Battle of Nashville / Civil War Sites
Battle of Nashville Preservation Society

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Battle of Nashville Painting by Howard Pyle
Left: Detail from "The Battle of Nashville," painted by Howard Pyle. Oil on Canvas, 1906, Minnesota Historical Society Collections.

The Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Minnesota Regiments fought in a deadly charge across a muddy cornfield near Shy's Hill on Dec. 16, 1864. More than 300 soldiers were left on the field. This scene is one of six mural-sized paintings of Minnesota's Civil War regiments hanging in the Governor's suite of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.

The Decisive Battle of Nashville:
Unfortunately, there is no National Battlefield or "battlefield park" for the 1864 Battle of Nashville. What was once the battlefield is now residential and commercial development south and west of the downtown area. There are, however, several historic sites relating directly or indirectly to the battle and the period of Union occupation of the city during the war. We encourage you to visit these sites, most of which are free or open to the public for a nominal fee.

Antebellum Mansions Used As Headquarters:

  • Belle Meade Plantation
    Headquarters for Confederate Gen. Chalmers of Forrest's command, site of cavalry-infantry skirmish.
  • Belmont Mansion
    Union Gen. Woods' headquarters, the palatial home of socialite Adelicia Acklen, one of the wealthiest women in America.
  • Travellers Rest
    Headquarters for Gen. John B. Hood, Confederate commander, prior to the battle.

Union Fortifications, Positions:

Confederate Fortifications, Positions:

  • Confederate Redoubt No. 1
    Site of small fort anchoring left flank of Confederate main line prior to the battle.
  • Shy's Hill
    The Federals made their critical breakthrough here, precipitating the massive Confederate retreat.
  • Kelley's Battery at Bell's Bend
    Site of engagements between Confederate cavalry armed with artillery and Union gunboats prior to the battle.
  • Stewart's Stone Wall
    Confederates lined behind this extant stone fence the second day of battle.

Museums, Monuments, and Signage:


  • Nashville National Cemetery
    Final resting place for more than 15,000 Union soldiers, including those killed at the Battle of Nashville.
  • Nashville City Cemetery
    City's oldest public cemetery and final resting place of many notables, including several Confederate generals, though none who fought at the Battle of Nashville.
  • Confederate Circle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery
    Seven Confederate generals and 1,500 soldiers are laid to rest here at this picturesque Victorian cemetery.
  • Confederate Soldiers Home Cemetery
    Five hundred Confederate veterans are buried at this cemetery located on The Hermitage grounds. Listings and photos created by the SCV Col. Randal McGavock Camp.

Churches, Buildings Used As Hospitals, Military Facilities:

  • Downtown Presbyterian Church
    Converted into Hospital No. 8 during the war, this church has a unique Egyptian Revival architecture.
  • St. Mary's Cathedral
    The oldest surviving church in Nashville, St. Mary's was also used as a military hospital during the war.
  • Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
    Beautiful Gothic structure used by Union as powder magazine and horse stable.
  • Metro Planning Dept. Building
    Ornate building used as university building, military institute, military hospital during the war, children's museum, city offices.
  • Sunnyside
    Antebellum house caught between the lines served afterwards as field hospital.

Other Civil War Sites in Middle Tennessee:

  • The Carter House
    Interpretive center and museum for the Battle of Franklin (11-30-64), two weeks prior to Battle of Nashville. Also: Carnton Mansion, Union Fort Granger, Historic Downtown Franklin.
  • Stones River National Battlefield
    Site near Murfreesboro of bloody battle (12-31-62 to 1-3-63) between Bragg and Rosecrans. Also: National Cemetery, Fortress Rosecrans, Oaklands Mansion.
  • Rippavilla Mansion
    Interpretive center for Spring Hill Affair, the night prior to Battle of Franklin.
  • Fort Donelson National Battlefield
    U.S. Grant captures river fort at Dover in Feb. 1862. Prelude to march upon and capture of Nashville.
  • Shiloh National Military Park
    Large two-day battle on Tennessee River in April 1862 in which CSA Gen. Johnston killed, Grant barely survives.
  • Johnsonville State Historic Site
    Site of former USA river port and depot sacked by CSA Gen. Forrest in 1864. Railroad built to this spot from Nashville.
  • Sam Davis Home
    Boyhood home and farm in Smyrna of "Boy Hero of the Confederacy."