The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign


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About the Book

The Nashville Campaign, culminating with the last major battle of the Civil War, is one of the most compelling and controversial campaigns of the conflict. The campaign pitted the young and energetic James Harrison Wilson and his Union cavalry against the cunning and experienced Nathan Bedford Forrest with his Confederate cavalry. This book is an analysis of contributions made by the two opposing cavalry forces and provides new insights and details into the actions of the cavalry during the battle. This campaign highlighted important changes in cavalry tactics and never in the Civil War was there closer support by the cavalry for infantry actions than for the Union forces in the Battle of Nashville. The retreat by Cheatham’s corps and the Battle of the Barricade receive a more in-depth discussion than in previous works on this battle. The importance of this campaign cannot be overstated as a different outcome of this battle could have altered history. The Nashville Campaign reflected the stark realities of the war across the country in December 1864 and would mark an important part of the death knell for the Confederacy.

About the Author(s)

Dennis W. Belcher has edited or authored nine books on the Civil War and has published in the North & South magazine. He lives in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Dennis W. Belcher
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 383
Bibliographic Info: 63 photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7599-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3991-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword by James D. Kay, Jr. 1
Preface 3
Part One—Prelude
One. The Situation on September 4, 1864 8
Two. Hood Prepares to March to Tennessee 18
Three. The Union Cavalry in the Nashville Campaign 38
Four. The Confederate Cavalry in the Nashville Campaign 58
Part Two—The Advance on Nashville
Five. Forrest Attacks Johnsonville and Hood Prepares to Advance into Tennessee 75
Six. Florence to Columbia 84
Seven. The Armies Move into Position at Columbia 120
Eight. Columbia: Forrest Pushes Across the Duck River 128
Part Three—The Battle for Nashville
Nine. Spring Hill and Franklin 146
Ten. Hood Marches to Nashville 183
Eleven. The Battle of Nashville—December 15, 1864 226
Twelve. The Battle of Nashville—December 16, 1864 248
Thirteen. Hood Retreats 274
Conclusions 311
Chapter Notes 317
Bibliography 355
Index 367

Book Reviews & Awards

• “With its detailed organization, command, and operational history narrative accompanied by very helpful original cartography, the Nashville study exhibits the same general presentation style found in [Belcher’s] earlier Stones River and Chickamauga books. For the Union side in particular, Belcher has firmly established himself as one of the leading authorities on western theater cavalry forces.”—Civil War Books & Authors

• “Belcher provides an analysis of contributions made by the two opposing cavalry forces and provides new insights and details into the actions of the cavalry during the battle…. An impressive work of meticulous, detailed, and original scholarship…invaluable and informative…recommended”—Midwest Book Review

• “A useful addition to the literature of the war in Tennessee.”—StrategyPage

• “An insightful look at cavalry operations during John Bell Hood’s campaign in Tennessee”—NYMAS Review