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Camp Bell, William Bowen Campbell House - 1315 Coles Ferry Pike

Camp Bell was the last home of Governor William Bowen Campbell (1807-1867). Originally built c. 1835 by William Seawell, the home and over two hundred acres were purchased by Campbell’s parents David and Catharine Bowen Campbell in 1842. In 1853 Campbell re-located to Lebanon to assume the duties of the President of the Bank of Middle Tennessee. He and his wife, Frances Owen Campbell, moved into the home which they named, Camp Bell.

The structure with a simple, Greek Revival style consists of a central brick section with two flanking weatherboard wings. The central section is the original portion of the home with the two wings added in 1858 by the Campbells. Also added in 1858 is the central doorway with double leaf doors surrounded by two pilasters and sidelights and topped with a transom and corner lights; all in red bohemian glass which was a popular style of the time. In 1925, the two screened porches were added as well as the three dormers and balustrades on the façade (front) of the home. The interior of the home retains its original mantels in the center section.

William Bowen Campbell was elected the sixteenth governor of Tennessee in 1851. He gained earlier fame as Colonel of the first Tennessee volunteers in the Mexican War. The regiment would earn the reputation as the “Bloody First.” During the Civil War, Campbell held to his convictions of a unified nation, serving in the Union Army as a Brigadier General. He did not hold this position for long; he resigned after a few weeks for health reasons and to recuse himself from fighting against neighbors and friends. He was elected to the U.S. Congress from Wilson County in 1866. Campbell was recognized for his actions as a public servant and soldier with the naming of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in his honor.

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