Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Battle for Decatur 1 - Hood's Middle Tennessee Campaign a

Marker ID:  
Location: on Bank Street Northeast north of Church Street Northeast, Decatur, Alabama
County: Morgan
Coordinates: N 34° 36.85    W 086° 59.002
  34.61416666    -86.98336666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Hood's Middle Tennessee Campaign and The Battle for Decatur
“A Hard Nut To Crack”
— The Battle for Decatur —

Following the fall of Atlanta on September 2, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood, Commander of the Army of Tennessee, began a series of maneuvers against the Union line of supply running from Atlanta through Northwest Georgia, North Alabama, and into Nashville.

Hood crossed the Chattahoochee River in late September, and marched north. Unable to gain any advantage in Northwest Georgia, Hood turned to cross the Tennessee River at Guntersville. However, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry could not join forces with Hood if he crossed there. Union gunboats were also active around Guntersville. Furthermore, the damaged Memphis and Charleston Railroad ran from Confederate supply depots in North Mississippi to Decatur. By early October, Hood considered crossing the Tennessee River at Decatur and on October 9, he ordered the railroad be repaired to that place. Accordingly, the Army of Tennessee detoured for Decatur.

Hood's army arrived outside Decatur on October 26, and for three days the small Union garrison defended the crossing with determination. Hood soon discovered that Decatur was"a hard nut to crack.” On the morning of October 30 his army marched through Courtland for Florence / Tuscumbia.

There Hood remained for three weeks, waiting for the flooded Tennessee River to subside, waiting for Forrest to join him with his cavalry, and waiting to accumulate supplies. When he finally moved, frustration and failure would await at Columbia and Spring Hill, disaster would await at Franklin, and final defeat and his army's disintegration would await at Nashville.

Erected by City of Decatur. (Marker Number 1.)

End of The Battle for Decatur 1 - Hood's Middle Tennessee Campaign a