Largest city, railroad centre, and capital of the State of Tennessee
; population in 1890, 76,168; in 1900, 80,865.
The city was the scene of stirring military operations in the Civil War
. In February, 1862, General Pillow
telegraphed to Nashville
while the siege of Fort Donelson
was going on: “Enemy retreating!
Our boys following and peppering their rear!
A complete victory!”
This despatch made the people of Nashville
happy, and they were comfortably seated in their churches on Sunday, Feb. 16, when the news reached them of the surrender of Fort Donelson
to the Nationals.
There was panic everywhere.
Gen. A. S. Johnston
, at Bowling Green
, ordered the troops there to fly to Nashville
, for General Mitchel
, of Buell
's army, was pressing on them.
They did so, after destroying property valued at $500,000. They were followed by the Army of the Ohio.
At the same time National gunboats were ascending the Cumberland River
to co-operate with the troops.
The Confederates of Nashville
were fearfully excited.
The governor of Tennessee
) rode through the streets, and with his associates gathered as many papers as possible at the capitol
as concerned themselves and fled by railway to Memphis
The officers of banks bore away their specie.
Citizens, with their most valuable portable possessions, fled by railway to Decatur
The public stores were thrown wide open, and everybody was allowed to carry away provisions and clothing.
and his troops passed rapidly through the city, southward, and Nashville
was surrendered to the Nationals, Feb. 26, 1862, by the civil authorities.
(q. v.) was appointed provisional governor of Tennessee
with the military rank of brigadier-general.
He entered upon the duties in Nashville
on March 4.
Gen. A. J. Smith
had arrived at Nashville
reached there (see Franklin, battle of
), and Thomas
's forces there were put in battle array on Dec. 1, 1864.
They were on an irregular semicircular line on the hills around the city, on the southern side of the Cumberland River
. General Smith
's troops were on the right; the 4th Corps, under Gen. T. J. Wood
(in the absence of the wounded Stanley
), was in the centre; and the 23d Corps, under Gen. John M. Schofield
, was on the left.
About 5,000 troops, outside of these corps—white
—were posted on the left of Schofield
To these were added the troops comprising the garrison at Nashville
's cavalry at Edgefield
, on the north side of the Cumberland
The troops of Thomas
were better and more numerous than those of Hood
, but, on account of the absence of cavalry and a deficiency of transportation, he withheld an attack upon Hood
, who was in front of him for about a fortnight.
The latter had formed his line of investment on Dec. 4, with his salient within 600 yards of Wood
, at Thomas
For a few days there was some skirmishing, and then for a week the cold was so intense that very little was done.
made a general advance, on the morning of the 15th, from his right, while Steedman
made a vigorous movement of his left to distract Hood
The country was covered with a dense fog, which did not rise until near noon. Gen. A. J. Smith
pressed forward, while Wilson
's cavalry made a wide circuit to gain Hood
Other troops were busy on the right, striking vigorous blows here and there; but finally, at 1 P. M., General Wood
, commanding the centre, having moved forward parallel with Smith
's troops, directed a brigade led by Col. S. P. Post
to charge Hood
's works on Montgomery Hill
This was done, and some Confederates were made prisoners.
, in reserve, moved rapidly to the right of Smith
, by which the National
cavalry was allowed to operate more freely on the Confederate
Then the whole line moved forward.
carried the entire body of Confederate works on his front, captured several guns, and took 500 prisoners; while Smith
dismounted cavalry pressed back the left flank of the Confederates
several miles to the foot of the Harpeth Hills
, meanwhile, had gained some advantage on Thomas
's extreme left.
But darkness closed the contest, which resulted in the capture by the Nationals of 1,200 prisoners, sixteen guns, forty wagons, and many small-arms.
now readjusted his lines.
On the morning of the 16th Wood
advanced, forced back Hood
's skirmishers on the Franklin pike
, and, pushing on southward, was confronted by Hood
's new line of defences on Overton's Hill, 5 miles from the city.
then secured Wood
's flank by taking post on his left, and Smith
came in on Wood
's right, while Schofield
threatened the Confederate
's cavalry, dismounted, formed on his right.
The movement on Hood
's left, so successful the day before, was now continued.
The whole National line moved to within 600 yards of that of the Confederates
's cavalry was soon upon their left flank, and at 3 P. M. two of Wood
's brigades assailed the Confederates
on Overton's Hill, in front, and Thompson
's negro brigade assailed them farther to the National
These attacks were repulsed with fearful loss to the assailants.
The troops were rallied, and Smith
, charging with great impetuosity upon the Confederate
works on their respective fronts, carried all before them.
's dismounted men charged farther to the right and blocked a way of retreat.
This successful movement was announced by shouts of victory, which Wood
heard, and again charged the Confederate
works on their front which were taken and secured.
The Confederates fled in such haste that they left behind them their dead, wounded, prisoners, and guns.
It was a complete rout.
During the two days Thomas
had captured from Hood
4,462 prisoners, fifty-three guns, and many small-arms.
He had broken the spirit of Hood
's army beyond hope of recovery.
The Confederates fled towards Alabama
, pursued for several days, while rain was falling copiously.
The streams were swollen, and, as the fugitives destroyed the bridges behind them, and the Nationals had no pontoons, the chase was unsuccessful.
Then the weather became extremely cold.
, on the Duck River
joined the retreating host, and with his cavalry and 4,000 infantry he covered the shattered Confederate army.
This rear-guard struck back occasionally.
The pursuit was suspended at Lexington, Ala.
, on the 28th.
estimated his entire loss in his campaign, from Sept. 7, 1864, to Jan. 20, 1865, at 10,000 men, or less than half the loss of Hood
During that time lie had captured 11,857 men, besides 1,332 who had been exchanged, making a total of about 13,000.
He had also captured seventy-two serviceable guns and over 3,000 small-arms.
The Tennessee Centennial and National Exposition
was held at Nashville
in 1897, from May 1 to Oct. 30, in West Side Park
(a former race-course), upon which over $100,000 had been spent in grading and ornamentation.
The chief building was a copy of the Parthenon, around which the other buildings were clustered.
Among the features of this Exposition were reproductions of the Pyramid of Cheops
, the Alamo
, the Rialto of Venice
, and the Blue Grotto
About two million people attended the fair, which was a success in every way.