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Encyclopedia > Battle of Nashville
Battle of Nashville
Part of the American Civil War

Federal outer line, December 16, 1864
Date December 15December 16, 1864
Location Davidson County, Tennessee
Result Decisive Union victory
Combatants
United States of America Confederate States of America
Commanders
George H. Thomas John Bell Hood
Strength
IV Corps,
XXIII Corps,
detachment of Army of the Tennessee,
provisional detachment,
and Cavalry Corps
Army of Tennessee
Casualties
2,900 approximately 13,000

The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. It was fought at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 15 and December 16, 1864. Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... Download high resolution version (1024x987, 157 KB)Nashville, Tenn. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Davidson County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... General George H. Thomas George Henry Thomas (July 31, 1816 – March 28, 1870), the Rock of Chickamauga, was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War. ... John Bell Hood (June 1[1] or June 29[2], 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War and an old friend of Lt. ... There were two corps of the Union Army called IV Corps during the American Civil War. ... XXIII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... The Army of the Tennessee was a Union army in the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River. ... Western Theater campaigns of 1864–65 The Franklin-Nashville Campaign, also known as Hoods Tennessee Campaign, was a series of battles in the Western Theater, fought in the fall of 1864 in Alabama, Tennessee, and northwestern Georgia during the American Civil War. ... Battle of Allatoona Conflict American Civil War Date October 5, 1864 Place Bartow County, Georgia Result Union victory The Battle of Allatoona, also known as Allatoona Pass, was a battle during the American Civil War on October 5, 1864. ... The Battle of Decatur was fought October 26–29, 1864, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. ... The Battle of Johnsonville was fought November 4–5, 1864, in Benton County, Tennessee, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War In an effort to check the Union army’s advance through Georgia, Maj. ... Battle of Spring Hill Conflict American Civil War Date November 29, 1864 Place Maury County, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Spring Hill was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on November 29, 1864 in Maury County, Tennessee. ... Battle of Franklin II Conflict American Civil War Date November 30, 1864 Place Williamson County, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Franklin was a major engagement of the American Civil War fought at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. ... Battle of Murfreesboro Conflict American Civil War Date December 5-7, 1864 Place Murfreesboro, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Murfreesboro III was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on December 5-7, 1864 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. ... Western Theater campaigns of 1864–65 The Franklin-Nashville Campaign, also known as Hoods Tennessee Campaign, was a series of battles in the Western Theater, fought in the fall of 1864 in Alabama, Tennessee, and northwestern Georgia during the American Civil War. ... Western Theater Overview (1861 – 1865) This article presents an overview of major military and naval operations in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... “Nashville” redirects here. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...

Contents

Prelude

Following the Battle of Franklin on November 30, the forces of Union Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield left Franklin, Tennessee, and concentrated within the defensive works of Nashville alongside the Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. Thomas, the Rock of Chickamauga, was in command of the overall force, numbering approximately 49,000 men. Battle of Franklin II Conflict American Civil War Date November 30, 1864 Place Williamson County, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Franklin was a major engagement of the American Civil War fought at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. ... is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... For John Schofield, the recipient of a Victoria Cross see John Schofield (VC). ... Franklin is the county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, USA. The population was 41,842 at the 2000 census. ... Union army in the west during the American Civil War, commanded at various times by Generals Robert Anderson, Don Carlos Buell, William S. Rosecrans, and George Thomas. ... General George H. Thomas George Henry Thomas (July 31, 1816 – March 28, 1870), the Rock of Chickamauga, was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders William S. Rosecrans George H. Thomas Braxton Bragg James Longstreet Strength Army of the Cumberland (56,965) Army of Tennessee (70,000) Casualties 16,170 (1,657 killed, 9,756 wounded, 4,757 captured/missing) 18,454 (2,312 killed...


The Union defensive line was quite similar to the one at Franklin. A semicircular line surrounded Nashville from the west to the east, dipping a mile (1,600 m) to the south; the remainder of the circle, to the north, was the Cumberland River. Clockwise around the line was the division of Maj. Gen. James B. Steedman on the Union left, Schofield's XXIII Corps, Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood's IV Corps, and Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Smith's XVI Corps. Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson's Cavalry Corps was stationed just north of the river. The Cumberland River is an important waterway in the southern United States. ... XXIII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... Thomas J. Wood was a Union General during the American Civil War. ... There were two corps of the Union Army called IV Corps during the American Civil War. ... Andrew Jackson Smith (April 28, 1815 – January 30, 1897) was a U.S. Army general during the American Civil War, rising to the command of a corps. ... XVI Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... Portrait of James Wilson during the Civil War James Harrison Wilson (September 2, 1837 – February 23, 1925) was a U.S. Army topographic engineer, a Union Army general in the American Civil War and later wars, a railroad executive, and author. ...


The Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood arrived south of the city on December 2 and took up positions facing the Union forces within the city. Not nearly strong enough to assault the Federal fortifications, Hood opted for the defensive. Rather than repeating his suicidal attack at Franklin, he entrenched and waited, hoping that Thomas would attack him. Then, after Thomas smashed his army against the Confederate entrenchments, Hood could counterattack and take Nashville. (Assuming that worked, Hood's longer-term plan was to recruit additional soldiers in central Tennessee and Kentucky and then push through the Cumberland Gap to relieve Robert E. Lee in Petersburg.) Some Confederate soldiers The Confederate States Army (CSA) was organized in February 1861 to defend the newly formed Confederate States of America from military action by the United States government. ... The Army of Tennessee can refer to either of two American Civil War armies: Army of Tennessee, the Confederate army named after the state of Tennessee. ... US Lieutenant General insignia In three branches of the United States Army, United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force, a Lieutenant General is also called a three-star general, named for the three stars worn on the uniform. ... John Bell Hood (June 1[1] or June 29[2], 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War and an old friend of Lt. ... is the 336th day of the year (337th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers through the Cumberland Gap (George Caleb Bingham, oil on canvas, 1851–52) Cumberland Gap (el. ... // This article is about the Confederate general. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant Robert E. Lee Strength 67,000 – 125,000 average of 52,000 Casualties 53,386 ~32,000 The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign was a series of battles around Petersburg, Virginia, fought from June 15, 1864, to March...


The Confederate line opposed the southeasterly facing portion of the Union line (the part occupied by Steedman and Schofield). From right to left were the corps of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham, Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, and Maj. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart. Cavalry commander Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was off to the southwest of the city. Benjamin F. Cheatham Benjamin Franklin Cheatham (October 20, 1820 – September 4, 1886), known also as Frank, was a Tennessee farmer, California gold miner, and a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... Stephen Dill Lee (September 22, 1833 – May 28, 1908) was the youngest lieutenant general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and later became a Mississippi planter, legislator, and president of Mississippi A&M College. ... Alexander Peter Stewart (October 2, 1821 – August 30, 1908) was a U.S. Army officer, college professor, general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. ... For the World War II general, see Nathan Bedford Forrest III. Nathaniel Bedford Forrest (July 13, 1821–October 29, 1877) was a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War. ...


Although Thomas's forces were stronger, he could not ignore Hood's army. Despite the severe beating it suffered at Franklin, by its mere presence and ability to maneuver, the Army of Tennessee presented a threat. He knew he had to attack, but he prepared cautiously. In particular, he concentrated on outfitting his cavalry, commanded by the energetic young Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson. Portrait of James Wilson during the Civil War James Harrison Wilson (September 2, 1837 – February 23, 1925) was a U.S. Army topographic engineer, a Union Army general in the American Civil War and later wars, a railroad executive, and author. ...


It took Thomas over two weeks to move, causing great anxiety in President Abraham Lincoln and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who anticipated that Hood was poised for an invasion of the North. Grant later said of the situation, "If I had been Hood, I would have gone to Louisville and on north until I came to Chicago." Lincoln had little patience for slow generals and remarked of the situation, "This seems like the McClellan and Rosecrans strategy of do nothing and let the rebels raid the country."[1] Grant pressured Thomas to move, despite a bitter ice storm that struck on December 8 and stopped much fortification on both sides. A few days later, Grant sent an aide to relieve Thomas of command, believing that Hood would slip through his fingers. On December 13, Maj. Gen. John A. Logan was directed to proceed to Nashville and assume command if, upon his arrival, Thomas had not yet initiated operations. He made it as far as Louisville by December 15, but on that day the Battle of Nashville had finally begun. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ... Ulysses S. Grant,[2] born Hiram Ulysses Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885), was an American general and the eighteenth President of the United States (1869–1877). ... “Louisville” redirects here. ... Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... For the 1960s commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, see George McClellan (police commissioner). ... William Starke Rosecrans (September 6, 1819 – March 11, 1898) was an inventor, coal-oil company executive, diplomat, politician, and U.S. Army officer. ... is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other persons with similar names, see John Logan. ... “Louisville” redirects here. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Battle

Battle of Nashville      Confederate      Union
Battle of Nashville      Confederate      Union

Thomas finally came out of his fortifications to attack on December 15. Before he did so, however, Hood made a terrible mistake. On December 5, he sent away most of his cavalry, commanded by Nathan Bedford Forrest, to attack the Union garrison at Murfreesboro. By doing so, he further weakened his already weaker force. When the Union forces finally went into action on December 15, they had 49,000 men, compared to the Confederates' 31,000. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the World War II general, see Nathan Bedford Forrest III. Nathaniel Bedford Forrest (July 13, 1821–October 29, 1877) was a Confederate Army general during the American Civil War. ... Nickname: Motto: Location in Rutherford County and the state of Tennessee. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Thomas planned a two-phase attack on the Confederates. The first, but secondary, attack was to be on the Confederate right flank, by Steedman. The main attack would be on the enemy left, by Smith, Wood, and Brig. Gen. Edward Hatch (commanding a dismounted cavalry brigade). Steedman attacked at 6 a.m. and kept Cheatham on the Confederate right occupied for the rest of the day.


The main attack launched at dawn and wheeled left to a line parallel to the Hillsboro Pike. By noon, the main advance had reached the pike, and Wood prepared to assault the Confederate outposts on Montgomery Hill, near the center of the line. Hood became concerned about the threat on his left flank and ordered Lee to send reinforcements to Stewart. Wood's corps took Montgomery Hill in a gallant charge by Brig. Gen. Samuel Beatty's division.


At about 1 p.m., there was a salient in Hood's line at Stewart's front. Thomas ordered Wood to attack the salient, supported by Schofield and Wilson. By 1:30 p.m., Stewart's position along the pike became untenable; the attacking force was overwhelming. Stewart's corps broke and began to retreat toward the Granny White Turnpike. However, Hood was able to regroup his men toward nightfall in preparation for the battle the next day. The Union cavalry under Wilson had been unable to put enough force on the turnpike to hamper the Confederate movement, since many of its troopers were participating as dismounted infantry in the assault. The exhausted Confederates dug in all night, awaiting the arrival of the Federals. The new line was in the Brentwood Hills, extending from Shy's Hill to Overton Hill, covering his two main routes of retreat—the Granny White Pike and the Franklin Pike. Hood moved troops from Cheatham on the right flank to reinforce his left. In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ...


The first day's fight had been a simple matter of the Union forces bringing overwhelming power and numbers to bear upon the Confederate forces. For example, when one strategic Confederate outpost manned by 148 soldiers and 4 cannons resisted more than expected, the Union regrouped and attacked the outpost with 28 cannons and 7,000 soldiers.


It took most of the morning on December 16 for the Federals to move into position against Hood's new line. Once again, Thomas planned a two-phase attack but concentrated on Hood's left. Schofield was to drive back Cheatham, and Wilson's cavalry was to swing to the rear to block the Franklin Pike, Hood's only remaining route of withdrawal. At noon, Wood and Steedman attacked Lee on Overton's Hill, but without success. On the left, Wilson's dismounted cavalry was exerting pressure on the line. is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


At 4 p.m., Cheatham, on Shy's Hill, was under assault from three sides, and his corps broke and fled to the rear. Wood took this opportunity to renew his attack on Lee on Overton's Hill, and this time the momentum was overwhelming. Darkness fell, and heavy rain began. Hood collected his forces and withdrew to the south toward Franklin.


Aftermath

The Battle of Nashville was one of the most stunning victories achieved by the Union Army in the war. The formidable Army of Tennessee, the second largest Confederate force, was essentially destroyed and would never fight again. Hood's army entered Tennessee with over 30,000 men but left with fewer than 10,000. Hood, although not greatly outnumbered, was out-generaled by Thomas, who was able to concentrate his forces at the right time for victory. For example, at the pivotal Shy's Hill, on the Confederate left, 40,000 Union soldiers attacked and routed 5,000 Confederates, one of the worst defeats of the war.


The Union army set off in pursuit of Hood. The rainy weather became an ally to the Confederates, delaying the Union cavalry pursuit, and Forrest was able to rejoin Hood on December 18, screening the retreating force. The pursuit continued until the beaten and battered Army of Tennessee recrossed the Tennessee River on December 25. is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Battle of Nashville marked the effective end of the Army of Tennessee. Historian David Eicher remarked, "If Hood mortally wounded his army at Franklin, he would kill it two weeks later at Nashville."[2] Although Hood blamed the entire debacle on his subordinates and the soldiers themselves, his career was over. He retreated with his army to Tupelo, Mississippi, resigned his command on January 13, 1865, and was not given another field command. Tupelo (IPA: [tu:pəlo]) is the largest city and county seat within Lee County, Mississippi. ... January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ...


Battlefield

The battlefield at Nashville is completely unpreserved. There is no national, state, or municipal park or museum that attempts to interpret the events of 1864. Nashville suburban sprawl and the neighborhoods of Green Hills, Grassmere, and Brentwood occupy the battlefield. Fort Negley, Traveler's Rest Plantation, the Tennessee State Museum, and numerous roadside historical state markers are the only markers of the site. Fort Negley was a fortification built for the American Civil War, located approximately two miles (three km) south of downtown Nashville, Tennessee. ... The image of Andrew Jackson exhibited at Nashville museum in 1823 Tennessee State Museum is a large museum in Nashville depicting the history of Tennessee. ...

The original battle monument, destroyed by a tornado in 1974
The original battle monument, destroyed by a tornado in 1974

The Battle of Nashville monument was originally created in 1927 by Giuseppe Moretti, who was commissioned by the Ladies Battlefield Association. In 1974, the obelisk and angel were destroyed by a tornado, and during the 1980s, construction of a large interstate highway interchange obstructed the monument from public view. The new monument has been restored, with the bronze sculpture of the youth and horses refinished, and the marble base, obelisk, and angel reconstructed in granite, which is more durable than the original marble. It was dedicated on June 26, 1999, in a different location, not far from the 1927 site. Image File history File links Original_Battle_of_Nashville_Monument. ... Image File history File links Original_Battle_of_Nashville_Monument. ... is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


See also

The following Confederate States Army units and commanders fought in the Battle of Nashville of the American Civil War. ... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: just a list of names - context not even given If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming or merging the page, please edit this page and do so. ...

References

  • Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  • Esposito, Vincent J., West Point Atlas of American Wars, Frederick A. Praeger, 1959.
  • Foote, Shelby, The Civil War, A Narrative: Red River to Appomattox, Random House, 1974, ISBN 0-394-74913-8.
  • McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0.
  • Sword, Wiley, The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville, William Morrow & Co., 1974, ISBN 0-688-00271-4.

Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. ... For the Civil War General of a similar name see James B. McPherson James M. McPherson (born October 11, 1936) is an American Civil War historian, and is the George Henry Davis 86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Sword, p. 278.
  2. ^ Eicher, p. 775.

Further reading

  • McDonough, James Lee, Nashville: The Western Confederacy's Final Gamble. Knoxville, Tennessee: The University of Tennessee Press, 1984. ISBN 1-57233-322-7.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Nashville - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1438 words)
The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.
Following the Battle of Franklin on November 30, the forces of Union Major General John M. Schofield left Franklin, Tennessee, and concentrated within the defensive works of Nashville alongside the Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen.
A semicircular line surrounded Nashville from the west to the east, dipping a mile to the south; the remainder of the circle, to the north, was the Cumberland River.
Nashville - Hutchinson encyclopedia article about Nashville (669 words)
Nashville was taken by the Union during the Civil War in 1862 and was the site of a Confederate defeat at the Battle of Nashville, the last battle of the Civil War, in 1864.
Nashville is sometimes referred to as the ‘Athens of the South’; an exact replica of the Parthenon, dating from 1897, stands in Centennial Park.
Nashville was damaged by two tornadoes on 16 April 1998 and became one of the few US cities to ever have its downtown area directly hit.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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