Redoubt No. 4

The First Redoubt To Fall

On December 2, 1864, Gen. John Bell Hood brought his war-weary troops to Nashville, following their withering frontal attack at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30.

His army, then numbering less than 25,000, was positioned south of Nashville with its left flank aligned along present day Woodmont Boulevard.  At the roadway that was then — as it is now — Hillsboro Pike, the line turned sharply to the south (a “refused line”) and ran generally parallel to the Pike.  To support this thin line, Hood ordered the construction of five log-and-earthen forts called redoubts.

Three of these  — Redoubts 1, 2 and 3 — were clustered in a relatively confined area near what is now the intersection of Woodmont Boulevard and Hillsboro Road. The other two – No. 4 and 5 — were positioned approximately a mile to the southwest.

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Interpretative monument at Redoubt No. 4 erected by theTennessee Historical Society. Click to enlarge.

Of these five Redoubts, the remnants of only three are still in existence. The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society has purchased and preserved Redoubt No. 1 off Benham Avenue,  and the barely visible remains of Redoubt No. 3 are perceptible on the high ground now occuppied by Calvary Methodist Church on the west side of Hillsboro Road.

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The two photos above show the remains of Redoubt 4’s earthen wall which faces north (to the left of this view) and the city of Nashville.  The Hillsboro Pike is approximately one-half mile to the east.  (Photos by Todd Lawrence)

Portions of the north wall of the last remaining redoubt, No. 4, can be seen at the top of a hill in the gated residential community of Abbotsford in South Nashville. On this high ground, Lumsden’s Battery consisting of 48 men and four smoothbore Napoleon cannons, and supported by about 100 men from the 29th Alabama Regiment from Walthall’s command, defended the unfinished earthwork for several hours on December 15, 1864, the first day of the battle.

They were shelled constantly for most of that time from the west by Federal artillery which was positioned along a line where Estes Road is currently located. Shortly after 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Redoubt No. 4 was overrun by attacking Federal ground troops, followed shortly thereafter by  Redoubt No. 5 (which has been destroyed by residential development), allowing the surge of Federal forces attacking in a huge wheeling motion from the northwest to advance and begin to overrun the Confederate line near the Hillsboro Pike.  The other three redoubts fell shortly thereafter.

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The view of the two photos above is westerly toward present day Estes Road, where 24 U.S. cannons pounded the Redoubt from approximately 11:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on December 15, 1864. (Photos by Todd Lawrence)

At the time of the December 15 battle, extremely harsh winter conditions had prevented completion of the Redoubt No. 4. Even now, however, nearly 150 years later, the massive amount of work accomplished by hand in frozen ground is plainly visible at this small remaining portion of the Redoubt. The site has been preserved by the Tennessee Historical Society, which has placed an interpretive monument at the base of the north face of the earthen wall, located at the south end of Foster Hill Road.

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The two photos above show the view looking in a southerly direction up the elevated north face of the Redoubt. (Photos by Todd Lawrence)