Monday, December 15, 2008

Before the Music Made the City

On the cold icy winter afternoon of December 16th 1864 Union troops led by General George H Thomas handed a crushing defeat to Confederate forces in Nashville, TN. The Battle of Nashville had begun the day before December 15th 1864, after two weeks of waiting for good weather and reinforcements to arrive.

The first Union troops, led by Major General James Steedman, set out to hit the Confederates before daylight on the 15th. The Confederate were battered by dark when the fighting ended for the day, but General John B Hood was still confident. Hood placed his line of resistance along Shy’s and Overton’s Hills to prepare for the next days fighting.

The first days fighting had been a matter of overwhelming numbers of Union forces. The Union spent most of the morning of the 16th moving into position. The plan was to hit the Confederates on two fronts. It took until about 4pm before the Confederates on Shy’s Hill, under attack from three side broke and ran for the rear. With darkness and a heavy rain falling, Hood collected what was left of his troops and withdrew southward. This was the beginning of the end for the fighting in the Western Theater.

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