The Anthony Woodson House

The Preserve > Anthony Woodson House and Farm

The house known as the Woodson
House was the home of Anthony L.
and Eliza B. Chapline Woodson and
their nine children. During the "Battle
for the Bridge" Colonel Robert A.
Smith was wounded on September
17, 1862, and was taken to the
Woodson House to recover. Mary E.
Brent, only eight years old at the
time, remembered Colonel Smith
being brought to the house and
placed on the front porch. Later
when her Aunt Eliza Woodson returned home, Eliza insisted that he be moved into the house and put to bed. 

Mary Brent said Colonel Smith lived through the night with her mother and aunt ministering to him, but died the following day, September 18, 1862. Colonel Smith was placed in a crude coffin and buried in the corner of the garden. This is the area near the existing flower garden located at the rear of the house. Later the body was returned to Jackson, Mississippi for permanent burial. 

The Woodson House and farm received much damage due to the strategic importance of the massive Louisville- Nashville Railroad Bridge over the Green River near Munfordville. A strong Union garrison was maintained to protect the railroad throughout the war; in fact, it was not until the latter part of September 1865, five months after the close of the war, that the military hospital was closed and the last soldiers left the area. 

During this military occupation of the village, many citizens were inconvenienced and in most cases subjected to considerable monetary loss. Many resident's homes and buildings were requisitioned by the Union military. Scores of acres of prime timber were cut for lumber and fuel; fortifications were built and a network of roads criss-crossed what used to be fertile fields. Anthony Woodson and his wife suffered one of the biggest losses, as it was on his farm (one of the finest in the county) that the battles of December 17, 1861 and September 14-17, 1862, were fought. Fortifications were built on their land, barns and outbuildings were burned, timber was cut, and all his rail fences were torn down to be used for firewood. The fences were torn down not once but several times throughout the entire war. The war deprived the Woodson family of all their farm income. 

It is uncertain when the original house burned. Most likely the home was destroyed following the "Battle for the Bridge," as the home was not included in the claim the family filed for reimbursement from the Federal Government. Congress had passed an enabling act in 1864 to reimburse loyal civilians for losses caused by the armies in battle and through occupation. Woodson's claim was for the amount of $12,126.00. As many people considered Anthony Woodson "a Southern man," the money was very slow in coming. Years later the family finally accepted $4,594.00 in settlement. 

With this money the Woodsons rebuilt their home using the same foundation and much the same design as the original. The old Summer Kitchen is the original.


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