This Week in the Civil War - #985
Saturday, December 17, 1864 was a bad day for the Confederacy. Federal cavalry operating in southwest Virginia destroyed several lead mines critical to the Confederate war effort. In Tennessee, only a heroic stand by Hood’s rear guard at Hollow Tree Gap and on the West Harpeth River enabled the rest of his defeated army to withdraw through Franklin, Tennessee, as James Wilson’s Union cavalry attempted to cut off Hood’s line of retreat. And at Savannah, Georgia, General William Hardee received a message from President Jefferson Davis, informing his general that Robert E. Lee could not dispatch troops from the Virginia front and that Hardee should plan actions “needful for the preservation of your Army.” Davis was unaware that William Tecumseh Sherman had already demanded Savannah’s surrender and Hardee’s capitulation.