Legitimate battle site?

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Cavalry, The American Civil War, The Battle of Nashville

Lost Battle of Nashville history

There has been skepticism by some historians that Kelley’s Point Greenway Park is where the Confederate Cavalry battled the U.S. Navy . The event itself is not in dispute, but the actual location. There are numerous references to this action. It’s plausible, the story has been clouded by a few very significant transcription errors in the reports and memoirs of The Battle of Nashville. Reading the multitude of references, not to mention the physical evidence that I have documented (relics, stone works, earth works, and distance from reference points) it is clear to me that the ground behind the Lowes on Charlotte Pike as well as the hillside behind the Cracker Barrel Store are the correct locations of this obscured military action in December of 1864.

By the time the US 6th Cavalry Division fought its way to this position the sun was setting directly in front of them. This blinding sunset would have further obscured the Confederate position and made for an ideal one-way visual cover. Bottle-necking the opposing forces between two narrow bridges a short distance apart would have given a smaller force a great advantage over an adversary over ten times their size.

Official Record of the Armies and NaviesOR_P.138-153

The following PDF is a description of the Naval action on The Cumberland River, said to be 4 miles from Nashville. This is clearly an error. Bell’s Mill is 18 miles by water (the Navy would be sure of this fact), but is about 9 miles by land from Nashville (on Charlotte Pike). I believe that whom ever transcribed the hand-written text from the original US Navy report, mistook a 4 for the number 8 or 9. This could have been reenforced by the fact that the first bend in the river is about 4 miles from the city.

Official Record of the Armies and NaviesOR_Page_641

The Confederate view (and I am not a neo-Confederate) of the actions has much more detail than the U.S. Army report, most likely, do to the fact that the 6th U.S. Cavalry division was forced back at this position on the far edge of the battlefield (where critical cavalry turning maneuvers usually take place). If they had managed to clear this position, the entire Army of Tennessee could have been encircled by the following morning.

In the following PDF, Colonel Kelley corrects the location of the fighting that day in West Nashville, from a previous account by one of his Privates: John Johnston.

Confederate Veteran MagazineConfederateVeteranMag

CSA Cavalry Ambush on Davidson’s Property

Battle-of-west-nashville

I plan on releasing a video interview with detailing physical evidence (still near the site) that will add to the proof of what really happened here.

Books:

Forrest’s Fighting Preacher: David Campbell Kelley of Tennessee (Civil War Series)

More about Bob Henderson on Google+

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