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Official and Pertinent Union Telegrams pertaining to the Battle of Franklin

Official and Pertinent Union Telegrams pertaining to the Battle of Franklin

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Published by Kraig McNutt
A list and transcription of all the pertinent Union telegrams related to the Battle of Franklin; November 30, 1864.
A list and transcription of all the pertinent Union telegrams related to the Battle of Franklin; November 30, 1864.

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Published by: Kraig McNutt on Jun 20, 2011
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The Center for the Study of the American Civil War | Director, Kraig W. McNutt Page 1
Official Union Telegrams pertaining to the Battle of Franklin
Here are all the Union-Federal
telegrams
that took place related to the Battleof Franklin. They are in order of earliest to latest. Most of the telegrams in theOfficial Records are between Maj-Gen George H. Thomas and Maj-GeneralJohn M Schofield (his subordinate).Nov 29th, 1 pm
Pontoons downNov 30th, 5:30 am
troops across the HarpethThe first Federal troops begin arriving in Franklin shortly after this telegram.Schofield discovers all the bridges are out. Many troops, in earnest, begin toconstruct breastworks.Nov 30th, 9:30 am
Hood cannot be heldNov 30th, no timestamp
mapNov 30th, 12 noon
getting in a tight placeEven as late as noon on the eventual day of battle, Federal commanders doNOT expect an attack from Hood.Nov 30th, no timestamp
Hood’s Army of Tennessee is now visible two miles south of Franklin, as they
are spread out across roughly two miles (east-west), in front of Winstead Hill.Nov 30th, no timestamp
pre-attack, trains sent to BrentwoodThis is the last telegram prior to the opening assault (4 pm).Nov 30th, 7:10 pm
persistent attackThough just three hours into the action, the Federal estimates of casualties isremarkably accurate.Nov 30th, no timestamp
 
The Center for the Study of the American Civil War | Director, Kraig W. McNutt Page 2
November 28, 1864
(Telegram.)HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO,FRANKLIN PIKE, TENN., November 28, 1864.MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE H. THOMAS, Nashville, Tenn.GENERAL
I am informed the wagon bridge at Franklin has been carried away. Would it not be well toreplace it by pontoon bridge during the rainy season?(Signed)J.M. SCHOFIELD,Major-General,(Telegram.)NASHVILLE, November 28, 1864.MAJOR-GENERAL SCHOFIELD:You can send some of the pontoons you used at Columbia to Franklin, to lay a bridge there. I willanswer your other telegrams in a few moments.(Signed)GEO. H. THOMAS,Major-
General U. S. Vols., Comd’g.
 
November 29, 1864
 (Telegram.)FRANKLIN PIKE, TENN., November 29, 1864
1 P.M.
 MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville:Please have pontoons put down at Franklin at once.(Signed)J.M. SCHOFIELD,Major-General.
November 30, 1864
 (Telegram.)FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864
5.30 A.M.
 MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville:I hope to get my troops and material safely across the Harpeth this morning. We have suffered nomaterial loss so far. I shall try to get Wilson on my flank this morning. Forrest was all around usyesterday, but we brushed him away during the evening, and came through. Hood attacked in frontand flank, but did not hurt us.(Signed)J.M. SCHOFIELD,Major-General.
(Telegram.)NASHVILLE, November 30, 1864.
 
The Center for the Study of the American Civil War | Director, Kraig W. McNutt Page 3
MAJOR-GENERAL SCHOFIELD, Franklin:Your despatches of 
5.30, 5.50,
 
and Wilson’s despatch, forwarded to yon, have been received. It will
take Smith quite all day to disembark, but if I find there is no immediate necessity to retain him here,will send him to Franklin or Brentwood, according to circumstances. If you can prevent Hood fromturning your position at Franklin, it should be held; but I do not wish you to risk too much. I send youa map of the environs of Franklin.(Signed)GEO. H. THOMAS,Major-
General U. S. Vols., Comd’g.
 
(Telegram.)NASHVILLE, November 30, 1864.MAJOR GENERAL SCHOFIELD, Franklin:General Smith reported to me
this morning
that one division of his troops is still behind. We musttherefore try to hold Hood where he now is until these troops can get up and the steamers return.After that we will concentrate here, reorganize our cavalry, and try Hood again. Do you think you canhold Hood at Franklin for three days longer? Answer, giving your views; and I should like to knowwhat Wilson thinks he can do to aid you in holding Hood.(Signed)GEO. H. THOMAS.Major-
General U. S. Vols., Comd’g.
 
 (Telegram.)FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864
9.50 A.M.MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville:My trains are coming in all right. Half the troops are here, and the other half about five miles out,coming on in good order, with light skirmishing. I will have all across the river this evening. Wilson ishere, and his cavalry on my flank I do not know where Forrest is. He may have gone east, but nodoubt will strike our flank and rear again soon. Wilson is entirely unable to cope with him. Of course, Icannot prevent Hood from crossing the Harpeth whenever he may attempt it. Do you desire me tohold on here until compelled to fall back(Signed)J.M. SCHOFIELD,Major-General.
 (Telegram.)FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864
12 M.
 MAJOR-GENERAL THOMAS, Nashville:Your despatch of 10.25 A.M. is received. I am satisfied that I have heretofore run too much risk intrying to hold Hood in check, while so far inferior to him in both infantry and cavalry. The slightestmistake on my part, or failure of a subordinate, during the last three days, might have proved
disastrous. I don’t want to get into so tight a place again. Yet I will cheerfully act in accordance with
your views of expediency, if you think it important to hold Hood back as long as possible. When youget all your troops together, and the cavalry in effective condition, we can whip Hood easily, and, Ibelieve, make the campaign a decisive one. Before that, the most we can do is to husband ourstrength and increase it as much as possible. I fear the troops which were stationed on the river belowColumbia will be lost. I will get my trains out of the way as soon as possible, and watch Hoodcarefully. Possibly I may be able to hold him here, but do not expect to be able to do so long.(Signed)

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