Nashville City Cemetery Tour July 16
Eyes Three Civil War Officers Who Erred
With our ammunition gone and faced with utter defeat,
Who was it that burned the crops and left us nothing to eat?
Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone
--from the musical and movie, Li’l Abner
Lyrics by Gene De Paul and Johnny Mercer
Besides the many well-chronicled examples of Confederate Army valor and military brilliance, some gray-clad military figures now buried in Nashville City Cemetery made some decisions that were on a par with those made by the hapless General Jubilation T. Cornpone of Li’l Abner fame. Three of these officers will be discussed July 16 in a tour of the cemetery dubbed “What Were They Thinking? Some Fatal Civil War Decisions.”
The three at issue are Brigadier General Felix K. Zollicoffer, Lieutenant Andrew Wills Gould and Major General Bushrod Johnson.
Zollicoffer defied his commanding officer’s order to station his troops at a more defensible position south of the Cumberland River and was defeated and killed north of the river at the Battle of Mill Springs. Gould, enraged at being transferred from his original unit, attacked his commanding officer, Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest, with a pistol. Forrest fought back with his pen knife—and won. Johnson survived a series of tactical errors of his own making that ranged from siting Fort Henry in 1861 to the Battle of Sayler’s Creek in 1865.
The tour, lead by Nashville City Cemetery Association Board President John Allyn, is expected to last between 45 minutes and an hour and will commence at 9:30 a. m. at Zollicoffer’s grave, located one street directly behind the Keeble Building in the Nashville City Cemetery. The Cemetery is located at 1001 Fourth Avenue South, at the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Oak Street.
Two other tours of historical interest are being planned: “African Americans and Nashville City Cemetery,” Sept. 17 from 9:30 to 10:30 a. m. and “The Living History Tour,” Sept. 24, from 1 to 5 p. m., which will feature local actors in period costumes bringing to life some of Nashville’s most influential early citizens.