The Civil War

Kamehameha Schools - The American Civil War Project

Tennessee - December 15-16, 1864

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The Most Decisive Battle of the War
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ThomasUnion Leader: Major General George Henry Thomas (1816-1870)
Although George Thomas was from Virginia, he sided with the Union. Because of this, his sisters in Virginia disowned him. He was a graduate of West Point where he later taught for some years. Besides being a general in the Civil War, George was also involved in the Mexican War.

 HoodConfederate Leader: General John Bell Hood (1831-1879)
Born in Kentucky, John Bell Hood sided with the Conferates. He gradutated from the United States Military Academy in the class of 1853. Hood's father always pushed Hood to major in medicines, but Hood rufused and followed his forefathers soldier footsteps.

Although this battle is called the Battle of Nashville, it actually, didn't take place in the city itself, but a few miles south of it. Nashville was located near the Cumberland River and many different railroads at the time. So, obviously, it was an important city for trade and transportation.

John Bell Hood was leading the Army of Tennessee and they wanted to take over Nashville so the Confederates would be able to control the city, the river, the railroads, and the areas surrounding Nashville. But before they could get there, their path was blocked by George Thomas' armies, who had arrived at the outskirts of Nashville the day before. Both sides waited there for a few days. Thomas was ready to attack at daybreak on the tenth of December. But a few days before, it began to snow. General Thomas cancelled the attack but told the corps leaders to be ready to carry out the same attack as soon as the weather permitted. By December fourteenth, the snow had nearly all been melted and the Union was ready to go. On December fifteenth at two o'clock in the morning, they attacked the Confederate armies. These first troops, led by Major General John Steedman only attached the Confederate right flank. They held them down there for the rest of the day. Attacks on the Confederate left flank didn't begin until around noon, when a famously successfull charge by the north was carried out on Montgomery Hill. After that charge, other attacks came against the Confederate troops and all were eventually successfull. At that time, it was dark and the fighting ended untill the next day.

NashvilleDecember sixteenth, 1864, the second day in the Battle of Nashville. In the early morning, Hood moved the Army of Tennessee about two miles south of the battlefield from the day before. There they assembled and began fortified Shy's and Overton's hills. When the Union forced realized what they were doing, some of them moved out and set up fieldworks opposite of the Confederates. In some places, the two sides were very close to eachother. Sometimes only as little 250 yards of land seperated the enemies. All throughout the morning, the Union forces moved to the new battlefield. Later that morning, the same brigade that had led the charge on Montgomery Hill the day before led a charge on the Confederate right flank. Although it was well led, this charge failed. Other troops on Shy's Hill were very successfull in their charge. After seeing that they had the advantage, other Union troops conducted their own charges us Overton's Hill and soon took it. The Confederates saw that it was a lost cause and retreated. George Thomas had left only one way out, due south. Although they had won, the Union gave chase. After ten days, the Army of Tennessee re-crossed the Tennessee River and the Union stopped. The Union troops returned to Nashville, while General Hood resigned from his command.

Four World Events That Occured In 1864:

1. Africa: 1855-1868, Reign of Emporor Thedore of Etheopia

2. Asia: 1853-1878 Mindon Min reigns in Burma

3. Europe: 1863-1864 Poles rebel against Russians

4. North America: 1863-1867 French invade Mexico and set up Austrian arch duke Maximilian as Emporor of Mexico

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