Belle Meade Plantation, Marker 1
5025 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
The Battle of Nashville: The family of William G. Harding, the owner of Belle Meade Plantation, had a front-row seat to the Battle of Nashville on December 15-16, 1864. Confederate Gen. James R. Chalmers, who served under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, had his headquarters inside the house. In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood led the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman's supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman's "March to the Sea," Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman's army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin. The bloodbath there on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas's strong defenses. Hood's campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16. On the first day of battle, Union Col. George Spaulding's 12th Tennessee Cavalry overran the property and captured Confederate supply wagons that were located near the house and at Belle Meade's race track (situated near the present-day Belle Meade United Methodist Church on Davidson Road). Federal forces captured at least fourteen wagons containing records, clothing, food, and a safe, as well as forty-three soldiers.