Storming The Heights
Storming the Heights: A Guide to the Battle of Chattanooga

The Confederate victory of Chickamauga drove the Union Army of the Cumberland back to the key railroad hub of Chattanooga. In early October it had appeared that all Union gains in southern Tennessee might be lost

Nashville Tennessee


American Civil War
December 15-16, 1864


  U.S. Colored troops were used extensively in several 1864 campaigns. Of particular note in the West was the Battle of Nashville, in which eight black regiments played a key role in the Federal defeat of the Confederate Army of Tennessee by the Army of the Cumberland.  
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Tennessee in the Civil War
Tennessee in the Civil War

Selected Contemporary Accounts of Military and Other Events, Month by Month

In a last desperate attempt to force Major General William T. Sherman's army out of Georgia, General John Bell Hood led the Army of Tennessee north toward Nashville in November 1864.  Although he suffered  terrible losses at Franklin on November 30, he continued toward Nashville. By the next day, the various elements of Major General George H. Thomas's army had reached Nashville. Hood reached the outskirts of Nashville on December 2, occupied positions on a line of hills parallel to those of the Union and began erecting fieldworks.

Union Army Engineer, Brig. General James St. Clair Morton, had overseen the construction of sophisticated fortifications at Nashville in 1862-63, strengthened by others, which would soon see use. From the 1st through the 14th, Thomas made preparations for the Battle of Nashville in which he intended to destroy Hood's army. On the night of December 14, Thomas informed Major General Henry W. Halleck, acting as Major General Ulysses S. Grant's chief of staff, that he would attack the next day. Thomas planned to strike both of Hood's flanks.

Before daylight on the 15th, the first of the Union troops, led by Major General James Steedman, set out to hit the Confederate right. The attack was made and the Union forces held down one Rebel corps there for the rest of the day. Attack on the Confederate left did not begin until after noon when a charge commenced on Montgomery Hill. With this classic charge's success, attacks on other parts of the Confederate left commenced, all eventually successful. By this time it was dark and fighting stopped for the day.

Although battered and with a much smaller battle line, General Hood was still confident. He established a main line of resistance along the base of a ridge about two miles south of the former location, throwing up new works and fortifying Shy's and Overton's hills on their flanks. The IV Army Corps marched out to within 250 yards, in some places, of the Confederate's new line and began constructing fieldworks. During the rest of the morning, other Union troops moved out toward the new Confederate line and took up positions opposite it.

The Union attack began against Hood's strong right flank on Overton's Hill. The same brigade that had taken Montgomery Hill the day before received the nod for the charge up Overton's Hill. This charge, although gallantly conducted, failed, but other troops (Major General A.J. Smith's  "Israelites" ) successfully assaulted Shy's Hill in their fronts. Seeing the success along the line, other Union troops charged up Overton's Hill and took it. Hood's army fled. Thomas had left one escape route open but the Union army set off in pursuit.

For ten days, the pursuit continued until the beaten and battered Army of Tennessee recrossed the Tennessee River. Hood's army was stalled at Columbia, beaten at Franklin, and routed at Nashville.

Hood retreated to Tupelo and resigned his command.

Result(s): Union victory

Location: Davidson County

Campaign: Franklin-Nashville Campaign (1864)

Date(s): December 15-16, 1864

Principal Commanders: Major General George H. Thomas [US]; General John Bell Hood [CS]

Forces Engaged: IV Army Corps, XXIII Army Corps, Detachment of Army of the Tennessee, provisional detachment, and cavalry corps [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 6,602 total (US 2,140; CS 4,462)



The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville
John Bell Hood rallied his demoralized troops and marched them off the Tennessee, desperately hoping to draw Sherman after him and forestall the Confederacy's defeat


Honor in Command Colored Troops
Honor in Command: Lt. Freeman S. Bowley's Civil War Service in the 30th United States Colored Infantry
A young white officer who served as a lieutenant in a regiment of U.S. Colored Troops in the Union Army, is the work of a superb storyteller who describes how his Civil War experiences transformed him from a callow youth into an honorable man.

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Civil War Firearms

Standard Catalog of
Civil War Firearms

Over 700 photographs and a rarity scale for each gun, this comprehensive guide to the thousands of weapons used by Billy Yank and Johnny Reb will be indispensable for historians and collectors.

Battle at Pittsburg Landing Art Print
Pitssburg Landing Civil War Tennessee

20 piece Civil War Artillery Playset
Civil War Artillery Set: 20 piece set includes 12 Artillery Crew Figures in Blue and Gray that stand up to 58mm tall, 4 Parrott Rifle Gun Cannon about 4 inches long, and 4 Cannonball stacks
Tennessee State Battle Map
State Battle Maps
American Civil War Exhibits
Civil War Timeline
Women in the War
Civil War Summary
Documents of the Civil War
Civil War Cooking
Civil War Submarines
Kids Zone Causes of the War
Civil War Revolver Pistol
Civil War Model 1851 Naval Pistol
Engraved Silver Tone / Gold Tone Finish and Wooden Grips - Replica of Revolver Used by Both USA / Union and CSA / Confederate Forces

Civil War History Book Club Reading Titles


A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865
Almost 200,000 African-American soldiers fought for the Union in the Civil War. Although most were illiterate ex-slaves, several thousand were well educated, free black men from the northern states

Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign
The war probably could have been over in 1862 had Lieutenant Phelps destroyed the bridge at Florence. Not doing so provided a retreat for A. S. Johnston to move his men to Corinth and then to Shiloh

Lee's Cavalrymen: A History of the Mounted Forces of the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865
The cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia its leadership, the military life of its officers and men as revealed in their diaries and letters, the development of its tactics as the war evolved, and the influence of government policies on its operational abilities. All the major players and battles are involved

War in Kentucky: From Shiloh to Perryville
Union gains in the Mississippi Valley and in Tennessee and Kentucky had brought the Confederacy to a point of crisis. This addition to the literature on the Civil War in the West tells how the Union then failed to press home its advantage while the Confederacy failed to force Kentucky into the Confederacy

The Battle of the Wilderness May 5-6, 1864
Fought in a tangled forest fringing the south bank of the Rapidan River, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the initial engagement in the climactic months of the Civil War in Virginia, and the first encounter between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee

To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864
Spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in 1864. May 13 through 25, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia.

Grant's Secret Service: The Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox
The first scholarly examination of the use of military intelligence under Ulysses S. Grant's command during the Civil War. Feis makes the new and provocative argument that Grant's use of the Army of the Potomac's Bureau of Military Information played a significant role in Lee's defeat
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Men of Fire: Grant, Forrest, and the Campaign That Decided the Civil War
In the winter of 1862, on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, two extraordinary military leaders faced each other in an epic clash that would transform them both and change the course of American history forever


Sources:
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.
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