Category Archives: Western Theater

Fleeting Fame: Union Colonel John Fitzroy De Courcy

It is not unusual for the commander of a defeated force to get sacked. Nor is it unusual for such a commander to suffer additional consequences, if that defeat is particularly egregious, or seems to involve an overly ripe degree … Continue reading

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Class of 1842

When reading a biography of a Civil War general officer, the usual biographical sketch is: West Point Military Academy educated, Mexican War experience, volunteer organization command in early stages of the war, and then the rise through the general officer ranks. … Continue reading

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Preview of Trouble to Come: Secretary of War Edwin Stanton Visits Sherman in Savannah

Despite his Brother Sen. John Sherman’s assurance that Sec. of War Edwin Stanton was “your fast friend, and was when you had fewer,” Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was unsettled by Stanton’s unannounced visit to Savannah in January, 1865. With his … Continue reading

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The Strategic Impact of the Battle of Nashville

When Maj. Gen. George Thomas’ Union forces drove the Army of Tennessee from their position south of Nashville on December 16, 1864, it signaled an end to John Bell Hood’s invasion of Tennessee. Hood’s army in shambles, any hopes of … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas from Uncle Billy

150 years ago today, following his march across Georgia, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman wrote the following note: Savannah, Georgia, December 22, 1864 To His Excellency, President Lincoln, Washington, D.C. I beg to present to you as a Christmas-gift, the … Continue reading

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Pap Thomas to the Sledge of Nashville

The battle of Nashville had ended in a great victory for George Thomas. Congratulations flowed in, but Thomas did not rest on his laurels. Pressing ahead through bitter weather, Thomas drove his infantry and cavalry against Hood’s defeated forces, in a … Continue reading

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James Wilson and the Battle of Nashville, Part II

As Wilson rested and refitted his troopers during the opening days of December, 1864, Maj. Gen. George Thomas was engaged in another battle. This one was not with John Bell Hood, but with his superiors. Throughout the first two weeks … Continue reading

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Nashville: The Second Day

Despite the results of the 15th, Hood determined to fight. That night he pulled his army back two miles to a more compact line, anchored on both flanks by hills along the Franklin Pike (US 31 today) and Granny White … Continue reading

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James Wilson and the Battle of Nashville, Part I

The weather was gradually changing, perhaps for the better. For several days, the Union troopers had been pelted with snow and sleet. It had been so harsh that only the woodcutters had been out in the precipitation. With a thaw … Continue reading

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Nashville: The First Day

The Death Ride of the Army of Tennessee climaxed 150 years ago today and tomorrow, as the Union and Confederacy fought one more large-scale battle between the Appalachians and the Mississippi: the Battle of Nashville.

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