November 29, This day during the American Civil War

November 29, 1864 – The Battle of Columbia was a series of military actions that took place November 24–29, 1864, in Maury County, Tennessee, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. It concluded the movement of Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee from the Tennessee River in northern Alabama to Columbia, Tennessee, and across the Duck River. A Union force under Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield skirmished with Hood’s cavalry, commanded by Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, and fortified a defensive line south of Columbia, but soon withdrew north across the Duck River, abandoning the town. Hood’s invasion of Tennessee continued as he attempted to intercept Schofield’s retreating army at Spring Hill.On the morning of November 24, Forrest’s cavalry drove Capron’s men through Cox’s line south of Columbia and began probing attacks in an attempt to break through. The line straddled the Mount Pleasant Pike (present day U.S. Route 43) just north of Bigby Creek and then continued eastward across the Pulaski Pike into the town, curving northward toward the river. By November 25, this line was supplemented with an interior line that roughly encompassed the entire residential area of Columbia. The Confederates bombarded the lines with artillery and a number of skirmishes occurred, but it became apparent to the Union defenders that only a single infantry division with some dismounted cavalry were participating in the attacks and that Hood was merely demonstrating, intending to cross the Duck River either upstream or downstream and cut off the Union force from Thomas, who was assembling the remainder of his force in Nashville. On the morning of November 26, Schofield received an order from Thomas to hold the north bank of the Duck River until reinforcements under A. J. Smith could arrive from Nashville. Schofield planned to move his trains during the day and his infantry overnight, using a railroad bridge and a recently installed pontoon bridge, but heavy snow that day made approaches to the bridge impassable. That evening, the bulk of the Army of Tennessee reached the fortifications south of Columbia. On the morning of November 26, Schofield received an order from Thomas to hold the north bank of the Duck River until reinforcements under A. J. Smith could arrive from Nashville. Schofield planned to move his trains during the day and his infantry overnight, using a railroad bridge and a recently installed pontoon bridge, but heavy rains that day made approaches to the bridge impassable. That evening, the bulk of the Army of Tennessee reached the fortifications south of Columbia.



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