Hood's Middle Tennessee Campaign and The Battle for Decatur

Hood's Middle Tennessee Campaign and The Battle for Decatur (HMIRM)

Location: Decatur, AL 35601 Morgan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 36.85', W 86° 59.002'

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"A Hard Nut To Crack"

— The Battle for Decatur —

Following the fall of Atlanta on September 2, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood, Commander of the Army of Tennessee, began a series of maneuvers against the Union line of supply running from Atlanta through Northwest Georgia, North Alabama, and into Nashville.

Hood crossed the Chattahoochee River in late September, and marched north. Unable to gain any advantage in Northwest Georgia, Hood turned to cross the Tennessee River at Guntersville. However, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry could not join forces with Hood if he crossed there. Union gunboats were also active around Guntersville. Furthermore, the damaged Memphis and Charleston Railroad ran from Confederate supply depots in North Mississippi to Decatur. By early October, Hood considered crossing the Tennessee River at Decatur and on October 9, he ordered the railroad be repaired to that place. Accordingly, the Army of Tennessee detoured for Decatur.

Hood's army arrived outside Decatur on October 26, and for three days the small Union garrison defended the crossing with determination. Hood soon discovered that Decatur was "a hard nut to crack." On the morning of October 30 his army marched through Courtland for Florence / Tuscumbia.

There Hood remained for three weeks, waiting for the flooded Tennessee River to subside, waiting for Forrest to join him with his cavalry, and waiting to accumulate supplies. When he finally moved, frustration and failure would await at Columbia and Spring Hill, disaster would await at Franklin, and final defeat and his army's disintegration would await at Nashville.
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HM NumberHMIRM
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Marker Number1
Placed ByCity of Decatur
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 4:59am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 501524 N 3830257
Decimal Degrees34.61416667, -86.98336667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 36.85', W 86° 59.002'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 36' 51.00" N, 86° 59' 0.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1-83 Wilson St NE, Decatur AL 35601, US
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