Celebrations Today – December 16
Holidays and observances
- Christian feast day:
- O Sapientia
- Day of Reconciliation, formerly celebrated as Day of the Vow by the Afrikaners (South Africa)
- National Day (Bahrain)
- National Sports Day (Thailand)
- Nine-day celebration of Mary and Joseph‘s search for a place to stay where Jesus could be born begins (Hispanidad):
- The first day of Las Posadas (Mexico, Latin America)
- The first day of the Simbang Gabi novena of masses (Philippines)
- Victory Day (Bangladesh)
- Victory Day (India)
- Republic Day (Kazakhstan)
Celebrations Today – USA: December 16
National Chocolate-covered Anything Day
Barbie and Barney Backlash Day
National Wreaths Across America Day – Third Saturday in December
Boston Tea Party Day
National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
National Stupid Toy Day
Today in US History: December 16
The Battle of Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee, from Fort Negley Looking Northeast,
Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991
On the afternoon of December 16, 1864, Union troops led by General George H. Thomas devastated Confederate forces at Nashville, Tennessee. The battle had begun the day before when Thomas initiated an attack after waiting some two weeks for troop reinforcements and favorable weather.
In November, in an effort to cut off General William T. Sherman‘s supply line, Confederate General John B. Hood, led the Army of Tennessee out of Alabama and toward Nashville. One of Hood’s men remembered the grueling march from Atlanta to Nashville. “After the fall of Atlanta,” Confederate veteran Milton Cox told his son John:
we marched northward into Tennessee over frozen ground and how cold it was! Our shoes were worn out and our feet were torn and bleeding…the snow was on the ground and there was no food. Our rations were a few grains of parched corn. When we reached the vicinity of Nashville we were very hungry and we began to search for food. Over in a valley stood a tree which seemed to be loaded with fruit. It was a frost bitten persimmon tree, but as I look back over my whole life, never have I tasted any food which would compare with these persimmons.Memories of Milton B. Cox told by his son John T. Cox,
Effie Cowan, interviewer, Groesbeck, Texas, circa 1936-40.
American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940
Union General George H. Thomas reached the outskirts of Nashville mere days before Hood and began building fortifications, amassing troops, and planning Hood’s demise. For almost two weeks both sides maintained their positions as they prepared for battle. Ice from freezing rain delayed the inevitable clash for several days.
After the weather had cleared, fighting began before daybreak on December 15. Within less than forty-eight hours, Hood’s troops were in retreat. Union forces tailed Hood for almost ten days. By the time that they recrossed the Tennessee River, the Army of Tennessee had disintegrated and the threat of a Confederate invasion of the North was practically nonexistent. A few weeks later, Hood resigned his command.
Federal Outer Line, Nashville, Tennessee,
George N. Barnard, photographer,
December 16, 1864.
Selected Civil War Photographs
Steps of the Capitol with Covered Guns; Vista of the City Beyond, Nashville, Tennessee
George N. Barnard, photographer,
Selected Civil War Photographs
Far from their homes, Minnesotans fighting under General Thomas remembered the pursuit of Hood’s army as almost worse than the battle:
The weather was cold and wet, raining and snowing by turns; the roads were embargoed with mud, almost unfathomable at times, and again frozen into rocky ruts that even the animals refused to tackle in their efforts to drag along the artillery and trains. The troops were without camp equipage of any sort, and but scantily supplied with rations. Many who survived the battle succumbed to the rigors of the campaign that followed it.Minnesota In the Battles of Nashville, December 15 and 16, 1864.
Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. Volume 12, 612.
Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910
Read more of this account of the Battle of Nashville by General L. F. Hubbard before the Minnesota Commandery of the Loyal Legion, March 14, 1905, that includes a series of field telegrams exchanged between Union Major General George Thomas, Lieutenant General U.S. Grant, and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
- Find more recollections of the war. Search the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940 collection on Civil War. Narrow the selection by adding a major battle or topic to the search, for example, Civil War AND Gettysburg.
- Two hundred pieces of sheet music related to the Civil War may be found by searching on that term in the collections:
- Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
- African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920: Selected from the Collections of Brown University, 1850-1920
- The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
“Short Rations,” (Dedicated to the Corn-Fed Army of Tennessee) 1864.
Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
- See the Civil War Photograph Album in the collection Words & Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division’s First 100 Years. The album contains cartes de visite, miniature portraits used as calling cards, of not only George Thomas,
U. S. Grant, and Edwin Stanton, but also of Joseph Hooker, Edward Otho Cresap Ord, George McClellan (with his wife Ellen Marcy McClellan), and many others.
- The special presentation Time Line of the Civil War provides a year-by-year overview of the events of the Civil War.
- Search the Selected Civil War Photographs collection to find more photographs of people and battles.
- Additional Today in History features on Civil War topics include the First Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee’s surrender to Grant. Search the Today in History Archive on Civil War to locate these features and more.
Today in History – December 16-External Links
Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia