Civil War Times

DEATH OF A “FRAT BOY”

A SKATE PARK, pool supply store, and a rusty chain-link fence that commands little respect surround White Hall, the mansion in Spring Hill, Tenn., where Major General Earl Van Dorn, Army of Mississippi cavalry commander, made his headquarters beginning in March 1863. Although the Civil War-era home of physician and planter Aaron White retains most of its old charm, it clearly needs fresh coats of white paint. Large maples and a massive, ancient oak tree nearly obscure the view of the 1844 mansion from busy Duplex Road. “Private Property, No Trespassing,” warns a small sign near the front door.

A half-mile away, another mansion where Van Dorn also made his headquarters stands atop a slope overlooking Columbia Pike. Built in 1853, it is bordered by a ranch house, a carport, and the rest of the campus of the Tennessee Children’s Home, which owns the nearly two-acre property. Known as Ferguson Hall,

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