2. Confederate Spies
There is plenty of Civil War lore to go around in Williamson County. Nolensville can claim its own interesting piece of history.
Two units formed in or made up of men from Nolensville gained fame and glory in the war.
One of the early families of Nolensville were the Battles. At the beginning of the war, in April 1861, Joel A. Battle raised a company of Confederate troops at Nolensville. He called them the Zollicoffer Guards, later known as Company B-20th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry.
Battle, a captain, was elected colonel and leader of the company, and under his command they participated in almost every major battle in the western theater of the war. Their courage became legend.
A Union private from Ohio wrote, according to the History of Nolensville reference at the Williamson County Library, that fighting the 20th meant “hard work for the day.”
Their spurs were earned especially at the Battle of Stone’s River in Murfreesboro. Confederate General John Breckinridge’s wife made a Confederate battle flag from her wedding gown and asked him to present it to the hardest fighting and most gallant regiment in his division; he presented it after the battle to the 20th for “conspicuous heroism in every battle” in which they fought.
Another fearless organization that several Nolensville natives made up was Coleman’s Scouts.
This Confederate spy network served as General Braxton Bragg’s eyes and ears during the spring of 1863.
The Scouts operated behind enemy lines and were especially active around Nolensville when the Yankees were encamped near Triune. Two of the more famous Scouts were Sam Davis and Dewitt Jobe. Both were captured by the Union army and died brutal deaths rather than divulge any information or inform on other spies.