THE CRITICAL ACTION OF THE BATTLE OF NASHVILLE
It was at Shy’s Hill on Dec. 16, 1864 during the Battle of Nashville that Federal troops finally broke the Confederate line on the left flank, resulting in a massive Rebel retreat and a decisive Union victory.
The trailhead at Shy’s Hill features a new marker and a plaque acknowledging those benefactors who made improvements at the site by BONPS possible.
Shy’s Hill is located off Benton Smith Road.
Free. Open dawn to dusk. Parking space is minimal; large vehicles may not be feasible.
Directions: From I-440, exit Hillsboro Road and travel south to Harding Place and turn left. Turn right at Shy’s Hill Rd. and turn left onto Benton Smith Rd. to historical marker. Park safely at side of road. Steps up the hill to the left.
NAPOLEON STANDS ON SHY’S HILL
BONPS has placed a replica of a 12-pounder Napoleon cannon
on top of Shy’s Hill. The Napoleon was one of the most prevalent
field artillery pieces used by both sides in the Battle of Nashville
Winter Views of Shy’s Hill
Shy’s Summit in the Snow 2013
Click HERE to see short video of early March Snow at Shy’s Hill Summit 2013 [Video by Tom Lawrence]
Shy’s Hill as photographed in the 1880s and 1890s
The Burning of the Shy’s Hill Mortgage
The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society’s mortgage on Shy’s Hill property was burned amid cheers at the top of the historic summit on Saturday morning, April 15, 2006.
The ceremony marked the successful raising of $55,000 in funds over a 150-day period to retire the debt on the property, which lies on the east side of the hill.
BONPS co-founder Wes Shofner had originally purchased the property in order to protect it from development. Property at the top of the hill had been owned by the Tennessee Historical Commission since 1954.
The hill-top ceremony was attended by participants BONPS President J.T. Thompson, BONPS Vice-President James Kay, BONPS Historian Ross Massey, Metro Nashville Vice-Mayor Howard Gentry, and Metro Councilwoman Lynn Williams. Vice-Mayor Gentry proclaimed the day “Shy’s Hill Day.”
In 2005, BONPS blazed an access trail up the East slope of Shy’s Hill which incorporates several switchbacks and makes the steep climb much less strenuous. Trenches quickly dug by Confederate defenders in the darkness before the December 16, 1864 battle, which run up the side of the hill ,are now much more visible to visitors.
The hill was called Compton’s Hill when it was attached by a huge Union force late in the afternoon of December 16, resulting in a rout of the entire Confederate Army of Tennessee. It was re-named after Confederate Col. William M. Shy, who was killed at the summit during the hand-to-hand fighting there.
The retirement of the BONPS debt was due to the generosity of BONPS members and friends. BONPS gave special thanks to those donating $1,000 or more:
Dan B. Andrews
Dr. James B. Atkinson
William B. Billips
Robert W. Bogen
Robert D. Brown
John Eddie Cain
William G. Coke, Jr. Charitable Lead Trust
Paul E. Cook
William H. Hawkins
James D. Kay, Jr.
Fowler H. Low
Joanne W. McCall
Michael B. McKee
Milton P. Rice
Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association
Mr. and Mrs. Clark Tidwell
BONPS, Nashville Metropolitan Historical Commission, and the Tennessee Historical Society Receive State Honor for Preserving Shy’s Hill
- Above: Accepting the House Joint Resolution are, left to right, Doug Jones, Immediate Past-President of BONPS; Ann Roberts, Director of the Metropolitan Historical Commission; Ann Toplovich, Executive Director of The Tennessee Historical Society; and BONPS President J.T. Thompson.
The House Joint Resolution was issued by Representatives McDaniel, Harwell and Senator Henry. “While we are proud to be recognized by this distinguished resolution for the joint effort on the work on Shy’s Hill performed by BONPS, the Metro Historical Commission and the Tennessee Historical Society, we look forward to the work that continues to be important in preserving our battlefield sites,” said J. T. Thompson, BONPS president.
The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society was founded in 1993 to protect the remaining battlefield sites and promote an understanding of life in Davidson County during the American Civil War. The organization recently retired the debt on the Shy’s Hill property in order that future generations may appreciate its rich history. The Tennessee Historical Society owns the crest of the hill and leases that area to BONPS.
It was at Shy’s Hill on December 16, 1864, during the Battle of Nashville, that Federal troops finally broke the Confederate line on the left flank, resulting in a massive Rebel retreat and a decisive Union Victory.
Since its founding, the BONPS has been instrumental in the preservation of Shy’s Hill, Redoubt No. 1, and Kelley’s Point sites, as well as actively involved in the preservation of the Battle of Nashville Monument and the rehabilitation and interpretation of Fort Negley. The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society has played an integral role in the promotion, protection, and interpretation of the sites important to our city’s role in the Civil War.