Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Belle Meade Plantation - Change of Ownership

Marker ID:  
Location: on the grounds of the Belle Meade Plantation, 5025 Harding Road (Entrance to the Plantation), Nashville TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 6.4    W 086° 51.863
  36.10666666    -86.86438333
Waymark: None


Belle Meade Plantation
Change of Ownership

Confederate Gen. William Hicks “Billy” Jackson (1835–1903), who acquired Belle Meade Plantation after the war, served with distinction throughout the Western Theater of the Civil War. He was an excellent horseman, a skill that served him well during the war and afterward. He graduated from West Point in 1856 and was sent to fight in the Indian wars in New Mexico territory. In May 1861, he resigned his commission and enrolled as a Confederate artillery captain. In November 1861 at the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, Jackson was aide-de-camp to Gen. Gideon J. Pillow and was wounded in the fighting. After recovering, Jackson in April 1862 was appointed colonel of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry. Before the year ended, he had been promoted to brigadier general.

Jackson led cavalry divisions in Mississippi and Tennessee. He served under Gens. John Pemberton and Joseph E. Johnston during the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863, and then under Johnson in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. His significant battles in Tennessee were at Thompson Station in 1863 and during the Hood Campaign late in 1864. On November 30, 1864, at Franklin, Jackson told his men to “do your duty, behave like gentlemen, respect citizens and their property, and endure hardships without a murmur.”

By February 1865, Jackson commanded a Tennessee cavalry in Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s force. When the fighting ended, Jackson served as Confederated parole commissioner for soldiers from Mississippi and Alabama.

In December 1868, Jackson married Selene Harding of Belle Meade Plantation. As the new master of Belle Meade, he transformed the farm into the nation’s leading thoroughbred breeding center.