December, 1864: Battle of Nashville Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

Confederate general John Bell Hood planned to move into middle Tennessee to cut off Union general William T. Sherman’s advance into the lower south. However, Hood’s operation was doomed from the start because he did not begin until mid-November and lacked troops to execute such a campaign. He failed to strike a serious blow against retreating Union forces commanded by General John Schofield. This allowed Schofield time to set up a defensive perimeter outside of Franklin, twenty-five miles south of Nashville. Unfortunately, Hood ordered a frontal assault against Union positions and suffered huge casualties including a number of generals. Hood’s offensive was shattered, but Union general George H. Thomas delayed in delivering a counterstrike because of bad weather. On December 15, Thomas finally attacked Hood’s flank. The next day, Union troops launched an all-out offensive and soundly defeated the rebel forces.

Confederate general John Bell Hood planned to move into middle Tennessee to cut off Union general William T. Sherman’s advance into the lower south. However, Hood’s operation was doomed from the start because he did not begin until mid-November and lacked troops to execute such a campaign. He failed to strike a serious blow against retreating Union forces commanded by General John Schofield. This allowed Schofield time to set up a defensive perimeter outside of Franklin, twenty-five miles south of Nashville. Unfortunately, Hood ordered a frontal assault against Union positions and suffered huge casualties including a number of generals. Hood’s offensive was shattered, but Union general George H. Thomas delayed in delivering a counterstrike because of bad weather. On December 15, Thomas finally attacked Hood’s flank. The next day, Union troops launched an all-out offensive and soundly defeated the rebel forces.

Hood’s army was in complete ruins after Nashville, and he resigned from command. With Hood no longer a threat, Sherman completed his March to the Sea, and Union troops captured Savannah, Georgia, later that month.

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