DECEMBER 15-16, 1864: As Major general George Thomas opened his offensive in the Battle of Nashville, gunboats of the Mississippi Squadron, commanded by Lt.Cmdr. Fitch, operated closely with the Union Army by engaging batteries on the Cumberland River and helping secure a resounding victory for Thomas.
On the night of Dec. 14th, Fitch, together with the seven gunboats of his command, had moved down toward the main Confederate battery guarding the river and Major General Forrest's far left.
Fitch described the joint effort: "Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Howard then returned to where I was, just above their works, and reported but four guns in position. These I could have easily silenced and driven off, but our army had not yet sufficiently advanced to insure their capture."