[sic]

The Board then proceeded to take evidence in the case of Mrs. A. Acklin[sic] as to destruction of property as set forth in the following bill viz.


 The United States
To Mrs. A. Acklin  Dr.


 No.       Items                                                                                   Dollars                                                                        

1            1 Brick Dwelling House Tin Roof                                 3,000.00
2           4   “          “               “       “     “                                        10,000.00
3           1 Stable and Corn Crib                                                    300.00
4           1 Bam and Shed                                                               1,200.00
5           1 Smoke House                                                                 200.00
6           1 Turkey House                                                                150.00
7           1 Poultry House                                                                150.00
8           3,000 yards Stone fence damaged & destroyed           2,700.00
9           400        “    Plank fence and posts                                  500.00
10         2,000     “    Picket fence                                                   1,500.00
11          Damage to Cisterns and pumps                                    80.00
12         2 large Gates and Posts                                                    40.00
13        32 Sheep                                                                              64.00
14         7 Milch[sic] Cows                                                              280.00
15         5 Beef Cattle                                                                       375.00
16          4 Calves                                                                             20.00
17          6 Goats                                                                              25.00
18          2 Mules                                                                              225.00
19          3 Horses                                                                            300.00
20         150 Poultry                                                                        45.00
21          Stock Hogs                                                                       375.00                                                                                                  

                                                                                    Total            $21,577.00

Judge Nathaniel Baxter being duly Sworn testifies as follows: Should think there was 3,500 yards (as described in Item 8) of Stone fence thrown down, considerable [sic] being put into the line of works by the U.S. Forces. - I have engaged to have a stone fence put up at one dollar per yard provided the Stone can be quarried within one-hundred yards, without blasting. Think that $2,700 for rebuilding the 3,500 yards would be full compensation there being an average of one foot of the fence standing.  Think the gate on Hillsboro Pike (as described in item 12) would cost $20 to replace I know nothing of the other gate. Think a flock of sheep would be worth $2.00 per head.


William C. Rock being duly Sworn testifies as follows: Am in the employ of Mrs. Acklin as gardner [sic].  I know of one 2 story brick dwelling House and 3 or 4 one story brick dwelling houses, one log Stable, one picket post barn and one Shed.  Know nothing of Smoke house, Turkey House and Poultry House. - There were about two miles of stone fence. Some was used in the Breastworks and the balance [sic] is lying about on the ground - there was about 400 yards of Plank fence (in the rear of family dwelling) burnt up.  There was about 1,800 or 2,000 yards of picket fencing 5 feet high taken, part was used in the Breastworks and part burnt up. - Know of no damage done to Cisterns. Some of the pumps were broken in use by the Soldiers - two large gates were broken and burnt up. -  Know nothing about Sheep or Milch [sic] cows. 2 beef Cattle were taken while I was there.  Know nothing of Calves, Goats, Mules, Horses, Poultry or stock Hogs taken.-


The 2 Story brick Dwelling and the 3 or 4 one Story Negro quarters were torn down  Part of the Brick were used in the        Breastworks, The Balance [sic], except the pieces, were Sold by Mrs. Acklin to Messrs McCune and Leonard at $10.00  per thousand/ do not know how many were sold.  The articles that I have mentioned as being taken or destroyed, was done by the 4th army Corps Genl Wood commanding with Hdqtrs at Mrs Acklin's house.

Fredrick Kipp. Musician 10 Michigan Inftry. Vols. being duly sworn testifies as follows:  I have been detailed as safe guard at the Acklin farm. went there Sept 30th 1864. The 2 story brick dwelling house was a good substantial house.  It was hauled down by Genl. Wood’s division of the 4th Corps and used in the Breastworks.  There was only 3 one story brick dwellings that I know of.  They were also hauled down by Genl Wood’s Division of the 4th Corps and used in the Breastworks.  1 Stable and corn Crib, 1 barn and Shed, 1 Smoke house, 1 Turkey house and 1 Poultry house were taken down by Genl Wood’s Division of the 4th Corp and used in the Breastworks, for firewood and other purposes. -  I should think there was all of 3,500 yards of Stone fence about 4 feet high. of some was taken down and used in the Breastworks and Soldier’s cabins by Genl Woods Division of the 4th Corp.  I should think there was 400 of Plank fence and posts and 2,000 yards of Picket fence carried away by Wood’s Division of the 4th Corps for firewood, there were two Cisterns and two pumps.  the pumps were broken by the Soldiers of Genl Woods Division And were then obliged to take the tops of the Cisterns off to procure water and in so doing the walls caved in.-  The 2 large gates and posts situated on the Granny White and Hillsboro Pikes, were used for firewood by the teamsters of Genl Woods Division train  I know  nothing of 23 Sheep - Two Milch[sic] cows one 3 year old Bull, four yearling Heifers and 2 Calves (6 weeks old) were taken by Genl Woods Division of the 4th Army Corps. I know nothing of 6 goats 2 mules 3 Horses and 150 poultry.-  one Sow and two young pigs were taken by the Soldiers of Genl Woods Division of the 4th Army Corps.


Mrs. Acklin Sold(40,000) forty thousand brick at $10.00 per thousand.  The Bricks in breastwork can be taken out and used again.  The stone from the fence is nearby and can be used again in the fence.  The Barn was made of Picket Posts of Cedar and was about 24 by 48 feet.  The Shed was of Plank with tine  [sic] roof and was about 16 by 30 feet.-  The foundations of the brick houses are still there, they are Stone.  The Stable and corn crib were of plank with tin roof.  The smoke house Turkey and Poultry houses were of Brick.  The turkey house was two Stories.  the others only one story with tin roofs.  They were six or eight cornered, they were 8 or 10 feet high.  I know nothing about the value of any of this property.


William L. B. Lawrence being duly Sworn testifies as follows:-  I live adjoining Mrs. A. Acklin's place, Know that a 2 story and 3 one storied brick buildings belonging to Mrs. A Acklin were torn down by Genl Woods Corp of U.S. Forces and used in the Breastworks. A Stable and Corn Crib and one Barn and Shed were used the same was.  I do not recollect [sic] the other outbuildings.  Mr. Shields and Mrs. Acklin desired me to make an estimate of the fencings.  Mr. Shields was with me.  We concluded there was about 3,500 yards of Stone fence down and damaged.  The larger portion of it was scattered about, there was 300 or 400 yards of plank fence in rear of family residence entirely destroyed, it was about 5 feet high.  There was about 200 yards of picket fence South of Mrs. Acklins between her and my lot destroyed it was about 4 1/2  feet high.  it was orriginaly[sic] put up at her expence [sic].  I have repaired it and  Sometimes She has.   Know nothing of damage to Cistern and pumps.  Know of two large gates and posts destroyed.


This property was taken or destroyed by genl Woods Corp of U.S. Forces about the middle of December 1864.  Do not know that they took any Sheep, Calves, Goats, Mules, Cows, Horses, Poultry or Hogs from Mrs. Acklin.-  Should think the 2 story building was worth $3,000.00 and the 3 one storied quarters about $1,000.00 each.-  the Stables and corn crib was worth about $1,500.00.  Should think from present prices of labor that it would be worth 90 cents per yard.  A part of the stone fence with the stone lying about and in Breastworks as they are now.- Should think it would be worth $3,600 to replace the board fence with Cedar posts it was worth 45 cts per yard.-  think it worth double now.  The picket fence was made of Cedar rails sawed in two. Cedar rails are worth $5.00 per hundred.  think one hundred rails would make one hundred feet of fence.  Digging trenchs [sic] and putting up would be worth about $5.00 per hundred feet.  Total cost would be about $10.00 per hundred feet. 


The large gates and posts were worth about $10.00 each.- Mrs Acklin owned this property in her own right before marraige[sic].- I am Mrs Acklin's Brother-in-law.  Mr. Acklin was not worth anything to the best of my knowledge.-  I know there was a company raised in Nashville for the Rebel Service in 1861 called the “Acklin Rifles.”  Do not know of Mrs Acklins Equiping [sic] this or any other company.  Mr. Acklin told me he had given the Capt. of the company one  hundred dollars to use for the company benefit.


George W. Shields, merchant, and agent for Mrs. Acklin being duly sworn testifies:  Know that a 2 Story brick dwelling, three one Story brick & what I supposed was another brick but have since learned was a one Story frame.-  Was on Mrs. Acklin's farm, and were destroyed by U.S. Forces in December.-  Know there was several outbuildings, but do not recollect [sic] character of them. Mr. Lawrance [sic] and myself estimated that there was 3,500 yards Stone fence partly down, the stone are near the fortifications and about where the tents were.-  The plank fence was estimated at 400 yards.  This was entirely destroyed.- 2,000 yards of picket fence was also    estimated same time.  The Cisterns and pumps were in good order   before genl. Woods went there, and were damaged when he left, 2 gates were damaged same time.  Know that Mrs. Acklin had some stock before Genl. Woods Corps occupied the place and that there was not as much when he went away.-  Do not know value of property damaged or destroyed.  Know Mr Acklin, Husband of Mrs. Acklin, Do not think he was worth anything except what he was entitled to for the management of Mrs Acklin's property in Louisiana.  I rented on November last to Mr. A. R. Goodwin the 2 Story brick dwelling and four Smaller ones with all outbuildings with the gardens and twenty or thirty acres of pasturing for his own stock for six hundred dollars a year.  He was to have had possession January 1st 1865. the buildings and fences being destroyed he did not take it.-

Thomas Bowstead, farmer, being duly Sworn testifies as follows-  I live adjoining Mrs. Acklins farm.  there were 5 Houses destroyed, 4 were brick and one frame;  there was 1 Stable & Corn Crib destroyed it was large and could hold 10 Horses.-  I don’t know of Barn & Shed Smoke house, Turkey and Poultry houses being destroyed.  Should suppose there was about 3,000 yards of Stone fence destroyed.-  have never examined same -  Know nothing of Company called the “Acklin Rifles,” except by hearsay -  Know that Mrs Acklin had some stock, but do not know that any of it was taken.  I know nothing of any other items in Mrs. Acklin's bill than those I have mentioned.  I don’t know who destroyed these buildings nor the probable cost of repairing or replacing them.  I do not know whether the fence or buildings were destroyed before or after Hood came near Nashville or if said property was destroyed by U.S. Forces.-


William Acklin, Colored, being duly sworn testifies as follows.-  I have been in the employ of Mrs. Acklin for the past 19 years.  I know of there being one brick dwelling house 2 Stories high with tin roof but cannot state value.  Know of there being 4 Brick dwelling Houses with two rooms each, one story high.  Know of all the houses being torn down and used in the breastworks and Fortifications by the U.S. Forces.


I know of there being a frame Stable and corn crib which were torn down but can’t state dimentions [sic] or what it was used for. one Barn and Shed, one Smoke house, one Turkey and one Poultry house were all torn down but can’t state what they were used for.  I should think there was 3,500 yards of Stone fence about four feet high which was taken by U.S. Forces for the construction of the fortifications.  But can’t state what command they belonged too [sic].


There were 400 yards of plank fence and posts, and 200 yards of Picket fence carried away, But can’t state who by.  There were three cisterns and three wells.  They were all damaged the Stocks[?] were all broken off by the Soldiers.  Know of their large ates and posts all of which were capped.  they were all torn down and destroyed while the place was occupied by the U.S. Forces But cant State who by-  I know of there being on the place 232 Sheep 7 Milch [sic] Cows 5 Beef Cattle 2 Calves 6 Goats 2 Mules 8 Horses 150 poultry 35 Stock hogs, taken from the place while the grounds were occupied by the U.S. troops but can’t say who they were taken by.


James C. Terry Citizen, being duly Sworn testifies as follows.  I was living on Mrs. Acklins place at the time the lines were formed on the place by the U.S. and rebels in December 1864.  I was living in the overseer’s house.  The one called a two Story, but it was only a Story and a half.


The U.S. line of works ran over where this house stood. I left the house some eight or ten days before the fight.  There were three other brick houses one story and two frame houses all torn down and used in different ways, principaly [sic] in building chimneys for tents.  The frame houses were used in the breast works.  Barn Stable corn crib Shed and Cribs were all torn down by the U.S. Forces frame Smoke house, Small, say 12 by 14 [ft].  Turkey house, frame, good size, And Poultry house, frame, good size, were also destroyed. There was a good deal of stone fence and some Picket fencing torn down.  one pump was broken but do not know how bad.  Four Gates and posts were destroyed.  Know nothing of any Sheep.  Know nothing of any Cows Calves Cattle Goats Mules Horses chickens or hogs being taken by U.S. Forces from Mrs. Acklin.  Think the large brick house worth about $2,500 think the other three brick houses worth about $2,000 each.  Frame worth nothing except for lumber, think it worth about $75.00  small frame worth about the same.  Stable, Corn Crib, Barn and Shed were worth altogether about $1,500  Smoke house worth about $40.00   Turkey house and Poultry house worth about $100.00 each  Think as the stone is lying about and in Breastworks near the line of fence that the Stone fence could be put up in as good condition as it was before for one dollar per yard. It would be worth about $300 to replace the Cedar Picket fence.

The four gates and posts could be replaced for about $20.00 each.  It was the common report in town and country that Mrs. Acklin had equipped a Rebel Company called the “Acklin Guards” I was living at that time within two miles of Nashville and within one mile of Mrs. Acklins place.  Since the Federal Army came here She has been reported a Union woman, never knew her to do anything that led me to believe she was a Union woman.  I lived on her place nearly two years.


In the above case of Mrs. A. Acklin we find that the property mentioned below was taken by, and for the use of the United States and have assessed the damages as set opposite the items:


Item                                                                       Dollars 
Large Brick House                                              2,622.50
3 Small  “        “                                                    3,000.00
Frame    “        “                                                   150.00
Stable Barn Shed and Crib                                1,200.00
Smoke House                                                      40.00
Turkey    “                                                            100.00
Poultry    “                                                           100.00
3,500 Yards Stone fence                                      2,465.50
Plant fence and posts                                         360.00
Picket fence                                                          5,220.00
2 Large Gates and posts                                     25.00
2 Cows                                                                  75.00
4 Heifers and 1 Bull                                            120.00
2 Calves                                                                20.00
1 Sow and 2 Pigs                                                 20.00            
                                                        Total            $10,817.00

From this amount[sic] deduct 40,000
Brick Sold by Mrs Acklin[sic] @40 per       ]   400.00
Estimated value of good brick in
Earthworks $1,000                                             1,400.00     
                                                        Total            $9,417.00


The Damage to Cisterns and pumps was trifling in value.  The Sheep Goats, Mules Horses Poultry and Stock Hogs were mentioned by but one witness and he did not know who took them.  But two cows proved to have been taken by the U.S.  Forces.

From the testimony we believe Mrs. A. Acklin[sic] and her husband, during his lifetime, to have been not only disloyal, but motoriously so.  A company for the Rebel Army was raised here and in honor of the family was called the “Acklin[sic] Guards, or Rifles."

For this reason we would recommend that no part of the assessed damages be paid.


Respectfully Submitted:


J. C. Frankeberger
Lt Col 188th Ohio Inft & Pss[?] Board


U. J. Vail
Major 14th US Inftry


W. Stoey
1st Lieut 78th ???[unreadable]


H. A. Baker
1st G 100 o.o.d.
and Recorder



Nashville 15th May 1865

Office Board of Assessors
Nashville Tenn Aug 2nd 1865


 Major H. M. Cist


AA Genl


Sir,In accordance with instructions of Aug 1st received this day this Board has closed the only unfinished case now before them.  You will find Lew with the case of Mrs. A. Acklin with our award, also the papers refered to the Board but which have not yet been commenced by Thomas Gale and W.B. Evans Ms Sarah A. Gordon and Ms Mary L. Clements the latter one was this day received.

All cases now before the Board are closed out or herewith returned

I am very Respectfully

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