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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hazel Path Mansion - Hendersonville, TN

Hazel Path Mansion - Hendersonville, TN

Hazel Path is a mansion on the National Register of Historic Places located in Hendersonville, TN. An office park has surrounded in just off of US31. Today, the mansion is used for lawyer offices.

Here is the history from a Civil War Trust marker:
Hazel Path Mansion is associated with the beginnings and legacies of the Civil War in Tennessee. The home of Confederate Gen. Daniel Smith Donelson, completed in 1857, became a camp for escaped slaves during the war.

Donelson was the grandson of Pioneers Daniel Smith of Rock Castle and John Donelson of Nashville. From the age of three, after his father's death, Daniel Donelson lived with his uncle, Andrew Jackson, at Jackson's Hermitage plantation. Donelson graduated from West Point in 1825 but served less than a year in the U.S. Army.

Before Tennessee seceded in 1861, Gov. Isham G. Harris appointed Donelson a general of state troops and asked him to locate sites for fortifications. Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, was named for him. He became a Confederate General in July 1861 and served under Gen. Robert E. Lee in western Virginia. Donelson then served under Gen. Braxton Bragg in the 1862 Kentucky campaign and led a brigade at the Battle of Stones River at the end of the year. On April 17, 1863, Donelson died of natural causes while in charge of the Department of East Tennessee. He is buried west of here at the Presbyterian Church on Gallatin Pike.

Donelson's widow. Margaret Branch Donelson, returned in July 1865 to find the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's Bureau) occupying the plantation, which had been a contraband camp since the Battle of Nashville in December 1864. About 900 former slaves had lived there, growing crops, cutting timber, and operating a sawmill. Mrs. Donelson petitioned President Andrew Johnson for the return of her property. Johnson agreed because her father, North Carolina Gov. John Branch, had been kind to him in his youth. The Berry family owned the house from 1886 to 1978.

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