Fort Garesche (2)

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Fort Garesche (2) (1863-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1863 in present day Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. Named Fort Garesche after Lt. Colonel Julius P. Garesche, (Cullum 1074), who was decapitated by a cannon ball while riding next to General William S. Rosecrans, (Cullum 1115), at the battle of Stones River 31 Dec 1862. The fort was abandoned by Union troops in 1865 after the end of the war. Also known as Fort at Hyde's Ferry.

History of Fort Garesche

The beginning of the U.S. Civil War found Nashville under Confederate control with Fort Henry and Fort Donelson providing external protection. With the loss of Fort Henry (6 Feb 1862) and Fort Donelson (16 Feb 1862) the Confederate position in Nashville became untenable and they surrendered the city on 25 Feb 1862.

Union forces occupied the city and turned Nashville into a Union logistics hub for the region. Work on the fortifications for the city began in August 1862 using large numbers of conscripted contrabands (runaway slaves) and free Blacks.

Fort Garesche Plan from the Tower Report

Fort Garesche was built as a large polygonal earthworks fort that mounted fourteen guns with a good field of fire in all directions. An inspection report dated 25 May 1865 by Brigadier General Zealous B. Tower, (Cullum 1059), Inspector General of Fortifications, Military Division of the Mississippi, included the following: "Hyde Ferry, Fort Garesche. - As Fort Gillem is nearly one mile and three-quarters distant from the Cumberland River, it became necessary to close this space by one strong redoubt, at least. Having therefore obtained from the commanding general the aid of the One hundred and eighty-second Ohio Volunteers November last, they were set at work building a strong redoubt on the knoll crossed by the Hyde Ferry road about three-quarters of a mile distant from the ferry and one mile north of fort Gillem. This position had a good command over the approaches in every direction. Rapid progress was made, so that the fort was prepared to mount a battery at the time of the battles of Nashville. The regiment was called upon to do military duty after the battles, resuming labor upon the work in strength about the middle of January. The ditches and parapet have been finished, and the latter mostly sodded; three magazines, serving as traverses, completed and also sodded. Gabion embrasures have been formed for fourteen guns and twelve platforms laid. The large block-house keep with flanking redans is set up and covered with timber. This covering, after being made water-proof, will be loaded with its parapet. The gateway has yet to be completed. This fort when finished will be very strong and a good specimen of polygonal redoubt. Its angles are made open so that the guns of the faces fire parallel to the capitals. It should be garrisoned and preserved. Were the scarps revetted it would be easily kept in order."

The Battle of Nashville

The Battle of Nashville began on 15 Dec 1864 south of the city and away from Fort Negley. Fort Negley reportedly fired the first shot of the battle which pitted the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lt. General John Bell Hood, (Cullum 1622), against Union forces under Major General George H. Thomas, (Cullum 1028). General Hood had been a student of General Thomas at the United States Military Academy, received instruction in artillery from him. The Union forces prevailed and the Confederates fell back with heavy losses.

Fort Garesche was abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Current Status

No remains, no markers.

Location: Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. Map point is approximate and not accurate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.18017 Long: -86.817917

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: .....'

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