Sunday, August 15, 2021

Cow pasture to housing: A visit to 'hidden' Nashville redoubt

Back end of a Hotchkiss shell and a canister ball from Redoubt No. 4.

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In December 1864, John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee constructed five redoubts -- log-and-earthen forts -- in the countryside south of Nashville. On Dec. 15 -- Day 1 of the Battle of Nashville -- the Confederates were routed and abandoned these makeshift fortifications. The beleaguered Rebels  retreated roughly three miles south as a cannon ball flies, anchoring their extreme left on Shy's Hill, near present-day Harding Place Road. (Worth a visit!) The next day, Hood's army was routed again and sent skedaddling to Alabama. (Go to the Battle of Nashville Trust site to see what remains from Redoubts 1 and 3.)

Marker at the site. (Click on image to enlarge.)
In the video, check out the remains of Redoubt No. 4, overrun in the 1980s by an upscale housing development. The massive amount of work accomplished by hand in frozen ground more than 150 years ago is plainly visible at this small, remaining portion of the redoubt, located in a cul-de-sac. The site on Foster Hill Road has been preserved by the Tennessee Historical Society, which placed a marker at the base of the north face of the earthen wall.

A reader of my Civil War Facebook page remembers this ground as cow pasture in 1969. Decades ago, he said he found in front of the works a chunk of a three-inch Hotchkiss shell, one of scores fired on this position by Federal artillery roughly a mile away. Above, from my collection, check out the back end of a Hotchkiss shell and a canister ball discovered at the site.

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  1. What a shame ! Thanks for the report.

  2. Jeeeeze' John, every time I read one of your excellent posts I end up spending the next hour or so down so historic "rabbit hole" following your links and digging up further enlightening details. It's a bloody good thing I'm officially retired! :)