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150th Anniversary (1864–2014) This Month in the Civil War: Battle of Nashville

Civil War Collection 150th Anniversary

Following the Battle of Franklin, which had devastated John Bell Hood‘s Confederate forces, Hood pursued the Union troops to Nashville, where they had joined with those of George H. Thomas. Now vastly outnumbered, Hood’s battered Army of Tennessee took a defensive position parallel to the Union lines on December 2, 1864, and waited for the Union attack.

Thomas finally began his offensive on December 15. He directed part of his troops to attack Hood’s right, while the majority of his forces were sent in a wheeling maneuver to smash into Hood’s left flank. The plan proved successful, but night fell just as Hood’s left crumbled, preventing a rout. During the night, Hood pulled back about two miles from his former position and formed a more compact line.

Mathew Brady Photo of Nashville, TennesseeThe next day, Thomas’s troops again attacked, using much the same tactics as the day before. This time when Hood’s left flank collapsed, it took the rest of the line with it. Confederate soldiers fled despite their commanders’ attempts to halt them, though Stephen D. Lee managed to pull together enough troops to defend the Confederate rear as the army fell back. Thomas’s troops pursued the Confederates for the next 10 days, until Hood crossed the Tennessee River.

After his disastrous Franklin-Nashville Campaign, Hood resigned his command. The Battle of Nashville was the final blow for both the Army of Tennessee and Hood’s military career.

40 Comments

  1. My great great grandfather served under Hood’s command at both Franklin and Nashville. The Battle of Franklin was nothing short of a slaughter for the Confederates and the ensuing Battle of Nashville pretty much finished off the Army of Tennessee. My gg grandfather took the oath of allegiance to the United States after the Battle of Nashville, probably realizing there was no point continuing the fight especially after Hood’s incompetence in both battles. My dad was from Franklin and the Battle of Franklin, especially, was something instilled in us at a young age.

  2. My parents were 30 and 45 when I was born. Their parents were not young either, so one of my grandfathers was born in 1859 at Flat Creek TN and the other grandfather was born in 1861 in Texas. All four of my Great-Grandfathers fought for the Confederacy. I would like to know more about their service. That was a heartbreaking war- – OUR BOYS killing OUR BOYS!

    • Eileen, our Southern ancestors had no choice. Lincoln invaded the South and we had to kill them. It was not necesarily ” our boys fighting our boys”, it was us against them, patriot against tyrants and invaders, plain and simple. It was a war that the South did not want, it was a war that the tyrant Lincoln wanted in order to subjecate and plunder those that stood against expansion of Federal power. Sadly the Confederacy lost, today we are ALL, both North and South paying the price of an out of control, irresponsible, Federal Government with yet another tyrant in the White House.

  3. Mr. Herb D. I beg to differ on your premise that the Civil War was unnecessary as I think saving the Union was most necessary.

    • Me thinks Herb D. would rather we had two weak nations with one of them built completely with free labor of (mostly) Africans. The vast population of non-rich white people in the south were kept poor because they could not compete with slave labor. Will these folks like Herb ever stop fighting the civil war?

    • Then why did the North start the war? Why did they go back on the Missouri Compromise? Why did they remove our lawfully elected Governor? Why was the war fought mostly in the South?

    • I concur. Necessary: Yes. Tragic: Yes. On both sides of the equation.

    • It was only necessary in order to destroy state’s rights and the Constitution to further the agenda of the One World Order in the future. This unnecessary war paved the way for the down fall of our once great republic.

  4. My greatgreatgrandfather, William Wylie Stewart, was taken prisoner at the Battle of Nashville. He ended up at Camp Chase in Coumbus, Ohio, where he died. He is buried in the cemetery there. He died on April 14, 1865, the day Lee surrendered to Grant.

  5. Your great grandfather is my 4Xs great uncle. His brother, Henry Pullen is my direct line. Always a joy to meet a cousin. Contact me if you like. Anita

  6. My dad whom is 89 now use to tell us stories about the Confederate troops livening in the Richmond retirement home for the Confederacy in the the 20’s ad 30’s when he would go visit them. just a piece of history about leave us. He himself served in WWII Korea and Veit Nam era’s first i n the navy then in Army Air Corp and finally in the Air Force He could not say whether any of our ancestor’s served in Confederacy they were all from Richmond and Pheabus Va. My Mother was from Boston we had letters of her grandfather going to the gold mines in California but nothing about the war They my have been too old or too young.

  7. My g-g-uncle wrote from Camp Douglas prison camp when he heard that Hood replaced Johnston, “God help our soldiers!”

  8. My Great 3x,s Grandfather Zachariah T Gwinup was in the 123rd Indiana. I wonder what it would have been like to be there. We don’t have much from him.

  9. I have recently published a book from letters I have from 4 soldiers in the CW and from their families. It is, ANN’S LETTERS, and relates what the soldiers experienced throughout the war. It has 13 letters from their families (sisters, wives, friends) relating what the THEY were going through, as well. Families, with several children, all sick at the same time, with devastating diseases, and no medicines, while Mom tended the farm and the animals, the children and their older folks, with Dad at the war front. COULD YOU HAVE SURVIVED??
    BN.com/s/ANNSLETTERS Amazon.com/books ANNSLETTERS
    bookstore.iuniverse.com/ANNSLETTERS
    also; facebook.com/aNNSLETTERS.gerald.dougherty
    and; ANNSLETTERS.wordpress.com and; Twitter.com/gdoughertyatla
    Read about the thoughts and feelings of the soldiers expressed in their letters, as they fought for their beliefs, at a distance from home!
    First-hand accounts from home and the front!!
    Enjoy the book!

  10. The Battle of Nashville was the only big battle in the Civil War where one army, in this case Hood’s Army of Tennessee, was so completely defeated that it was for all intents and purposes destroyed, i.e., unable to recover and return to the field as an effective fighting force.

    • The South wore themselves out killing Yankees and had no more replacements in the face of a never ending stream of Yankee resources. Man for man, the North was no match for the Southern soldier and the South’s superior marksmanship ability and unyielding fighting spirit.

  11. My belief is that anyone with an opinion like Herb D. is not a patriotic American. I am proud to say that the USA, unlike most other nations, stands for something. Slavery is the 180* opposite of the America I know stands for. This truth, is self-evident.

    • What does this country stand for today anyway? Please enlighten me as you look through a pair of rose-colored glasses?

    • You need to study history much closer, slavery was not an issue until the middle of the war. Old “dishonest Abe” Lincoln did not like the slaves, he used them for political and military purposes when Lincoln’s armies were being beaten and his political position was tenuous at best.

  12. My gr gr grandfather William Taylor Ballard along with his younger brother Samuel joined the 125th Indiana Calvary at the ages of 15 & 14. William Taylor was captured at Franklin TN on December 17, 1864 and sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. He survived and was paroled in April 1865 weighing only 78 pounds. He mustered out at Camp Chase Ohio in June 1865.

  13. The war will never be over, it is still being fought today. The South or the red states, are at political odds with the Federal Government & the Liberal blue states. There will always be the South versus the North or Conservatives versus the liberal/socialist/communists in the North. The age-old struggle goes on, Liberty vs Tyranny. The Liberals are just as obstinate today as they ever were, repeat a lie enough times ( The War of Federal Aggression was fought over slavery for example) and gullible fools will believe it. The more I study this issue, the more I realize that my Southern ancestors were right. We are a nation of two cultures and should be seperate nations. Look at the mess we are in today. Ask yourself this… how has a Federal Government out of control worked for us today? How has that worked out for you? Lincoln was a friend to the Socialist and aided the communists who were thrown out of Europe during the first half of the 18th Century by appointing them high positions in his Army & Government. How do you account for the fact that the Northern states are so liberal/socialist & the Southern States are so liberty loving and conservative today? I rest my case. God Save the South !!!

  14. One more comment in response to BILL P’s regarding his comment about HERB D not being patriotic and the statement that “the truth is self evident”. The truth that is ” self evident” is that the war that was fought by the North and the Federal Government was over money and power ( as all wars are) NOT SLAVERY. Why didn’t Lincoln free the slaves within the Northern states? Rather hypocritic don’t you think? Slavery wasn’t even on Lincoln’s agenda until the middle of the War of Federal Aggression because the Yankees were getting their behind’s kicked by Southern Patriots and the Tyrant in the White House needed abolitionist votes to win the next presidential election. Lincoln and the North were very happy to keep the establishment in power & to keep 30% of the country ( The South) paying 80% of the taxes of the US. I guess that BILL P would argue that the colonists who fought King George were ” not patriotic” either.

  15. I had no idea anyone today was in favor of dividing this wonderful country. For you people who think Communists, nihilists, anarchists and socialists are at work destroying America, Wake up and smell the coffee. Our problem is terrorists. I am North and South from VA and CT but grew up in MO. How can anyone believe states rights and slavery in the Confederate States would have gone anywhere but to economic ruin for the South.
    I am a direct descendent of of men who served in the Rev. War, War of 1812, Civil war and World Wars 1 and II. I am an American. I love my government, my people, my current State of VA, and am happy as can be Abraham Lincoln saved our great nation.
    Carolyn Mooney,

    • Carolyn, if Obama’s unlawful actions haven’t goy your attention yet, then there is no hope for you to understand.

      You love a government that allows half the people to suck the life blood out of the other half? Obama Care? NSA spying on every aspect of your life? The government buying up ammunition & arms enough to fight a 30 year war against all the civilians in America? Human Trafficing by defacto ” amnesty” for millions of illegalal aiens?Ignoring and wanting to take away the right to bear arms as in the 2nd ammendment? The attack upon Christianity(no free speech/1st ammendment)? Violations of the oath of office by the President himself? All of the violations of the right to be secure within your person and your property ( violations of the 4th ammendment). The IRS acting as a government goon squad harrassing those that express their 1st amendment rights?Lie after lie after lie? YOU LOVE THIS GOVERNMENT?

      If you think that any liberty loving American, much-less only Southerners, would love a government like that, you got to be drinking their cool aid. AND LINCOLN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ENSLAVEMENT OF US ALL… forget the old worn out platitude spouted forth by Socialists throughout the ages about the South and Slavery. Did you not realize that Lincoln allowed slavery in the North and had no authority to abolish it in the South which at that time was a totally separate country. That was like Hitler outlawing democracy in the western world during WW II.

      I submit it is you that needs to wake up and “smell the coffeee”. DO YOU EVEN KNOW JUST WHAT SOCIALISM IS ABOUT OR WHAT IT IS? You don’t believe in State’s Rights? DO YOU REALIZE OUR VERY CONSTITUTION ONLY GRANTS SPECIFIC POWERS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND LEAVES ALL OTHERS TO THE STATES THEMSELVES?

      Please tell me that your post was a joke? Right? Because if you truly believe what you posted you are totally oblivious to what is going on or you need some serious educating in the area of civics. Remember that an educated electorate is necessary for the survival of an American Republic as our fore fathers concieved of it. GOOD GRIEF!!!

    • As an after though Carolyn, I am a twice wounded Vietnam Veteran having served in the Rangers in that fiasco, my father, grandfather, great uncle, and uncle (POW) fought in WW II. I had at least 4 GG Grandfathers and 3 GGG Uncles that fought for the Confederacy. I had a GGGG grandfather that fought the British at Guilford Corthouse during the American Revolution, and a GGG Grandfather that fought in the Mexican War and another in the War of 1812; so I have a long line of patriots and am one myself by proof of the blood that I personally shed for this country. Oh, and a nephew that fought in Iraq as well… let’s not forget that fiasco either.

    • The southern states was not the first states which wanted to leave the union the New England States and New York was going to leave during the war of 1812 because it cost them money with trade with England. The golden triangle where they gained from the slave trade and making rum and importation of finished goods from Europe.

  16. Thank you Fred Edens for laying out the facts and telling it like it is and was! God save the South!

  17. It’s amazing to read all the nonsense from the neo confederates. The south lost the election and then rather than abide by the constitution decided to take their ball and go home. You people seldom think about what the results would have been had Lincoln not saved our country. Do your really think secession would have stopped there? Texas, the far West, the Mid West would have taken the open door. And I know you people never think about the slavery issue and what the implications would be there. The war was about slavery. Period. I love the responses I get from neo confederates about the cause of the war. Well, States Rights of course. Well, what States Right? Answer I actually got: well, slavery, but that’s not the point.
    The implications for world history are also devastating if this had happened.

    • None are so blind than those that can not see !!! Here is a perfect example of that. Too lazy to actually read history… not revisionist history…but true history. How do you know what a wonderful outcome for those that love liberty might have been had the South won ? We do know what has happened as a result of a Northern victory… a crumbling democratic, once upon a time republic, now under a tyrant’s heel and that fact is ” Self Evident”.

  18. Amazing how many pro-yankee idiots are posting comments here. They seem to either be morons form the word “go”, or else are willfully uninformed, to put it nicely Realize the elevation to God-hood of the great Tyrant has gone on for 150 years now; still, it’s remarkable how many are taken in by the lies Hollywood and the rest have spread.I would suggest that these people look for older books with lees-biased accounts before making fools out of themselves. Say, around 1970 back — assuming they can read, of course.

    JF

  19. As a PS to the inevitable attack, my own family has served the US in every conflict from the Rev. War onward, w/the possible the exception of the Spanish-American War. So, please, no lectures on patriotism. If such are required for anybody, i think they should flow northward…

  20. My GGGG Grandfather was a Col. in the second Sussex of NJ in the Revolution his nick name “The terror of the tories” However I’m most proud of the men of my hometown with out whom there would be no United States. They were but a hand full of simple fishermen, tougher, stronger and freer than any of my contemporaries. I don’t think even rangers or special forces of today were as tough. Before the war these simple men sailed in fishing schooners through the worst weather in the world winter and summer to the Grand Banks. They climbed rigging in gales and blizzards to set sails. They were dropped overboard in dories to fish with hand lines and nets in fog and ice and seas greater than most can imagine. They liked to drink and fight. These simple fishermen were the guys that saved Washington’s army at the battle of Long Island by grabbing every craft they could to row the entire Continental Army through the middle of British fleet to safety in NewYork. Later Christmas 1776 as the Army was about to crumble they executed the plan that saved the Revolution by delivering the continental Army across the Delaware to Trenton. Washington said, “Give me 2500 Marbleheaders and I’ll drive the British into the sea in two weeks. But then they would turn on me.” Today I am condemned because I fly Colonial flags. I bear the name of a man who served in the civil war as Aide De Camp to Gen. Ord. It is the name of his grandfather who was also Gov. of New York, Senator from NewYork, whose desk in the senate was next to his friend Jefferson Davis, and who ran for president and was later Sec. of State to Abraham Lincoln. Some praise him today some hate him. His father held slaves (7) however the status of slaves in New York changed well before the war to Indentured service.

  21. Briefly, Seward wanted to start a war with either England or France as a way to unite the country behind a war with a foreign power and thus avoid the domestic conflict.

  22. Gee, I didn’t think the Civil War was still being fought today with words. Most people’s minds cannot be changed on this subject. However, I thought the war started with the South firing on Fort Sumpter, not by Mr Lincoln. My great grandfather died in Andersonville in 1865. He almost made it through. Just think it is the Y chromosome that causes most wars, not idealology!!!

    • The war actually started with Dishonest Abe calling for 75,000 volunteers to invade the South and refused to unman a fort squarely positioned to block commerce into and out of a major Confederate port. When the yankees got their behinds handed to them in a hat at the First Battle of Bull Run, that is when the Southern War for Independence actually started. For those of you who apparently are so ignorant of true history, it was not the South that invaded Federal territory, it was the Yankees invading the state of Virginia. I hope this clears up your obvious misconception of what started the War for Southern Independence.

  23. Interesting. The first thing people without an argument, like Mr Fisher, do is insult those with a different view by calling them morons, idiots or, nowadays, bigots. Ad hominem attacks (look it up) are not arguments.

    • I would not be quite so harsh on those who do not know the real reasons why the South had no choice but to declare their independence. They are really just lazy and lack the intellectual ability to do any fact finding, or have been hopelessly brainwashed by the Socialist Dictatorship which has been in power for so long.

      For those who have bought the Politically Correct lie that the war was all about slavery, ask yourselves this…Do you really think that 360,000 Yankees and 250,000 Southerners would actually give their lives over the issue of slavery? Of course not.

      Have you studied all about the tarrifs imposed upon the Southern States that meant that 30% of the US population, or the South, would be responsible for paying 80% of the nation’s debt from the initial war for independence.Read the documents that founded this nation in the first place which says that when we are dissatisfied with the tyranny of an existing government we have the right to change or disassociate our selves from it. Secession is a right of any state. The union was voluntarily entered into by the colonies and by legal reasoning can also elect to leave at any time. Britain signed an agreement with each of the seperate colonies/states, not the United States of America, so legally each colony was an independent nation in and of itself in the first place.

      The Yankees could not have cared less for the black race…again read what Lincoln said about the black race. He wanted to send them back to Africa. Besides, it would have been much easier for the North to have bought the slaves their freedom than to have put a once great nation through the agony of a so-called Civil War. But NO, Lincoln wanted to cement Federal Tyranny over all the states, trash the Constitution, plunder the South, and subject us to a terrible war which should have not happened in the first place.

  24. As noted elsewhere, I will comment one last time for now on TWBS, as there’s little point in exchanging insults, although happiness may indeed always be a northern-bound yankee.

    neither President Davis or anyone lower-down in the Gov. of the CSA were convicted as traitors. US President Johnson issued amnesty upon the realisation that the Supreme Court might well rule in favor of Davis, etc. Had they truly been traitors as the misinformed(or the brainwashed, pick which one you will) continue to claim, I hardly think this would have been the result.

    Peaceful parting-of-the-ways in nations can, and does happen. The CzechjRepublic and Slovakia, as well as Macedonia, this last from the former Yugoslavia, are only 3 examples from recent periods of history. There are other for those willing to research them rather than simply accept what the media or Hollywood spoon-feeds them about our own history.

    I don’t believe anybody actually enjoys trading insults; however, given the poor attitude the majority from the north continue to display towards we in the south, such inclinations are understandable enough, I think.

    I note nobody has tried to really argue in favour of the war criminals Sheridan and Sherman, which perhaps is telling in itself. Their tactics, and indeed those of Grant himself were hardly those of honorable soldiers of any nation.

    I again encourage those able to consider the other side of this debate to search out older sources, say early 1970s back, which for the most part, treated the CSA, General Lee, and so forth with a good deal of respect General Lee and majority of his officers were people of integrity and honor, and I offer that no amount of revisionist history/propaganda( or no matter how many flags are hidden away) can ever change this fact. Perhaps a day will come when Mr Lincoln’s true nature will be made known, and not the myth which has elevated him to Godhood-status

    My best regards,

    JF

    .

  25. A great article about events of which I was vaguely aware, now no more. Churchill hated the idea and practice of working class and subject people’s emancipation. He referred to Atlee’s eventual government as being similar to the Gestapo, Ghandi was a kaffir, he sent troops to Tonypandy and he was a violent imperialist who killed subject peoples. A nasty piece of work whose contribution to the years 1949 1945 has been vastly overrated.