Tennessee Confederate Soldiers Home and Cemetery
4580 Rachel's Lane
Nashville, TN 37076
Now closed, the home served 700 confederate veterans over the years. Donations, even from Union veterans, helped support the hospital. While the hospital is gone, the cemetery still exists.
In 1889, the state of Tennessee set aside roughly 475 acres for a Confederate soldiers home with the balance, 25 acres (including the mansion and outbuildings), remaining in state ownership to be managed by the Ladies’ Hermitage Association. The state, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and other Confederate veterans organizations provided funding, and a state-appointed, nine-man commission oversaw construction and operations of the retirement facility. Opened in May 1892, the two-story building had room for 125 retirees, many who were physically or mentally disabled. Two attached dormitories flanked the central dining and recreation area. Much of the 475 acres surrounding the facility served as farmland, which was worked by inmates from penitentiaries, with the aim of rendering the establishment self-funding. The grounds also included an eight-acre garden, three wells, and 8.5 miles of fencing. An article published in the Confederate Veteran a year after the home’s opening described its outward appearance: “The main building is a handsome two-story structure, of brick, with stone foundation, and suitable trimmings. The central front of the building has an inscription in raised letters, ‘The Confederate Soldiers’ Home.’ The front of both wings is adorned with galleries and rounded portico, sustained by neat fluted pillars.” The home also boasted many modern conveniences, such as a self-regulating furnace, a roof mounted water tank, and hoses throughout the building for fire fighting purposes. Much of the interior comforts and furnishing were received through donation. A Union veteran residing in Nashville donated the dining furniture, a company donated the stove, and individuals provided the furnishings for the sleeping quarters. At the home the soldiers received meals and medical care and were often treated to dances and other events. Over the next 40 years, the Soldiers Home served roughly 700 veterans before closing in 1933. Upon their deaths, over half of the soldiers were interred in the adjacent cemetery. Though the building is no longer standing, the cemetery is still located on Rachel’s Lane across from the Hermitage Presbyterian Church.
- The 475-acre site included farmland worked by prisoners, an 8-acre garden, dorms, modern conveniences and recreation facilities
- Of the 700 soldiers who lived there, about half are buried in the adjacent cemetery