On December 4th near Waynesboro, Georgia Union cavalry under Judson Kilpatrick set out to attack Joseph Wheeler's Confederate cavalry, after Wheeler had engaged the Bluecoats several times over the previous two weeks. Kilpatrick attacked Wheeler. The Confederates met the attacks, and fell back through three prepared positions leading into Waynesboro. After a final desperate fight, Wheeler withdrew. The Union victory helped open the road for Sherman to close on the vital port city of Savannah.
Salmon P. Chase was named Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court on December 6th.
On December 13th, Union forces under Sherman overwhelmed a small Confederate force defending Fort McAllister, a strategic redoubt on the Ogeechee River, a direct avenue from Savannah to the sea. 4,000 troops under William Hazen stormed the fort, defended by just 230 soldiers under George Anderson. The fort fell in just 15 minutes.
Over December 15-16, Union forces under George Thomas met Confederates under John Bell Hood at Nashville, Tennessee. Thomas combined a diversionary attack on the Confederate right with his main assault on the left. Union troops overran two redoubts and very nearly routed the Confederates, the day saved by strong rear guard actions. The next day, Thomas repeated his tactics, breaking and putting to flight the Confederates, who escaped eventually into Alabama. The battle, however, destroyed Hood's force, losing some 20,000 of his 38,000 soldiers. Hood later resigned his command and never held a post of major importance again.
On December 21st, Sherman occupied Savannah.
- Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living. I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh. I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me. Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying. I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.