Diary of Orrin Brown—Oct 19, 1864

Zollicoffer Barracks Diary of Orrin Brown, Nashville, Tennessee

Wednesday–Oct. 19th

Quite cool and disagreable, we arrived at Nashville at 3AM were marched about 3/4 of a mile to a large brick building erected by the Rebbel Gen. Yolicoffer for a hotell but he was killed before he got it done and now the government is using it for a rendesvous for soldiers. I should judge that the building is 200 ft. square and 6 stories high. Nashville is a verry pretty place the buildings are principaly built of Brick. The State house or Capital is built of stone on a verry high eminence commanding a view of the whole city. I saw when we came in this morning the first gun boat lying in the Tenn. river but could not tell what it looked like by moon light, we got breakfast about 9 Oclock but did not get any dinner and did not get any supper till after dark on account of there being such a rush of soldiers. There was 1,000 came here this afternoon and could not get in the guards say that there is over 3,000 in this building, read 5 chapters in the Testament this evening and read some in my prayerbook. Then went to bed in one corner on the floor.

Zollicoffer Barracks was an unfinished hotel built by Col. John Overton in downtown Nashville, at North 4th Ave and Church St.  It was one of the last commissions of noted architect Isaiah Rogers.  Confederate troops initially housed in the building borrowed the name from Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer, a Nashville newspaperman who was killed in a battlefield case of mistaken identity in eastern Kentucky.

After the fall of Nashville, the building served as a Confederate prison hospital and as a rooming house for Union soldiers in transit.  Overton finished the building after the war. It served many years as the Maxwell House Hotel, which later lent its name to the coffee brand.  In the tradition of the Burdick House, the building burned on Christmas night, 1961.



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2 Responses to Diary of Orrin Brown—Oct 19, 1864

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