Gen George H. Thomas - 01069
"Dang it to hell, Wilson, Didn't I tell you we could lick'em didn't I tell you we could lick 'em?" Gen George Thomas, Battle of Nashville
Winning the Battle of Nashville, in December of 1864, would not be enough for Gen Thomas, "The Rock of Chickamauga". He was determined to annihilate Confederate General Hood's Army of Tennessee and thereby, win the War in the West.
Unlike the administration in Washington, Thomas's troops admired his methodical ways, His army was, "well supplied, well looked after, and always brought to the right place at the right time." At Nashville, all of his troops ready except the cavalry.
Thomas's 15,000 cavalry men either didn't have mounts or their horses were exhausted. Thomas ordered his cavalry chief, Gen Wilson, to remedy the situation. Wilson seized all of Nashville's streetcar and livery stable horses along with carriage and saddle horses of the gentry. Even a favorite pair owned be vice president elect Andrew Johnson was pressed into service. A circus then visiting Nashville lost every mount except its ponies, even the old white trick horse was confiscated.
While Thomas waited for the horses, he was pressured by Halleck, Grant and Lincoln to attack Hood. But Thomas stood firm. He would not attack until he was ready.
Next, a storm system hit Nashville. It didn't matter to Washington. Washington didn't care about ice blanketing the area. Washington wanted the army to move. Grant even ordered Gen Logan to Nashville and to take over if Thomas hadn't attacked.
"I feel conscious I have done everything in my power to prepare, and that the troops could not have been gotten ready before this. If General Grant should order me to be relieved, I will submit without a murmur," said Thomas.
By December 14, 1864, the weather had cleared, his troops were ready. On December 15th, Thomas attacked. By the end of battle on the 16th, Hood's Army of the Tennessee was no longer able to function as a fighting force. By standing firm until ready, Thomas had triumphed.