December 15, 2004

Battle of Nashville


(Okay, this entry is in part because I've always liked this painting and this is a good excuse to post it.)

Today is the 140th Anniversary of the Battle of Nashville, which pitted Union General George Thomas against Confederate General John Bell Hood. Hood's objective in invading Tennessee had been to force Sherman out of Georgia to chase him.

Thomas, whose command was in front of Hood, fought a delaying action, inflicting severe losses on Hood at the Battle of Franklin, but continuing to fall back to his defenses at Nashville. Once there, he built up his lines, but also allowed Hood to get into position. This provoked a series of stinging telegrams from Ulysses S. Grant, who believed that Thomas had a golden opportunity to crush Hood's army once and for all and was wasting time dithering around in Nashville. In fact, shortly before the battle, Grant sent a replacement to relieve Thomas if Thomas hadn't got off his duff by the time the replacement arrived.

In the end, the Union won the two day battle, but allowed Hood to get away with what was left of the Army of Tennessee. Hood resigned soon after, but the Army, what was left of it, continued to soldier on, shadowing Sherman's march through Georgia and North Carolina and eventually fighting the Battle of Bentonville before finally surrendering to Sherman in April, 1865.

UPDATE: Jordana at Curmudgeonry, who lives right near the Nashville Battle Monument, mentions taking her kids around to view the sites today. This reminds me of a standing threat at the Butcher's House. I grew up in San Antonio. Once you'd seen the Alamo, unless you were interested in Spanish Mission architecture you'd pretty much shot your bolt in terms of historical sites. Here in Northern Virginia, we are literally within a hundred miles of the sites of dozens of major battles and other historical events in U.S. history. I can't wait to start draggind the Llama-ettes around to see all of them. Damn Disney! Damn Sesame Street Live! You girls are charging up Cemetary Ridge whether you like it or not!

Heh, indeed.

Posted by Robert at December 15, 2004 11:30 AM

My great grandfather, a German immigrant, was there, in the 10th Ohio Cavalry. He ran away to join up at 14 and stayed for the whole war. I have his discharge papers.

Posted by: gail at December 15, 2004 12:29 PM

I visited both Nashivelle and Franklin last month. Went to the Franklin battlefield, Carter House, etc and was so impressed that I posted about it on my return.

Posted by: Deliverance at December 15, 2004 12:53 PM

Gail - that's cool. My great, great grandfather was a Lieutenant with the 10th Ohio Light Artillery and fought in the Atlanta Campaign. The Missus got copies of some of his military records from the National Archives a few years ago.

D - send the link and I'll be happy to put it up.

Posted by: Robert the LB at December 15, 2004 12:57 PM

I need to slow down and read the Battle of Nashville signs, I guess. I didn't realize this was the anniversary of the battle. We only live a few blocks from the Battle of Nashville monument. Maybe I'll have to take the kids to run around and visit it today.

Posted by: Jordana at December 15, 2004 02:24 PM

Alas, great grandfather was the last member of my family to serve. Nobody else could pass a physical. All 4Fs

Posted by: gail at December 15, 2004 03:04 PM

re: the Battle of Nashville painting. Who's the artist? Looks like Howard Pyle.

Posted by: lyle at December 16, 2004 01:06 AM
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