Illinois Regiments in the Battle of Nashville
(Nashville, Tennessee)
(December 15-16, 1864)


The prelude to the Battle of Nashville was the drive into central Tennessee by Hood's Army of Tennessee in late November 1864. Although badly hurt in the Battle of Franklin, Hood's army drove to the outskirts of Nashville and camped, inviting and expecting an attack.

General Thomas, commanding the Army of the Cumberland within Nashville's defenses, was repeatedly urged by General Grant and President Lincoln to attack Hood's army. General Thomas deferred as Hood had a considerable force of Cavalry under Forrest also in the state, although not that close. Thomas' own Cavalry forces were sadly lacking in horses. Thomas delayed his attack until his Cavalry forces could be rebuilt to counter Forrest's forces.

Just as Thomas was about to order the attack, Central Tennessee was hit by a massive snow and ice storm, making the battlefield nearly impossible to walk on, let alone attack. The attack was postponed until the weather lifted a week later.

On December 15, the Army of the Cumberland surged out of its trenches and overwhelmed the Confederate Army (Link to Map). As the Army of the Tennessee retreated south, it was pursued by the Union forces, it lost many of its troops to capture and desertion. Although pursuit ended at the Tennessee River in Alabama, the Army of the Tennessee was essentially eliminated as an offensive force for the remainder of the war.

The Illinois regiments which took part in the Battle of Nashville are listed below. The links will take you to the regimental pages.

Source: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Dyer's Compendium

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