This monument commemorates the Confederate attempt to recapture Nashville from Union forces during the latter stages of the American Civil War. Between December 15th and 16th, 1864, Union General George H. Thomas routed attacking Confederates under John B. Hood.
The Battle of Nashville was fought December 15 and 16 1864. After surrendering Atlanta and following a demoralizing defeat at the Battle of Franklin, Hood moved his troops further north in hopes of raiding Union lines and forcing a battle with scattered Union forces instead of returning to the South and facing General Sherman's larger army as it continued its March to the Sea. Hood established a position south of Nashville and prepared to attack the Union troops who occupied this former Confederate state capital.
Unfortunately for the Confederates, Union General George H. Thomas commanded an army of over 50,000 men. Although scattered throughout central Tennessee, the occupying Union force was not as vulnerable as Hood had predicted. The Confederate position became untenable on December 16th, when Minnesota regiments and African American troops drove Confederates from Shy's Hill--a hill that is located near this memorial. In the two-day Battle of Nashville, Hood lost over 6,000 men, while Thomas lost only 3,000.
With supplies and morale at an all-time low, many of Hood's troops simply abandoned the Confederate army in the wake of the battle. The Battle of Nashville would prove to be Hood's last, as he was relieved from command the following month.
Plans to create a monument failed for several decades as many Tennessee residents sympathized with the Confederacy and were reluctant to create a monument or preserve a battlefield that was such a resounding defeat for the South. An effort to create a monument succeeded in 1927, but the monument soon fell into disrepair and was severely damaged by high winds during a storm in 1974. This monument was refurbished in 1999, with added emphasis upon honoring both the Union and the Confederate soldiers who participated in the battle.
The links below include one that provides information for a driving tour. The tour features locations such as Shy's Hill where the Confederate line was broken. The tour also includes the location of redoubts and other features of the historic battlefield.