Alice Thompson and other women from the area hid in the home’s basement (by this time owned by the Banks family) as the Confederates led their cavalry across the property toward Union lines. Roderick, one of the most famed horses during war, was shot from beneath his rider during the battle and died not far from the home. At one point, 17-year-old Alice Thompson braved the bullets to recover and wave the Confederate color bearer’s flag, urging her troops on. After the battle, many of the wounded were taken into the Manor to be treated.
In 1887, the Banks family sold the home, and it passed through several hands over the years. A member of the family bought it back in 1959, but a decade later it passed out of family ownership again. Former owner William Darby said a cannon ball found lodged in a tree in the front yard was used as a doorstop for years by the Banks family, and it became a tradition to pass the ball to subsequent owners. Today, diners can view that cannon ball which is on display at Homestead.
In spring 2013, Homestead Manor commemorated 150 years since the storied fight with its grand re-opening of the beautiful home and a battle re-enactment that drew thousands. The property was also placed under permanent conservation easement through The Land Trust of Tennessee.
A. Marshall Family Foods Inc. purchased the property with plans to take it from a former tea room and event space to a multi-faceted destination that would become a jewel within the Thompson’s Station community. Today, the home sits as a preserved oasis surrounded by lush green grass, mature trees and gentle hills that define the landscape. The versatile venue includes an event barn, a fresh farm-to-table restaurant concept, a farmer’s market and educational opportunities involving Homestead’s working farm.