Civil War Wiki
Elm Springs
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Location: Mooresville Pike
Nearest city: Columbia, Tennessee
Built/Founded: 1837
Architect: Nathan Vaught
Architectural style(s): Greek Revival
Added to NRHP: March 13, 1986
NRHP Reference#: 86000402

Elm Springs is a two-story, brick house built in 1837 in the Greek Revival style. It is located just outside of Columbia, Tennessee, United States. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and has served as the headquarters for the Sons of Confederate Veterans since 1992.


The house was built in 1837 by Mr. James & Nathaniel Dick of the N & J Dick Company, two wealthy New Orleans cotton merchants. The home was a gift for their sister, Sarah Todd, wife of Christopher Todd formerly of Virginia. The Todd family lived here until the couple died and then the property was inherited by a daughter, Susan Todd, who was the wife of Abraham M. Looney, a prominent attorney in Maury County and a Tennessee State Senator.

During the Civil War, Looney was an outspoken southerner and served in the Confederate States Army as a Captain in command of Company H, 1st Tennessee Infantry which Sam Watkins of "Company Aytch" fame was a member. Looney was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In November 1864 Confederate units of the Army of Tennessee began the march north for Nashville in the ill fated Franklin-Nashville Campaign. The Union Army, which had occupied Maury County for several months, was preparing defensive positions ahead of the oncoming Confederate troops under General John B. Hood in a line of defense extending from the Mooresville Pike to the Mount Pleasant Pike. As Union forces under the command of General John M. Schofield began their hasty withdrawal from Columbia, they began destroying important buildings along the line of withdrawal by fire as a defensive tactic and many of Maury County's majestic antebellum homes were destroyed. Elm Springs anchored the eastern flank of their line and was slated for destruction as the last Union troops left Columbia. Responding to pleas from local citizens, Confederate Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong dispatched a squad of mounted infantry to ensure the safety of Lieutenant Colonel Looney's home and property. Fires which might have burned the house were extinguished by their opportune arrival.

The Akin family acquired the property about 1910 and in 1985 the Gillham family purchased it and restored it to near original state. In 1992 it became the headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Military Order of the Stars and Bars. Together, the two organizations co-published a magazine, Confederate Veteran. In late 2005, the organizations separated over political differences and the Military Order of Stars and Bars moved from Elm Springs to Daphne, Alabama.

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