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Tennessee's 1864 Civil War Highlights
The 1860 Presidential election of Abraham Lincoln resulted in seven Southern states almost immediately declaring their secession from the Union.
The Civil War began just over a month after Lincoln took office in April of 1861 and by autumn Tennessee saw it's first taste of this bloody war; a war that would tear our state in two and pit family and friends against each other for the next 48 months.
Battle of Spring Hill
November 29th, 1864
On November 29th, 1864, the Confederate Army of Tennessee attacked a Union Troops as they retreated from Columbia through Spring Hill. Skirmishing continued at Spring Hill throughout the day as the Confederates advanced.
Union Troops, led by Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, fought off Confederate attack while the rest of their Union army traveled, during the night, silently past the Confederates on towards Franklin. In the morning Gen. John Bell Hood discovered Schofield's escape and ordered his army to resume its pursuit.
Battle of Franklin
November 30th, 1864
The prior day, Hood had lost a great opportunity, at Spring Hill, and this failure cost him the significant ability to hurt or destroy the Union army.
Although Hood, once again, pursed Schofield's Union army retreat and proceeded on towards Franklin. Hood pursued Schofield and in the late afternoon of November 30th, 1864 Hood attacked Schofield's Union army perimeter and fortifications. By night's end, Gen. Hood's Army of Tennessee was unable to stop Schofield's plans to move forward to Nashville but moreover had sustained severe and numerous casualties in the Battle of Franklin.
The Confederate Army had started the battle with around 20,000 men and by battles end had suffered 6,252 casualties which included 1,750 killed, 3,800 wounded, and an additional 2,000 with minor wounds. By comparison, reported Union losses were a mere 2,326 that included 189 killed, 1,033 wounded, and 1,104 missing. Final numbers indicated that the casualties from the brutal Battle of Franklin eventually totaled to nearly 9,500.
Today, one can still see reminders of this bloody battle as hundreds of bullet holes still adorn the still standing Carter House as well as many of it's outbuildings. The nearby Carnton Plantation is also home to the McGavock Confederate Cemetery and the final resting place to over 1,400 of the Southern soldiers who were killed in the battle.
Battle of Murfreesboro
December 5th-7th, 1864
Gen. John Bell Hood led the Army of Tennessee north toward Nashville even though he suffered terrible losses in Franklin. On December 4th, 1864, Hood sent Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest disrupt the Union army supply depot at Murfreesboro.
Forrest advanced on to Murfreesboro and did destroy the railroad track, blockhouses, and overall disrupted Union operations in the area.
Ultimately defeated Forrest and his troops withdrew and encamped, for the night, just outside of Murfreesboro. This would be the 3rd and final battle of Murfreesboro leaving Forrest absent from the Battle of Nashville.
Battle of Nashville
December 15th-16th, 1864
The Battle of Nashville lasted two-days and represented the end of the large-scale fighting of the Civil War. It was fought at Nashville on December 15th and 16th of 1864, between the Confederate Army of Tennessee led by Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood and Union led by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas.
Thomas attacked the Confederate army, largely destroyed it, and sent the Hood retreating to Tupelo where he resigned his command. The Battle of Nashville was one of the largest victories ever achieved by the Union Army during the Civil War.
The Battle of Nashville can best be described from the spoken words of Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest;
"On the evening of the 15th I received notice from General Hood that a general engagement was then going on at Nashville, and to hold myself in readiness to move at any moment. On the night of the 16th one of General Hood's staff officers arrived, informing me of the disaster at Nashville and ordering me to fall back."
Tennessee Civil War: 1865