|The Cherry Mansion was used as headquarters by Union generals Charles Ferguson Smith, Ulysses Grant|
and Don Carlos Buell. It is a private residence today. (CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.)
|On the morning of April 6, 1862, Ulysses Grant |
was at Annie Cherry's breakfast table
when he heard the report from a cannon.
"The ball is in motion," the general said, according to Annie Cherry. Grant and his staff boarded a steamship and headed toward Pittsburg Landing.
The Battle of Shiloh had begun.
THE GENERAL WAS SOBER -- Decades after the war, Annie Cherry, whose two brothers served in the Confederate Army, dismissed rumors that Grant was drunk the morning of the battle. "You will please accept my assurance, gladly given, that on the date mentioned I believe Gen. Grant was thoroughly sober," she wrote in a letter published in Confederate Veteran in February 1893. Added Cherry: "During the weeks of his occupancy of my house he always demeaned himself as a gentleman; was kind, courteous, genial, and considerate, and never appeared in my presence in a state of intoxication."
GRANT'S PIANO: The general and other Union officers were entertained in the house by Annie and her sisters. The piano they played remains on the first floor of the house, a private residence today.
HOSPITAL SITE: After the Battle of Shiloh, which resulted in nearly 24,000 casualties, a makeshift hospital was set up in the yard of the mansion. Days after the battle, hospital boats were moored in the Tennessee River below the house.
|Mortally wounded at Shiloh, General W.H.L. Wallace died|
in his wife's arms at the Cherry Mansion. She never remarried.
|Charles F. Smith|
In early May, Smith's body lay in state at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where he was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. (Read my Civil War Times column on the cemetery.) "An unceasing stream of visitors, a great portion of whom were ladies, thronged towards the Hall for the purpose of viewing the remains, from the time the doors were opened until six o'clock, when they were closed," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on May 6, 1862. "It was estimated by officers of the bodyguard that the number of visitors during the day amounted to 100 per minute."
"There was no better soldier in the army," the Philadelphia newspaper noted, "than General Smith."
|A view of the mansion from the Tennessee River side.|
|A view of the mansion through an iron gate from the Tennessee River side.|
|A Civil War Trails marker notes the significance of the Cherry Mansion.|