Developers come across possible pre-civil war remains in Nashville

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Wedgewood-Houston area is a place of major development. But crews said at one project, they found remains believed to be from the pre-civil war era.

AJ Capital Partners built the Nashville Warehouse Co. They have also been working on what will be an apartment complex next door. It’s in that vicinity we’re told skeletal pieces and wood fragments of a coffin were found.

Sebastian Terranova and Ethan Schwinn, both from New York, visited Fort Negley on Monday. When they heard a body two centuries old was found at a construction site close to the fort, they had their suspicions.

“Maybe there are different burial sites that were never marked where people are buried,” Schwinn suspects. “Maybe places that have already been developed, there are still some.”

“I think developers in the future who are working on anything near Fort Negley should count on the fact that they are going to find some human remains,” says Dr. Angie Sutton, a historian, and professor at Vanderbilt University.

She believed the remains could be of the German-Catholic community that settled in the area before the Civil War.

“We also know there were several groups of people who would bury their loved ones near the city cemetery but who couldn’t afford to be entered in the city cemetery,” says Dr. Sutton.

She thinks as developers build up; they first need to be focused on what lies below before breaking ground.

“There is so much we don’t know about pre-civil war Tennessee and about the Civil War here in Nashville,” Dr. Sutton says. “And a lot of that is tied up in the soil so those answers could be found.”

The developers are working with a Nashville judge to see if the remains can be moved to the city cemetery.

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