A monument to General Robert Hatton was placed in the center of the Public Square May 20, 1912. Hatton was a graduate of Cumberland University, a lawyer, a State and U. S. Representative from Wilson County and first colonel of the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment.
In 1862, seven days after being promoted to Brigadier General, he was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines in Richmond, Virginia. His remains would eventually return to Lebanon and are interned at Cedar Grove Cemetery.
A believer of a unified nation, Hatton gave an impassioned speech at the Lebanon courthouse, April 1, 1861, on the efforts of compromise and a moderate course of action. Later that night a crowd gathered on the lawn of Hatton’s home on West Main Street, “beating tin pans and whooping savagely,” disapproving of his earlier speech. Afterwards, a figure of Hatton was burned in effigy.
After President Lincoln’s call for volunteers to fight against the southern states, Hatton sided with Tennessee in its vote for secession and formed a Confederate military unit, the Lebanon Blues.