May 11, 2020, May/June Froe Chips, Researched by Debbie Lillard and Barry Lamb and written by Barry Lamb
The house was decorated with holly and winter berries…the lights from lamps and candles flashed on the uniforms and the trappings of the officers, and were reflected in the bright eyes of the pretty Tennessee girls who had gathered.
All the officers of high rank who could reach Murfreesboro had assembled for the wedding, General Bragg among them. Distinguished civilians were present in great numbers…the house was packed with people to its full capacity.
The raven-haired, black mustached Morgan in his general’s uniform, looking like a hero of chivalry, the bride, a girl of rare beauty, tall, dark haired, and blue eyes, with a creamy complexion and perfect features. Standing before them to perform the ceremony in his full military uniform, Bishop Polk, himself a general of the Confederate Army, and bishop in the Episcopal Church.
Two or three regimental bands had been provided for the occasion. Outside in the streets thousands of soldiers were assembled, who by the lighted bonfires, celebrated the wedding in proper style, cheering Morgan and his bride.
After the wedding there was a great supper served in the Ready mansion where the wedding party and invited guests feasted bountifully…turkeys, hams, chickens, ducks, game, and all the delicacies and good dishes a southern kitchen could produce were on the board, while Colonel Ready’s cellars still had a sufficient stock of wine to provide for the many toasts.
After the wedding supper, the bands were called in and the gallant soldiers and the Tennessee belles dances to their hearts’ content.”
The foregoing colorful description of the wedding of Confederate general John Hunt Morgan and Mattie Ready was given by General Basil W. Duke, an officer who served under Morgan, 50 years after the event took place.
The nuptials were held at the home of the bride’s family, located on the south side of the 100 block of East Main Street in Murfreesboro on December 14, 1862.
The bride’s father, Charles Ready Jr., was a Murfreesboro attorney and had served as the mayor of the town from 1849-1853. He had also served in the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1835-1837 and in the United States House of Representatives from 1853-1859. Being among the upper crust of Murfreesboro society, Mr. Ready was certainly capable of hosting such an elaborate social event for his beautiful daughter.
The wedding took place just two weeks before the terrible carnage that would occur at the Battle of Stones River and would be the last time a celebration would be held in the town for many years due to the ravishes of the War for Southern Independence.
The Ready home was probably built during the 1840s. It was a two story brick house with double chimneys on each end of the house.
Charles Ready Jr. and his wife, Martha Strong Ready, were the parents of seven children. Among them were Horace Ready, who served as colonel of the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment, CSA, during the Civil War. Their other two sons, Charles and Aaron, both died before the war. Two daughters, Mary Emma and Cora Alice, married and moved to Nashville and Lebanon respectively. One daughter, Ella Love, married local attorney, Leland Jordan, and remained in Murfreesboro.
Following the death of Charles Ready Jr. in 1878, the grand ole mansion was converted into a hotel by his son, Horace Ready. Known as the Ready House Hotel, it operated as such until 1885 with proprietors Horace Ready and Henry Harrison Kerr.
The hotel was purchased in 1885 by Edward Leland Jordan, father of the previously mentioned Leland Jordan. Mr. Jordan hired local brick mason, Washington Columbus Henry, to remodel the hotel and to add a third floor to the structure. It opened in January 1886 as the Jordan Hotel.
E. L. Jordan gave the hotel to his two sons, Montfort Fletcher Jordan and Leland Jordan. The former later bought the interests of the property from the latter and operated the hotel for many years.
The Jordan Hotel was in operation for 50 years on East Main Street and was owned by several individuals during that time, including William Love and Ferdinand Washington Miles. The building also included many stores and professional offices which operated on the bottom floor of the building.
The structure was converted from a hotel to an apartment building around 1935 and operated as the Jordan Apartments until 1965, when it was razed during the summer of that year.