Civil War Tennessee: Battles and Leaders Civil War Tennessee is a general overview of the tactics used in and the battles fought in Tennessee and they’re importance. The book also discusses some of the problems both the Union and Confederates faced during this bloody war. Connelly opens up by introducing each region in Tennessee and why they’re important. Upper East Tennessee was one of the largest producers of wheat for the Confederacy, a key railroad ran from Bristol to Chattanooga, copper, and rich deposits of saltpeter and lead lay in East Tennessee.
Four critical railroad lines also joined in Chattanooga. Middle Tennessee was one of the richest areas in producing corn, hogs, cattle, mules, and horses in the entire Confederacy. Nashville was one of the largest cities and the leading war production center in the West. The Western Highland area was full of navigable waterways and became known as the “Great Western Iron Belt. ” This made Tennessee a major target for the Union to capture. First Fort Henry and Fort Donelson fell to the Federals, freeing up Middle Tennessee and putting the Union at the doorsteps of Nashville.
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Nashville soon fell and the Confederates lost Middle Tennessee and the Great Western Iron Belt. Nashville would never be under Confederate authority again. The Confederates retreated to Corinth and built up an army of almost 40,000 troops and planned a surprise attack on Grant at the Pittsburg Landing. The trek took longer than expected and the officers started to argue whether to retreat or attack. The Confederates attacked and the Battle at Shiloh ensued. Johnston, the commander of the Army of Tennessee, was shot and bled to death.
It was one of the bloodiest engagements of the war with 24,000 casualties, 11,000 to the Confederates. Corinth was abandoned and the Federals took control in the West. The Union then turned back to the east and Chattanooga. Buell’s offensive was wrecked by combined Confederate raids. Supply lines were cut and railroads were burned, the communications lines were destroyed by the recapture of Murfreesboro by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Confederates decided to concentrate their efforts in Chattanooga. They hased Buell into Kentucky but were forced to abandon the Kentucky invasion after the battle at Perryville. Some of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles???Murfreesboro and Chickamauga???would be fought over the control of the Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta corridor. At the same time Grant would attack the Confederates at Vicksburg. After Chattanooga was captured, Sherman would march on Atlanta and Grant would pursue General Lee’s army. John Bell Hood was then appointed commander of the Army of Tennessee and began a campaign to retake Nashville but failed in Franklin. By April 26, 1865, the Army of Tennessee had surrendered.