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Battle of Hartsville


Dec 15, 2021

The Battle of Hartsville was fought on December 7, 1862, in northern Tennessee at the opening of the Stones River Campaign the American Civil War. Hartsville Battlefield is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Not to be confused with Battle of Hartville.
Battle of the American Civil War
Battle of Hartsville
Part of the American Civil War
Date December 7, 1862 (1862-12-07)
Result Confederate victory
United States (Union) CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
Absalom B. Moore (POW) John Hunt Morgan
Units involved
XIV Corps
2,400[1] 1,300[1]
Casualties and losses


Hartsville Battlefield

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Nearest city Hartsville, Tennessee
Area 245 acres (99 ha)
MPS Tennessee Resources of the American Civil War MPS
NRHP reference No. 98001247[2]
Added to NRHP October 28, 1998

. . . Battle of Hartsville . . .

The Stones River Campaign started in early November 1862 when UnionMaj. Gen.William S. Rosecrans moved his Army of the Cumberland southeast from Nashville, Tennessee, toward Murfreesboro. Confederate General Braxton Bragg, commanding the Army of Tennessee, had retreated there after his defeat at the Battle of Perryville. Bragg ordered Colonel John Hunt Morgan to move north with his cavalry and operate along Rosecrans’s lines of communications, to prevent him from foraging for supplies north of Nashville. The action at Hartsville, a crossing point on the Cumberland River about 40 miles upstream from Nashville, north of Murfreesboro, was an incident in Morgan’s raid to the north, before Rosecrans had the bulk of his infantry forces on the move.

Map of Hartsville Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Guarding the river crossing at Hartsville was the 39th Brigade, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, consisting of the 106th Ohio Infantry, 108th Ohio Infantry, 104th Illinois Infantry, and 2nd Indiana Cavalry. The brigade was commanded by Col. Absalom B. Moore. Under the cover of darkness, Morgan crossed the river in the early morning of December 7, 1862, with about 1,300 men, mainly Kentuckians, outnumbered by about 1,000 troops by the Union brigade. Another Union force, three times that size, was encamped nine miles away at Castalian Springs, close enough to hear the guns, but too far away to take part.

Morgan’s attack took the Union camp by surprise. One account indicates that the Confederates were able to get past the picket line by wearing blue uniforms, while another says they wore civilian clothes and posed as refugees. The attack began at 6:45 a.m. with a simultaneous artillery bombardment and an infantry attack, while the cavalry struck the flanks and rear. One of Moore’s units broke and ran after an hour, which caused confusion and helped force the Federals to fall back. By 8:30 a.m., the Confederates had surrounded the Union soldiers, convincing Col. Moore to surrender.

. . . Battle of Hartsville . . .

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. . . Battle of Hartsville . . .