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The Breastworks at Franklin, Tennessee (The Battle of Franklin)

The Breastworks at Franklin, Tennessee (The Battle of Franklin)

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Published by Kraig McNutt
An extensive compilation of first-hand quotes from people who saw the breastworks at the Battle of Franklin. Most are quotes from soldiers.
An extensive compilation of first-hand quotes from people who saw the breastworks at the Battle of Franklin. Most are quotes from soldiers.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Kraig McNutt on Jun 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/26/2014

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The breastworks at Franklin30 November 1864
Organized by category or theme:
 Breastworks, earthworks, works, trenches, ditches, lines, abatis,from eyewitnesses accounts at Franklin.By Kraig McNuttBattleofFranklin.netFranklinMatters.com
The formidable nature of the works
Moscow Carter, Franklin resident
“Although Hood was said to be a rash fighter, it was hardly thought he would be reckless
enough to make a determined assault on
the formidable works
 
in front of him.”
 
Keesy, 64
th
Ohio
“On comi
ng into Franklin sometime after noon, our drooping spirits were revived in seeing a
strong line of works
. . . . The line was not only strongly built . . . but well-
manned.”
 
Hardin P. Figuers, 15
“These
breastworks were high enough
to protect the soldiers and had head logs on the top, sothat the Federals could be reached only when the Confederate bullets entered the cracks
between the head logs and the breastworks.”
 
Hardin P. Figuers, 15
“Many of the dead Yankees along near the ol
d gin house were killed by being struck over thehead with the guns in the hands of the Confederates standing on
the breastworks
 
above them.”
 
A.J. Jones, 24
th
WI
“When our little company came
up to the works
 
. . . seeing that the works were full . . .”
 
Truman, 1
st
MO Artillery, CSA
“My battery camped in the field . . At daylight . . . I walked
the breastworks
toward the centerand left of our line. At the end of the
hedge fence
another serious obstruction began and
 
2continued to the pike . . . . It consisted of 
sharpened fence rails
placed in a deep ditch, at an
angle of 45 degrees as close as they could stand. . . . They were about three feet high.”
 
M’Neilly, CSA Chaplain
 
“They had attacked at a point where an
osage orange hedge
had been cut down, and its thornybranches formed and
impenetrable abatis
.”
 
W.C. Neese 3
rd
MO, CSA
“In our charge across the open field we were cut up so badly that when we reached the
breastworks
, we were not strong enough to take them . . . The battle raged fiercely right across
the works
.”
 
Thompson, 35
th
AL, CSA
“And we went until we got about 50 or 75 yards from them, when they rose as a blue wave and
a wall of fire rose that swept our ranks like hail. Many fell then, but we went up to them, andwhen we got
to their works
we found that we could not get to them on account of 
an osageorange hedge
in front of 
their works
, so thick that we could not pull it away or cut it.”
 
Addison Lee Ewing, 63
rd
Indiana Infantry
“There is no quicker way of suffering this war than by having
Rebs
charge our works
when they
invariably get whipped.”
 - The Kraig McNutt Civil War Collection
 Merrill, an Indiana officer
The Rebels made “desperate
 
efforts to penetrate” the
abatis
 
and “human nature couldn’t standthe destructive fire that was rained upon them…”
 - Merrill, The Soldier of Indiana in the War for the Union, Vol. 2. P.759-760. As cited in Jacobson,For Cause & For Country (2006,pb): 318.
 
3
The nature and construction of the works
Keesy, 64
th
Ohio
“Every man tried to get
a root, chunk, log, rail,
or anything he could, to help strengthen the
protection we realized would soon be sorely needed.”
 
Lt. Thomas C. Thoburn, 50
th
OH
“ . . . the 50
th
regiment actually tore down the Carter barn to help
build our breastworks
. It hadbeen built of hewn logs, and we even out on a row of head logs. Our
second line of works
 
 joined on to the Carter smokehouse, which lay west of the house.”
 
Fannie Courtney, 19
“They *Federal army+ commenced immediately
throwing up breastworks
. You would have been
astonished to see how quick the work was completed, and with what strength.”
 
Hardin P. Figuers, 15
“They worked like beavers, using houses, fences, timber and dirt. . .
 
. by two o’clock . . they had
completed
their breastworks
.”
 
“These
breastworks were high enough
to protect the soldiers and had head logs on the top, sothat the Federals could be reached only when the Confederate bullets entered the cracksbetween the h
ead logs and the breastworks.”
 
Truman, 1
st
MO Artillery, CSA
“They used
heavy timber for head logs to their breastworks.
Those logs almost shot to pieces.
The Northern dead were nearly all shot in the head or face.”
 
“The locust grove to our left center consisted of trees about four to twelve inches in diameter.
Nearly every one was cut down by bullets from the enemy, and fell with their tops
 from their works
.”
 
Sgt Major Banks, Acting Adjutant, 29
th
AL
“. . . from the
gin-house, which was near the pike and near the
enemy’s interior fortified line
. . .. (I) passed through, and beyond
the abatis,
which did not obstruct the pike . . . (I) then left thepike, going obliquely to
the ditch
, which was between
the abatis
and
the earthworks
. This
point was the salient in the enemy’s line, and here had been erected a sort of bastion as though
intended for artillery, and the
moat or ditch
, around the outer side of it, while not deep waswide. When . . . (I) reached
the ditch
. . . (I) found a few men already entering it. The men in the
ditch
. . .”
 
M’Neilly, CSA Chaplain
 

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