The Battle of Spring Hill


I wouldn’t call myself a Civil War aficionado, but I have always been intrigued by the era. The antebellum plantation houses, with large columns, and huge trees have always caught my eye. And of course the shift in the ranching lifestyles that occurred shortly after the war. Names like Nathan Bedford Forrest, Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses S Grant, and George Custer should ring a bell.

Anyways, growing up in Arkansas it wasn’t uncommon to see a sign pointing to a Civil War memorial, but you had to be on the look-out. In Tennessee, the Civil War relics are truly a part of the state’s history. Every where I drive, it seems relatively easy to point out markers of old battle fields.

Turns out I live pretty close to the site of a Civil War skirmish here in Spring Hill. Tomorrow marks the 147-year anniversary (For a modern pop-culture reference, that’s 745.67 Kardashian marriages) of the event. Under the command of John M. Schofield (Union) and John Bell Hood (Confederate), the battle resulted in an estimated 700 casualties (425 Union/275 Confederate) and a Union victory. The Rippavilla Plantation (which sits next door to the University Research Center) is part of the historic site. Below is a summary from CivilWar.org.

The Battle of Spring Hill
November 29, 1864

English: TITLE: Battle of Franklin. November 3...
Battle of Franklin. November 30, 1864 – Union Army (Gen. Schofield) Confederate (Gen. Hood). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spring Hill was the prelude to the Battle of Franklin.  On the night of November 28, 1864, Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee marched toward Spring Hill to get astride Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s Union army’s line of retreat towards Nashville. Cavalry skirmishing between Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson’s Union cavalry and Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate troopers continued throughout the day as the Confederates advanced. On November 29, Hood’s infantry crossed Duck River and converged on Spring Hill. In the meantime, Maj. Gen. Schofield reinforced the troops holding the crossroads at Spring Hill. In late afternoon, the Federals repulsed a piecemeal Confederate infantry attack. During the night, the rest of Schofield’s command passed from Columbia through Spring Hill to Franklin. This was, perhaps, Hood’s best chance to isolate and defeat the Union army. The engagement has been described as “one of the most controversial non-fighting events of the entire war.”

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2 Comments

  1. I live (in Maryland) within walking distance of the Monocacy National Battlefield, which, by the way, is farmed by some local farmers, and a short drive from Antietam, Boonsboro and Gettysburg, just to name a few. My daughter has been involved with Civil War re-enactments for years and we have visited Antietam when there are lights on the battlefield at Christmas time, for every soldier that died there. A really impressive sight. My great-grandfather, a tobacco farmer in N.C., freed his only slave before going off to fight in the Confederate Army. So despite being born in the north, I have heard a great deal about the war between the states.

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