Original Documents and Letters related to the Battle of Franklin - Volume One | Confederate States Army | Union Army

Original documents, correspondence and quotes related to the Battle of Franklin

www.battleoffranklin.net

Compiled by kraig W. mcnutt Bloghistorian battleoffranklin@yahoo.com
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Table of Contents
We all drank from the same canteen. Poem by Pvt. Miles O‘Reilly Bold Soldier Boy, Chaplain John J. Hight, 58th Indiana Union Related
63rd Indiana Infantry letter, details scene at Franklin after the battle 63rd Indiana soldier (A.L. Ewing) remembers Franklin 25 years later 63rd Indiana soldier‘s diary entry, Nov 30th, 1864 63rd Indiana soldier‘s diary entry, Dec 1st, 1864 63rd Indiana soldier‘s diary entry, Dec 19th 1864 91st Indiana, John R. Miller letter detailing Battle of Franklin 40th Indiana soldier writes about his action at Franklin 128th Indiana Infantry‘s account is riveting 50th Ohio soldier writes of Franklin battle, mentions dead and wounded. 64th Ohio soldier writes about Franklin battle 104th Ohio Federal soldiers describes firing at Confederates at Franklin 104th Ohio soldier writes in late November 104th Ohio letter from William G. Bentley, Dec 3rd. 1864 104th Ohio letter from William G. Bentley, Dec 7th, 1864 21st Illinois soldier writes about action at Franklin 117th Illinois soldiers writes about post-Franklin 72nd Illinois, George C. Patterson, KIA at Franklin 12th KY letter, Father and son fought at Franklin Jan 1st 1865 letter – The piratical banner of Secession no longer flies over Tennessee Statements by Gen Ruger related to Franklin (Nov 1864) Arthur MacArthur on importance of Franklin Sherman on the advantage of an entrenched defensive position Gen. George H. Thomas‘ report of the Battle Col. Israel N. Stiles‘ report (Union) after Battle of Franklin Gen David S. Stanley served at Franklin

Confederate Related
10th Texas Infantry, Col. Robert B. Young, killed at Franklin 24th Texas Major writes father of 10th Texas (son), announcing his death at Franklin 30th Georgia Infantry, Soldier-letter details Battle 14th Miss., George Estes, Co A, writes about the expected battle 33rd Miss., Letter to widow of CSA soldier killed at Franklin 16th NC Cavalry, December 5, 1864 . . . . bold affair at Franklin 49th TN, John M. Copley‘s account of the battle of Franklin 46th TN, Hope brothers fought and died at Franklin, letter 63rd VA, soldier writes about Franklin, post-battle Prominent Franklin resident – Royce – prosecutes claim for loss of home Gen. Hood‘s Official Report of the Battle of Franklin Captain W.O. Dodd, Reminiscences Of Hood‘s Tennessee Campaign Major-General C.H. Steven‘s official after-battle report of the battle of Franklin S.D. Lee‘s official after-battle report of the battle of Franklin Reporting of the losses at Franklin, Confederate Military History

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We all drank from the same canteen – Pvt. Miles O’Reilly
Confederate reenactor Robert Brooks read the poem - The Same Canteen – by Civil War poet-soldier Miles O‘Reilly, during the 2008 McGavock Cemetery memorial service.

Here are the words to the poem. There are bonds of all sorts in this world of ours, Fetters of friendship and ties of flowers, And true lover‟s knots, I ween; The girl and the boy are bound by a kiss, But there‟s never a bond, old friend, like this, We have drank from the same Canteen! It was sometimes water, and sometimes milk, And sometimes apple-jack “fine as silk;” But whatever the tipple has been We shared it together in bane or bliss, And I warm to you, friend, when I think of this, We drank from the same Canteen! The rich and great sit down to dine, They quaff to each other in sparkling wine, From glasses of crystal and green;

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But I guess in their golden potations they miss The warmth of regard to be found in this, We drank from the same Canteen! We have shared our blankets and tents together, And have marched and fought in all kinds of weather, And hungry and full we have been; Had days of battle and days of rest, But this memory I cling to and love the best, We drank from the same Canteen! For when wounded I lay on the center slope, With my blood flowing fast and so little hope Upon which my faint spirit could lean; Oh! then I remember you crawled to my side, And bleeding so fast it seemed both must have died, We drank from the same Canteen!

Pvt. Miles O‘Reilly As Mr. Brooks read the poem the reenactors in attendance all drank from the same canteen.

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Bold soldier boy
Oh, the wild, glorious, roving life of a bold soldier boy! With all thy faults, I love thee still. How pleasant the sweet consciousness that God gives him that he fights in a good cause. His soul is unfettered by the trammels of civilized life. Does he desire to worship? Where he is is his church. Does he wish for sleep? He says with Tecumseh, ―The earth is my mother; I will repose on her bossum.‖ No pent up Utica contracts his powers; he travels far and near, seeing many lands. He sails on the ocean, steams on the river, rattles on the cars, trudges on the mud road, and climbs bold mountains. He bares his breast to the storm and says, ―Thou art my brother.‖ The gentle rains fall upon his brow, and he welcomes them as a mother‘s kiss. He would not exchange the cooling draught of water from the sparkling fountain for all of the drinks of the most fashionable saloon. His fare is rough, but then his appetite is good, and he is not sickened over dainties. He lives a life of toil, but his muscles are strong and his heart is brave. He exists amid dangers, but he heeds them not, for the smiles of the fair, the prayers of the good, and the hopes of the oppressed cheer him on. When he stands in battle, his soul sinks not in fear, for above him is the flag of the free, and beneath the soil he would lie, rather than yield to tyrants. The canon‘s deadly roar, the crash of arms, the shout of the charge are his music. If victory comes, his soul is filled with indescribable joy. If he fails, full well he knows, ―Whether on the scaffold high, — Or in the battle‘s van, — The noblest places for man to die — Is where he dies for man.‖ If he perish, true hearted comrades will dig his grave. ―No useless coffin will enclose his form; he will lay like a warrior, taking his rest, with his martial cloak around him.‖ Why need he dread death? Is not the grave the common receptacle of the young, the beautiful, the beloved? Let not the brave then fear to die. His memory shall be cherished by those who love him. The mighty deeds in ―which he bore an humble part shall live in the traditions of a thousand generations – but, hush, my wandering thoughts! Stillness reigns in camp, ‘tis time for sleep. Good night. This description of a ―soldier boy‖ was written by Chaplain John J. Hight, 58th Indiana.

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Union related

Newly discovered letter from 63rd Indiana soldier details scene at Franklin after the battle
Addison Lee Ewing was from Haubstat, Indiana and enlisted on 5/1/62, mustering in to Company C of the 63rd Indiana Infantry with the rank of 1st Sergeant. He resigned on 4/6/65 due to disability. During his service he saw three promotions: 2nd Lt on 10/2/86, 1st Lt on 6/24/64, and finally to Captain on 10/1/64 (As of Co. I). He transferred from Company C to I on 11/6/64. The 63rd Indiana became part of the Army of the Ohio in December 1862, staying with that organization until February 1865 when it was assigned to the Department of North Carolina. The 63rd Indiana saw action at Second Bull Run, East Tennessee, Rocky Face Ridge and Resaca; Dallas, Lost Mountain, the Atlanta Campaign, and Hood‘s Tennessee campaign, including Franklin and Nashville. At Franklin (30 November 1864), the 63rd Indiana served on the far left Union flank with Israel N. Stiles‘s brigade, along with the 120th and 128th Indiana regiments. These three Indiana regiments faced the onslaught of the Confederates under Scott and Featherston that fateful day. Hundreds of Confederate soldiers from Alabama and Mississippi lost their lives trying to breach the Union left flank near the Nashville-Decatur Railroad as it buttressed up against the Harpeth River. By the time of the Battle of Franklin, Addison Lee Ewing was Captain of Company I of the 63rd Indiana Infantry. I‘ll say more soon, but here is a partial transcript of the letter Lee wrote to his wife on December 22nd, from Nashville (1864). . . . Day before yesterday [would have been the Dec 20th], we was up at Franklin where there are hundreds of new made graves filled by the enemy. I went up into the old Breastworks where we lay and all over the front of our Brigade which is pretty well doted with rebble graves at our place there is 14 of Co. K of Miss[issippi] laying in a row. I see one grave marked Lt. J.P. See(sic), 55th Tenn. [This was J.P. Seed]. There are horses laying around almost on our works . . . .

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63rd Indiana soldier (A.L. Ewing) remembers Franklin 25 years later
On November 30th, 1889 – on the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin – A.L. Ewing notates the anniversary in his 1889 diary for that day. This would seemingly be uninteresting except for this fact. He does not refer to any other battle or engagement he was involved with in the Civil War except Franklin twenty-five years after the battle. The experience at Franklin (30 November 1864) must have been a seminal experience in the mind of Ewing. In his diary for 1888-1889 he did not mention any of the other battle-anniversaries he could have like: Resaca, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta or even Nashville.

63rd Indiana soldier’s diary entry, Nov 30, 1864
November 30, 1864 Wednesday, at Franklin, Tenn Early dawn found the head of our weary columns fleeing into Franklin. Just after we passed Spring Hill bour wagon train was attacked by Rebel cavalry and several wagons burned. The headquarter guards with the train had quite a little battle before the cavalry was driven off. Cousin Shelley was Sergt-commanding. Among the burnt wagons was one containing my valise. Otherwise came through safely though it seems a special providence that our rear was not captured consisting of detached portions of troops and artillery and many wagons. It was a terrible march over a narrow road which was one solid mass of moving trains, artillery and infantry. I completely lost my company in the darkness and crowding. Just as we came in sight of Franklin I dropped in a fence corner and not particularly caring what happened, I was so worn out. But after a short rest and hearing the firing of our rear guard which was approaching, I went and found a few of my company, and in a short time all of them turned up from various quarters. We drew rations and made coffee and was lined up in position where we proceeded to throw up temporary works as we often had done. Our lines was extended from the Harpeth River above town to the river just below, and of a horse-shoe shape. We rested easy until about 3 pm. Myself and company however were placed out on picket and had dug some rifle pits to spend the night and providing the Rebs would let us. Between 3 and 4 pm the Rebels began showing themselves and our cavalry falling back. There was no skirmishing by us for the Rebs formed two lines of battle and came dashing out

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of the woods in fine style, a skirmish line in front and one in the rear. I yelled to my skirmish line to fall back to the works and started myself. Finding I had to cross the range of one or other of two cannons that were planted at angles, I chose my chances to go between them. The cannoneers were excited and not time for one man to get out of the way. When such a good mark as those advancing columns, I gave a leap at the instant. The pieces were discharged and repaired to my company and loaded guns while the men fired. When the advancing line came up within range the infantry behind the works, a sheet of flame leaped forth with death and wounds in it for hundreds of the brave men fighting for an ignoble cause. The whole scene of action was soon covered with smoke that but little could be seen in detail. For about a dozen times the Rebs was led to charge, only to be repulsed with great slaughter. Many of their banners were planted upon our works with the most heroic determination but was met with as determined resistance. The fight lasted for three hours and while it was going on a Reb and Union battery were having a duel overhead with their shells and shot which sometimes passed distressingly low over our heads. At eleven o‘clock we were withdrawn and crossed the river on a pontoon and railroad bridge. The Enemy discovered our retreat and came crowding down the streets of the town. Our guns opened up on them and must have done them considerable damage. The bridges were burned by our forces and they started on their third night march towards Nashville, near which place cavalry firing again commenced. We arrived in range of its big guns and forts very very tired, though rejoicing in possession of 18 captured colors and near 3,000 prisoners. Source: Eli Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

63rd Indiana soldier’s diary entry, Nov 30, 1864
December 1st, 1864 Thursday, at Franklin, Tenn A prisoner told me that one brigade was sent against us last night with orders to capture us, yet were sent but it was a costly fortune. Rebel General Adams was killed in the ditch . General Pat Cleburne was among the slain. During the interval between their last charge and the time we left, the quiet was broken by the moans and piteous cries of the wounded for water out in the darkness. I could but feel sympathy for the poor fellows though they would do us and our country all the harm they could. We marched hard all last night, took breakfast at Brentwood. The 175th Ohio , a new regiment, was scattered along the pike and seemed to be badly demoralized. We rested a few hours then moved up under the guns of Fort Negley and received mail which was quite a welcomed treat. Source: Eli Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

63rd Indiana soldier’s diary entry, Dec. 19th, 1864
December 19th, 1864 Monday Oh what a night for any but veterans. The weather drizzled til about 3 p.m. when it set in to rain in earnest and continued to pour down till late this afternoon. The first thing I saw on waking up was a sea of mud and water all around me, and when I got up water soon ran into the depression where I had slept. As soon as the men began moving around, the soft earth became a perfect lob, which we had to cook, eat and stand around near 4 p.m. when we moved over to Franklin and camp on the old battleground which is dotted with many graves of the slain of 18 days ago. I went up to see the old works where we lay during the fight. We

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are camped on solid grassy ground. The night is cool and I think freezing but we are made comfortable by our camp stove which my boy carries and we have a plank to sleep on. Crossing the bridge a man fell off but was near enough to shore to scramble out safe but was bad scared. Source: Eli Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Letter of John R. Miller (91st Indiana Infantry), detailing Battle of Franklin
Nashville, Tenn Dec 4th, 1864 Dear Father, I have not written to you since I was at Chattanooga but we have been run about so that I have scarcely had time. I have not had a letter from home since we left Decatur, GA and I am anxious to hear from you. I received the articles you sent me by Busley, I was glad to get them and thank you for sending them. We had a pretty hard time for a few days. We were at Columbia about 8 or 10 days. At the time the rebels advanced on that place. Our regt was laying on Duck River guarding the fords. Six companies under Col. McQuiston were at Williamsport and 4 companies ‗B‘ ‗C‘ and G and our company under Col. Walter were at Gordon‘s ferry 4 miles farther down the regt., while the 91st Ind., was at a point farther down the river. When our army fell back to Franklin, we were cut off from it. The army evacuated Columbia in the morning and we did not receive notice of it till 12 o‘clock that night, we immediately started. We marched till day light when we halted about 30 minutes for breakfast and then resumed the marched, we marched all day and in the evening found we were cut off from our army and in the rear of Hood‘s army. We marched around the rear of the rebels, passing within 2 miles of their camp fires and stopped past his flank. All this time they were fighting hard at Franklin, had they not been we could not possibly have escaped. About 10 o‘clock that night we reached the Big Harpeth river and were safe. We marched 47 miles that day. The next day we came to Nashville. It was reported and believed here that we were captured. I suppose you have read at home that we were. That day I had more expectations of being in some southern prison by this time. We are laying in the trenches here expecting an attack at any moment. We have got to fight here and fight hard. I hope they will at any rate, for I would fight them here than any place else. We have got to fight them sometime and I would just as big to it now as any other time, and rather do it here than anywhere else. They are fighting on our right today, I do not know how the fight is going. I am as well and stout as ever and expect to remain so. Newt & Billy Matkin & Tom Anderson are all well. You need not look for me home this winter, as I have not the least idea of being able to get a furlough, as long as the fighting continues. John R. Miller

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Source: http://www.civilwararchive.com/LETTERS/miller.htm#dec4

40th Indiana soldier writes about his action at Franklin
―Our division, that of the 2d of the 4th army corps, bore the brunt of this terrible, bloody battle, losing more than 2,000 men. This was the hardest fought and bloodiest battle, for the number engaged, during the war. It was a hand-to-hand contest. The rebels, being stimulated by the aid of whisky, were urged on by the valor of their officers to break through our lines and march on Nashville, Tenn., only thirty miles distant, and the home of many of the brave, rebel soldiers who fell to rise no more at that bloody battle. Each charge made by the rebels was as stubbornly resisted by us Union soldiers. Never wavering or faltering, but each one vieing [sic] with each other in deeds of valor, every one of us baring our breasts to the enemy‘s guns to do or to die.‖ – James Bragg, 40th Indiana Infantry Source: Early Life and Times in Boone County, Indiana; Harden & Spahr, Lebanon, Ind. 1887. Web resource: The 40th Indiana Infantry

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128th Indiana’s rare account at Franklin is riveting
The 128th Indiana straddled Lewisburg Pike as it was placed on the far right flank of Stiles’s brigade at Franklin. This map shows the position of several Indiana regiments at Franklin, including the 128th.

Thanks to an alert from a blog reader, I want to publish an old eyewitness, firsthand account of the action experienced by a member of the 128th Indiana at Franklin. James G. Staley Through the winter months and on into the spring of 1864, the enlistment for Company F of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Regiment continued. This company was enlisted mostly by Capt. James G. Staley, Lieuts. W. C. Kent and Henry G. Bliss. The regiment rendezvoused at Michigan City. Captain Staley ‗s company was full about the middle of March, 1864. While yet at Camp Anderson, Michigan City, the members of this company purchased a fine sword which was formally presented to Captain Staley by the regimental chaplain, Rev. William P. Koutz, of Monticello. Company V was the seventh and the last full company to be enlisted in White County for the three-years‘ service. Its regiment was mustered into the service March 18, 1864, and first took the field at Nashville, Tennessee. In the Atlanta campaign it fought at Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Lost .Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta and Jonesboro. As part of Thomas‘s army it joined in the pursuit of Hood, and at the hard-fought Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864, its brave captain, James G. Staley, was killed.

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One of Captain Staley‘s comrades writes of his death and career as follows: ―In the beginning of the war he responded to the call of our country and served faithfully as a member of the Ninth Indiana for more than two years, lie was commissioned captain of Company P, 128th Indiana, in January, 1864, and in March left the place of rendezvous with his regiment to take part in the memorable campaign of Atlanta. During that toilsome service of marching, digging, guarding, watching and lighting, lasting four months, without the soldiers being beyond the sound of musketry or artillery, lie nobly, patiently, heroically performed his part. On the 4th of October we left Decatur, Georgia, to begin the fall campaign, and after much skirmishing and marching several hundred miles in Georgia and Alabama, we reached Franklin, Tennessee, closely pressed by the enemy in superior force. It is not my purpose to give a description of the engagement, but I will state that the l28th Indiana occupied breastworks near the extreme left of our line; that the enemy charged right up to and planted their colors on our works, and that their dead and dying which filled the ditches, sufficiently proved how bloody and disastrous was their repulse. ―When the assault was made, Captain Staley was standing up watching the enemy and directing the fire and the use of the bayonets of his men. Just then Captain Bissell, of the same regiment, was shot through the head and fell against Lieutenant Bliss, who, with the assistance of Captain Staley, laid him upon the ground and planed a blanket under his head. This had‘ scarcely been done when some one called out ‗They are coming; again,‘ and all prepared to receive the enemy. As Captain Staley turned to the works, a minie ball struck him in the forehead, and he, too, fell into the arms of Lieutenant Bliss and died almost instantly. There was no time then to listen to parting words. A desperate hand-to-hand conflict was straining every nerve for the possession of the works. The deadly musket shot, the clash of arms as bayonet came to bayonet and sword to sword, the hurried breathing of the men through their shut teeth, their words of encouragement and mutterings of vengeance, with the thunders of the two pieces of artillery that flanked the company, combined to bring into heroic exercise every muscle of the body and every power of the mind. ―Darkness came on and still the fighting continued. Every man was needed to repulse the desperate assaults of the enemy. The body of Captain Staley was carried to the rear by the stretcher corps and buried in the same grave with that of Captain Bissell, near the large brick dwelling house on the hill south of Franklin. This statement was made by Lieutenant Bliss. The grave where the heroes slept was left unmarked, but to have done otherwise was impossible. Though we had repulsed the rebel army, it was determined to withdraw under cover of darkness, and at midnight we retreated across Harpeth river and abandoned the battlefield and Franklin to the enemy.‖ Captain Staley‘s remains were recovered and brought home, through the efforts of the Christian Commission, arriving at Monticello on February 7, 1865, and on the 12th were reinterred with appropriate ceremonies. This last of the long-term companies to be raised, as a whole, in White County, saw service after Captain Staley‘s death at Nashville, in the later pursuit of Hood, at Newbern and Wise‘s Fork, North Carolina, and at other points marking the closing operations of the war. The regiment was not mustered out of the service until early in 1866. Source: Hamelle, William H. A Standard History of White County, Indiana : an Authentic Narrative of the Past, with an Extended Survey of Modern Developments in the Progress of Town and Country (1915). Chicago; New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1915. p. 186

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50th Ohio soldier writes of Franklin battle, mentions dead and wounded.
Columbia Tenn Dec 28th 1864 Dear Sister, I received a long letter from you today. I reply not because there is anything of importance transpiring just at present, but because when the most happens is the time I am entirely unable to write. Since I was last at Columbia we have had some stirring times. Hood drove us back to Nashville. We had a very severe battle at Franklin during which our Regiment lost in killed wounded & captured some thing over half its men. After that we were in the big fight at Nashville & our company lost its Commanding Officer, a fine man who was shot through the breast & had an arm broken by a musket ball. But the success atoned for all the loss & more. Hood has halted at Columbia again. The rest of the Army has gone down after Hood. How long we shall remain here idle I know not but presume we shall have plenty to do. Sherman has taken Savannah & Hardee has escaped with his 15,000 men & will probably reinforce Hood which will give him a chance to show us considerable fight. But we shall conquer in the end. The right will triumph in the end. Charleston will be taken next and all important Sea ports. Christmas is over & I thought often of the fine times you were having at home. We had rather hard times living on hard tack & sow belly. It is quite cold to night, I have just had an argument on Slavery with the Captain who is for allowing the slaveholders credit for honesty on account of early education and I am not. I would just as — take a horse or hoe from one of these men as not. But I must stop writing. Having passed safely through the Battle of Franklin I expect good times for a while. Let me know if any thing new happening and you hear from Thomas. Goodbye. Your Bro. A.M.Weston Asa M. Weston enlisted on 8/11/62 as Sergeant in Company K, 50th Ohio Infantry. He survived the Civil War.

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64th Ohio soldier writes about Franklin battle
Camp Near Columbia Tenn December 21st/64 Mr L. Cessna Dear Sir with my wife requested I shal tri to drop you a few lines too let you know that I am well & feel prety well on this campagne that is in progress at this present time & with the ide of Jeneral Hoods retreate towards the tennasee river well now there I shal tri too tell you a litle of our retrie from Pulaki too Nashville Tenn we had a prety good road too gow on that was some thing shre they mad us make quick time of it we travelled a bout 20 or 25 miles prday the distents between Nash & Pulaki was 75 miles we got a long as far as too spring hill firste till the Johneys trid too flank us there we had a quite a dandy old fight there with the mounted infantry the rather flanked us they on the a count of there haven a bout 6 too wone of us then dooring the knight we fell back too Franklin there we had another trille of it that is a trile that proved a perfect slater too the Johnneys all though we had a good maney of our very bravest boys killed then we had old Peter Sarge killed thare & a great maney others killed that well this ends this. then we lit out for Nashville then we went in too camp there for a few days & all this time the Johnneys tride too get in their town thru old Jeneral Hood told these men that if they would take the sity that he would dress them all in the darnd Yankeys clothe that is all officers uniforms there four they fought like tiger but Jeneral Thomas took them on the flank which did knot aggee with ther system. the fight commenced on our write flank on the morning of the 18 & we flanked theme out of there works on that side the uncore while our lines war 7 mils long there four we had 2 days prety hard fighting sow hard that the first to charge that we made on the firste day we gave back for a bout 1 hour thin hour darkess made a desperate charge on there lefte of them we wated in & gobleed a bout 5 thousand of them then they began too lite out of there hideing plases & know we have bin after them for a few days & have bin taken prisners every day untill too day But our cavlery is after there prety keen in all of the prisners that we had taken will amount too a bout 12 or 15 thousand But I cannot tell anything to the the sertenty a bout that for (—-) have the papers thare & they can tell you the beste a Bout that therfour I will leave that subject with them & You too get a long with as well as you can well as for a chap too tell you a bout those 3 battles I was in them all But wone & than wone was at franklin the wreason that I was knot in that Batle was this I was on guard the knight befour at spring hill & the regment left me in the rear too guard them too Franklen the teemes there I got threw before the fight commenced there four you can see that I was knot in too it but they all said that was the hardest fight of the 3. I was a litle sorrow that I was knot their But I looked on & wished our men well & I think that it was granted by the old gentleman that is a looking on with a long eye & says gow in yankeys the day is hours, yet all though the time of retreite that we just have ben a gowing there befour we gained the day over Jeneral Hood I thing that he is a litle demoralised I think that if thay would chase us like we have chaste them I think that but little fighitng they would get out of those yankeys of this department well I think that this will suffice for the firste leter knot knowing the sircumstances of your sittuation I think that I will half too close all though perhaps I did knot give you but little satisfaction about hour march & times that we have had all though I think that I could give you a prety good histry of it Bt time will not admitt it I will do bete the next time thus I will close I hope that those few lines will knot demoralise you sow that you will knot forget too write too me then I will close hoping too hear from you all soon but tell Tip too drop a line too me this is all \r & parley done write soon I Still remain yours as ever JH Dicken

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Directions & inspections Co Your leters too Co A 64 Ohio OVI 3 Brigade 2 Division Harney Corps VIA Nashville Tennissee At the time of the Civil War Joshua Dicken served initially with the 3 month service of Co.H, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Then in Sept. 1861 he joined Co.K, 49th O.V.I, (being discharged on disability the following year). He was later drafted at the age of 26 on Sept. 29, 1864 for 1 year service with Co.A, 64th O.V.I. Note: the 64th Ohio (at Franklin) was part of Wagner‘s Division, 3rd Brigade (Col. Joseph Conrad), Stanley‘s 4th Corps. Sarah V. Elder Dicken Papers Transcripts of Correspondence, September – December 1864 MS-997 ******************************************* Edited section of his letter related to Franklin (correcting grammar and spelling): …. we got along as far as Spring Hill first till the Johnny‘s (Johnny Rebs) tried to flank us there. We had a quite a dandy old fight there with the mounted infantry. They flanked us there on account of them having about six to one of us. Then during the night (Nov 30th) we fell back to Franklin where we had another thrill of it, that is, a thrill that proved a perfect slaughter to the Johnnies, although we had a good many of our very bravest boys killed. Old Peter Sorg was killed there and a great many others killed. - Joshua Dicken, Co.A, 64th O.V.I. Written on December 21st near Columbia, Tenn., just five days after fighting in the battle of Nashville, and three weeks after fighting at Franklin. In his original letter Dickens says that Peter Sarge was killed. The correct name is Peter Sorg. Sorg was 43 years old when he enlisted on 9/27/64. He was a member of Company A, with Dickens. Reference notes: Jacobson, Sword nor McDonough refer to Dickens or this letter.

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104th Ohio Federal soldiers describes firing at Confederates at Franklin
The Confederate Army of Tennessee marched across over open ground for over a mile before they finally reached the Federal line near downtown Franklin. A soldier in the 104th Ohio wrote about that scene. Hess writes about this kind of troop assault movement then quotes the Ohio soldier: When the terrain and vegetation allowed the troops to fire at longer ranges, they could maximize the damage done to attacking forces. At the battle of Franklin, Confederate division advanced over open, rolling ground for a mile before they attacked heavy fortifications. The Federals were ready for them and opened fire as soon as they could. Andrew Moon of the 104th Ohio scampered over the battlefield that night before his regiment pulled out of the works. ―Well, for 400 yards in front, I could hardly step without stepping on dead and wounded men. The ground was in a perfect slop and mud with blood and, oh, such cries that would come up from the wounded was awful.‖ The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat. Earl J. Hess, p. 156

104th Ohio soldier writes in late November 1864
Letter from John D. Messinger of the 104th Ohio Infantry, Company D. Pulaski, Tenn. November 20th 1864 Letter reads in part: We are just getting the particulars of the Election, and as an old ‗darky‘ in ‗Alabam‘ said one day as we were passing a plantation where about ‗five thousand‘ were congregated along the road side. One of the boys ask him what he thought of the music (our comet band was playing) – his answer was ‗dunno suh, but pears like tis getting mity glorious Shuah‘ – it pears like the election news from Sherman, begin to make things look ‗mity glorious‘ for the Union cause. As the particulars are brought out – the frauds on the part of the copperheads – their total everlasting defeat, it surely is encouraging to all. I believe the end is nigh. ‗Hood‘ with his rebel hart is supposed to be on the southern shore of the Tenn. River, about making an attempt to get into East Tenn. I hardly think he will win for we have the army of the Cumberland and Ohio here to whip him with in case he wishes to fight or make a forward movement. I am longing to have this war play out that we may return home to the social haunts in our native town. I rather fear that all the young ladies will have taken the ‗oath of allegiance‘ ere our time expires and we will be obliged to ‗migrate‘. Messinger mustered into Company D on 30 August 1862 and was later promoted to First Sergeant. He was reduced to Private at his own request on 7 April 1865 and mustered out on 17 June 1865 at Greensboro, North Carolina. The 104th Ohio saw action at Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kennesaw, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Franklin and Wilmington. Source: Nate Sanders online auction

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Dec, 3rd, 1864 letter of William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio
Nashville, Tenn Dec 3rd, 1864 There is a mail going out in a few minutes and I must write a few lines to tell you of my safety. You have heard of the fight at Franklin day before yesterday and will be anxious to hear particulars. I was sent with several others of the Co. after rations about an hour before the charge was made and the fight was almost over before we could get to our works. Tho we started immediately, I tell you, it was a hard battle but our boys stood their ground like heroes, tho a part of the 4th Corps left their works which almost lost the day for us. Our Corps has now, at last, a name which we may be proud of. The enemy‘s loss was awful, you can have no idea of it unless you could see the field. The nearest fighting in our Brigade line was directly in front of our Co. We were the left center Co., next to the Colors, and they seemed determined to capture them, but our boys stuck to them. The rebels came up on to our works, some of them jumping clear over them. The ditch in front was piled with dead and wounded and for rods in front, a man could hardly put his foot down without stepping on them. Our loss was comparatively slight, 5 wounded in our Co . . . . We don‘t fear the enemy here. We are well fixed. Source: (p. 125) ―Burning Rails as We Pleased‖: The Civil War Letters of of William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. McFarland, 2011.

Dec 7th, 1864 letter of William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio
Dec. 7th, 1864 [Nashville] Dear Bro, I wrote . . . the other day after we reached this place but I was hurried so that I couldn‘t write as much as I would have liked . . . .

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I suppose you have heard the particulars of the Franklin fight by this time, as the papers of this place are full of it — but maybe you would like to hear the part that our Regiment took in it, so I will try to explain it. Tho I wasn‘t in our works during the heaviest of the fight, as I stated before. I was sent back to draw rations but I saw it and I‘m not particularly anxious to see such another battle, tho it was a great victory for us. Gen Reilly‘s Brigade was in position on the left of the Cumberland pike, our Regiment being 2nd in line on the right. We joined Gen Cooper‘s 2nd Division, 23rd A.C. They connected with the 4th A.C. Col. Casement‘s Brigade of our Division on our left. The enemy charged with 2 Divisions, Gen Cleburne of Hardee‘s old Corps in our immediate front on the left of the pike. I forgot the name of the other General on the right, our skirmish line was about 1/4 mile in advance of the works, supported by Wagner‘s Brigade of the 4th Co. The enemy advanced in two oblique lines, their left in our front — almost resting on our works, their right extended along the road joining on the right — which was formed in the same manner except that on this side, their right was nearest our lines . . .. They came up in splendid style, our artillery from across the river, throwing shell into their ranks without checking them in the least. The Brigade of the 4th Corps were overpowered in a moment and came rushing back in the wildest confusion over our line – almost breaking it. The rebels kept close . . . on them, so that our men couldn‘t fire until they were within a few yards. When they did open on them, mowing them down by scores, we had several pieces of artillery in the line which poured grape and cannister into their ranks. At last, finding it too hot for them, they fell back one hundred yards, into a ravine, which they reformed and came up again. This time as steady as clock works. They charged right up to our ditch, many of them jumping over the boys heads. Some were shot while standing on the headlogs. Our Co. was the left-center of the Regiment and next to our colors and here the fighting was hottest. The line to our right was, at one time, driven back and the rebels came pouring over the works. I am proud to say, that not a man in Co. G flinched, tho every Co. to the right fell back. Gen.s Reilly, Cox and Schofield were in the most exposed places, trying to rally the men who had fallen back from a misunderstanding of orders. Up they went again, taking their old position and capturing many prisoners. Off to the right, the enemy held our line for sometime but after a desperate struggle, everything was retaken and the enemy fell back a short distance but still keeping up a heavy fire. It was now dark and we expected another attack would be made but they had evidently had enough of it. After the firing had slackened the boys went out in front of the works to help any of our boys who were lying outside. Very few were wounded outside of the works, but you can‘t imagine the appearance of the field. The ditch was literally piled with dead and wounded and for rods you could scarcely walk without stepping on a body. They laid in every position imaginable. Some were in the act of loading, some drawing the trigger. Our fire had been very effective, nearly all were struck below the breast. Several officers rode their horses right onto the works and horses & riders fell back into the ditch. You can imagine how desperate the struggle was in front of our colors when 5 (stand0 of colors were captured in front of them, the color bearers were all killed. One of them planted his standing in our works and snatched at our colors which were floating there, but our color Sergeant was too quick for him, he pulled them off the works and the reb fell back dead. An officer, said to be Gen. Cleburne was killed in front of our Co. The rebels came over our works by scores, throwing down their guns, they were sent back to the rear and as men couldn‘t well be spared just then to guard them, I suppose 1/2 of them made their escape as it was. We kept 1,700 of them, you may judge that they were terribly cut-up when after the fight was over several men came over the works with ammunition, expecting to find their men in possession, as they said, they didn‘t meet any going back except a few stragglers. Officers, who were over the field after the fight estimate their loss in killed and wounded at from 500 to 600, which is a moderate estimate I think. It has been said by men who have witnessed some of the hardest fought battles of the war, that they never saw a more desperate fight. Cleburne‘s Division we have always heard spoken of, as the flower of the Southern Army, and they boasted that they have never before been whipped. I don‘t believe that braver men live than they were, but now there are but few left to tell the tale who will ever charge a Yankee line again.

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About midnight we evacuated the place and fell back to this place. We had to leave some of our wounded in their hands as it was so dark that we couldn‘t find them. Our loss was comparatively slight, about 700 in all, the 104th lost 62 mostly wounded. We had six of our best men wounded, none killed which is very fortunate . . . I will enclose a little shred of our old flag which the Color Sergeant handed me the day after the fight. It is so ragged that it will scarcely hold together but we will prize it all the more for that. We will never dishonor it, the little piece of red is part of a rebel flag we captured. Source: (p. 125-127) ―Burning Rails as We Pleased‖: The Civil War Letters of of William Garrigues Bentley, 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. McFarland, 2011.

21st Illinois soldier writes about action at Franklin, great detail
Following letter was written by Abbott A. Lemaster who enlisted at age 27 from Palestine, Illinois. CRAWFORD COUNTY ARGUS DECEMBER 22, 1864 FROM THE 21st ILLS. V. V. NASHVILLE,TENN DEC.6,1864 Friend Harper: Knowing those who have friends and relatives in the old 21st would like to hear of their whereabouts, and what they are doing, I improve this opportunity of doing so, provided you give room in the Argus for the letter. At present we are about a mile south of Nashville, just inside the first line of works. We have a nice place to camp, but we are rather uncomfortably situated on account of the scarcity of wood, something we stand in great need of, as it is quite cool here now. We reached here the 1st inst. about noon, and I suppose the men generally felt considerably relieved. I know I did, for we had been marching night and day for eight days, our rear guard skirmishing all the way from Pulaski (which we left the 23rd of November) until we reached Franklin the 30th. There we had a regular pitched battle lasting five hours, of which I will now attempt to give a short description. During the night of the 29th, we fell back from Columbia to Franklin. The enemy followed right up, and by ten o‘clock A.M. we could see the ―Johnnies‖ advancing in two heavy lines. We immediately formed our lines and breastworks. Pretty soon skirmishing commenced, and by the middle of the afternoon they crowded our lines viciously and at 3 1/2 P.M. made a desperate attack on our right and center, forcing our lines to the breastworks, which were thrown up from river to river, in an open field on the Columbia pike, which runs through the center of Franklin. General Schofield commanded in the field, Stanley on the right, and Cox; of the 23rd corps, on the left.

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At least one-half of the rebels engaged endeavored to pierce our center, and came down heavy on Wagner‘s division, which after desperate fighting, gave way, and Maney‘s division of Frank Cheatham‘s corps got inside our works and captured two guns. Our center was not broken, however, and, better still, Gen. Wagner successfully rallied his troops who charged upon the enemy, recaptured the two guns, and forced the division over the breastworks, capturing an entire brigade and its commander. At half past four the battle raged with unabated fury, the enemy having made during one short half hour four attempts to break our center. Our position was a magnificent one; and the result of these four charges was magnificently grand. All the while the rebels operated in force upon our right, the rebel programme being to pierce our center and crush our right. Before dark, although but a portion of our infantry were engaged, three fourths of our artillery were playing upon the rebel column, who stood their ground like madmen. During all the charges that were made upon our right and center, volleys of grape and cannister were hurled into their lines, and only darkness prevented their sacrifice being more awful. They fought so desperately that the rebel muskets were often thrust through the parapet and head log. The firing in front of our division was not so severe, the rebels charging but twice. By dark they were repulsed, but the firing did not cease till nearly nine. At least five thousand rebels were killed, wounded and captured, while our own loss will probably reach fifteen hundred. We captured seventeen rebel battle flags; some regiments, among which was the 11th Ohio, capturing a half dozen apiece. Gen. D.S. Stanley was slightly wounded in the back of the neck, but did not leave the field until the fight was over. The rebel Gen. Adams was killed, and he and his horse fell into the ditch together in front of the 104th Ohio. Seventeen distinct attacks of the enemy-some of them feints, but mostly real were repulsed. One man was killed and one wounded from our regiment. We have beat the last retreat, and if old Hood wants us he will have to come and take us. Our regiment is in a healthy condition. The boys of company I are generally well. Respectfully yours A.A. Lemaster

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117th Illinois soldiers writes about postFranklin
I recently acquired a letter written by a 117th Illinois Infantry soldier named Thomas A. Whitesides. It is dated Nashville, Tenn., December 6th, 1864. Whitesides wrote this letter to his wife who was living in Belleville, Illinois. This letter was written just six days after the Battle of Franklin (30 November 1864). Thomas A. Whitesides enlisted August 12, 1862 as a Corporal. On September 19, 1862, he mustered into Company H of the 117th Illinois Infantry at Camp Butler in Springfield, Illinois. He mustered out on August 5th, 1865, having served nearly three years in the service for the Union. Whitesides would have seen action with the 117th in places like Vicksburg (summer 1863); western Tennessee chasing after Nathan Bedford Forrest‘s cavalry (Dec 1863); the Red River expedition and the Battle of Pleasant Hill (Feb 1864); and the Battle of Nashville (Dec 15-16th, 1864). ******************************************* Nashville, Tenn Dec 6th, 1864 Dear wife, I seat myself to fulfill my promise in my last [letter]. I told you I would write the first opportunity. Thies [sic] few lines leave us well and I hope to find all of you the same. We have moved our position to the left and thrown up breastworks waiting an attack. Skirmishing is kept us all the while night and day by the picket. Shelling is quite common all along the line. I suppose hood [CSA Gen. John Bell Hood] is going to siege us out of here as he don‘t advance only at night. They have thrown up [breast] works every night and still getting closer. Their line and ours are one mile of each other. Hood sent a flag of truce [end page one] yesterday wanting to exchange prisoners that were taken in the late battle [Franklin: 30 Nov 1864]. I suppose he is short of supplies and don‘t wish to feed men that are not fighting for him. The prisoners say they don‘t get fourth rations and if they don‘t take this place before long they will be without any as they are so far from base of supplies and no railroad to ship on. It is rumored round camp that Rosecrans is commencing with reinforcements for us. I don‘t credit the report though I would like for some good General to get in the rear of them and close in so they would have to get up and dust. I see in yesterday‘s paper that Sherman had got through to the coast. I would be pleased to know he had released our prisoners at Antietam [probably means Andersonville]. [end page two] I hear that Don Morrison has gone to France as he couldn‘t stand for the Stars and Stripes to float over him. Olive, I have been tempted to ask a favor of you for some time past and I fear you will not be so free to grant it. I will make all fair promises imaginable. I wish your photograph. I will pray for a half dozen and I promise to return it if you should call for it. Tell me at once if I can have it. I must close for present. I remain as ever your affectionate friend,

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Thomas Whiteside PS Our Co [Company] is on picket tonight. I guess we may have a good time with the Rebs.

George C. Patterson, 72nd Illinois, KIA at Franklin
George C. Patterson was from Harrison, Illinois when he enlisted on August 9, 1862, as a Private. He mustered into Company B of the 72nd Illinois Infantry on August 21st. Patterson was killed at Franklin on November 30, 1864. American Civil War Database lists at least 16 72nd Illinois men having been killed at Franklin. The Union Army, Vol. 3 says, ―in the fight at Franklin it lost 9 officers of our 16 engaged, and 152 men, who were either killed or severely wounded.‖ The 72nd Illinois was part of Strickland‘s Brigade [72nd Illinois, 44th Missouri, 50th Ohio, and the 183rd Ohio] at Franklin. The 72nd was placed just to the left (west) of the 50th Ohio which was buttressed up against the Columbia Pike about 50 yards in front of the Carter House. J. A. SEXTON, Capt., Seventy-second Illinois Volunteer, Cmdg. Regt. wrote the following about the action at Franklin involving the 72nd Illinois. At about 7 a.m. reached Franklin, the brigade taking position on the right of the road and commenced fortifying the left of the Fiftieth Ohio resting on the Franklin pike, the Seventy-second Illinois being on the right of the Fiftieth Ohio. Were at work on the fortifications at the time the enemy made their first assault. About 4 p.m. two divisions of the Fourth Corps, being in front of the works gave way on the approach of the enemy and rushed pell-mell into our works. At the same time the support on our left gave way, and the flank of our regiment being turned, the four left companies fell back, and as our right flank also became exposed to the enemy, the remaining companies were also ordered to retire to the second line of works, which was done. At that time, all of our field officers being wounded, I, being the senior captain, took command of the regiment, and a charge was ordered to recover our first position. In the charge all of our color guard, consisting of 1 sergeant and 8 corporals were shot down, and the night being so dark it was not perceived that our colors, which had been shot to shreds, were missing. An attempt was made to regain the colors, which was unsuccessful. The regiment was ordered to retire by Col. Strickland, commanding brigade at about midnight. For more info on the 72nd Illinois see: 72nd Illinois, ―War Diary [1862-1865] of Joseph Stockton of the Seventy-Second Illinois Volunteer Regiment Board of Trade Regiment),‖ by Brevet Brigadier General Joseph Stockton, First Lieutenant, Captain, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel of the 72nd Illinois Regiment.

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Father and son with 12th KY Infantry fought at Franklin
December the 10th, 1864 Nashville, Tenn. Dear Mother, I seat myself this morning to answer your letter (that) I recieved last evening, dated Dec. the 3rd, which gives me great satisfaction to hear that you are all well. This letter leaves me well and I hope these few lines will find you the same. I told you (in) the other letter about Pap getting wounded, but don‘t know whether you got the letter or not. He was wounded ( ) ( ), I haven‘t heard from him. I packed him off the field. It was in the night. I could not tell how bad he was wounded. I don‘t think it went to the holer. (?) I wanted to stay but I could not get to stay, but I think he will get well. The Rebs is payrolling (paroling) all the (Federal) wounded fast as they get so (well enough) they can travel. I got his money and started you one hundred dollars by William Marcum and I will send you some more as soon as I get the chance. I don‘t know when I will get to come home, but I will come as soon as I can. You do the best you can till I get to come, and get some body to get wood for you. So I will close for this time, but remain your son till death. From Willis Hansford To Mary Hansford Write soon. NOTES: Willis Hansford and his father, Thomas (―Pap‖) Hansford, both served with the 12th Kentucky Infantry Regt., U.S. — their enlistments were up on November 29, 1864 – the day before Thomas was mortally wounded at the Battle of Franklin. Thomas had to be left behind in Franklin along with other badly wounded Federals, and Willis never saw his father again. His burial place has never been determined. — This letter has been edited for clarity, and is printed here through the courtesy of the Carter House Museum. [This letter was found on the STFB web site.] ************************************************* Willis Hansford mustered into Company B, 12th Kentucky 1/1/64 as a Sergeant. He originally mustered in 10/12/61. He was listed absent (sick) on the same day his father mustered in. Thomas Hansford (father) mustered into Company B on 1/30/62. William Marcum is mentioned in the letter. An Arthur Marcum is listed as a member of the 12th KY, perhaps the same person or William‘s brother.

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Jan 1st 1865 letter – The piratical banner of Secession no longer flies over Tennessee
Letter written by John A. Jackson January 1, 1865, addressed to General Thomas, ―…I feel that the thanks of every Union loving heart, are due to you this bright New Year‘s morning, that the ‗Stars & Stripes‘ now float over Tennessee, instead of the piratical banner of Secession. I have never felt deeper interest in our cause, nor greater confidence that a triumph more signal, and glorious even than that before Nashville will soon crown the Union arms, and redeem our beloved South from the filthy pool of Secession in which she has been so long plunging – and clad in clean Union garments she will soon forget the stained and dishonored rags which her leaders for a time have compelled her sons to wear! War is a…terrible school in which we all share – all suffer – the innocent and the guilt but with you Gen‘l to wield our armies I shall look soon for a peace – a conquered peace….‖ Source: Live Auctioneers online

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Statements by Gen Ruger related to Franklin (Nov 1864)
Cowan‘s auctioned off several items related to Gen. Thomas H. Ruger, who commanded at the Battle of Franklin. In the first week of November, Ruger was offered command of a Division in 28th Corps in Tennessee under George Thomas unless Sherman and Slocum (who did not want to have him leave their command) could offer him one. Ruger describes his meeting with Sherman: “I gave [Sherman] Gen. Slocum‟s letter and remarked that if the two Corps of the Army of the Cumberland the 14th and 20th were to be operated as an army it would place Gen. Williams in command of the 20th Corps and that would give me the Division during the campaign at least. He shook his head and said enough to let me know he had no such intention and directed the order for my transfer to be made out, said that it was not a good plan to „stay too long in one hole‟ and besides Gen Schofield was very anxious to have me come.” He received command of 2nd Div., 28 Corps, shortly before the Battle of Franklin, where he would earn a lasting reputation. Nov. 28: “I want you to make your position perfectly secure so as to render it impossible for the enemy to effect a crossing at that place. You may retain the guns which you have without horses even at the risk of losing them. If the bridge is not sufficiently burned to render it useless to the enemy complete it tonight under the cover of darkness….” At 8 a.m. on the 29th, word the order went out “The enemy is coming in force above us,” ordering Ruger to leave a regiment to guard the river. When it was over, Ruger described the Battle of Franklin to his wife: “The attack of the enemy was very strong and determined much the hardest I have seen west a good deal like the attacks of [Stonewall] Jackson. We repulsed the enemy with loss, but as A.J. Smith‟s command and other were not up we fell back here where they are for concentration. The force we had was much smaller than the enemy….”

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Arthur MacArthur on importance of Franklin
At the Battle of Franklin, young Arthur MacArthur was a Major in the 24th Wisconsin and part of Opdycke‘s brigade that counter charged around the Carter House to stem the Confederate breach of the Federal line. He was badly injured in this fighting with multiple wounds and was sent to Nashville where he recovered. MacArthur was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga the previous summer. After the Civil War, Arthur fathered Douglas MacArthur of WW II fame, served in the Philippine War, and rose to Military Governor of the Philippines. Regarding the Battle of Franklin action MacArthur saw, he stated: Battles great for conception or political results, ought to be studied; but those that save should be commemorated and celebrated. We owe admiration to the first; gratitude to the others. Franklin was essentially a battle that saved, and as such must be classified as second only to Gettysburg in importance during the entire war. Source: Letter from Arthur MacArthur to Charles Clark, May 13, 1895

Sherman on the advantage of an entrenched defensive position
The following description by Union General William T. Sherman is very insightful into the advantage a defensive army has when it is entrenched. I could not help but think about how Gen Schofield must have felt similarly at Franklin (30 November 1864). Sherman talks about how mass charges in open fields were rare, how men more often fought in skirmish lines, how knowing the lay of the ground was vital, the advantage of a defensive position, etc. Very few of the battles . . . were fought as described in European text books, viz, in great masses, in perfect order, manoevring by corps, divisions, and brigades. We were generally in a wooded country, and though our lines were deployed according to tactics, the men generally fought in strong skirmish lines, taking advantage of the shape of the ground, and of every cover. We were generally the assailants, and in wooded and broken countries the “defensive” had a positive

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advantage . . . for they were always ready, had cover, and always knew the ground to their immediate front; whereas we . . . had to grope our way over unknown ground, and generally found a cleared field or prepared entanglements that held us for a time under a close and withering fire . . . When the enemy is entrenched, it becomes absolutely necessary to permit each brigade and division of the troops their own protection in case of a sudden sally. We invariably did this in all our recent campaigns, and it had no ill effect, though sometimes are troops were a little too slow in leaving their well-covered lines to assail the enemy in position . . . . Even our skirmishers were in the habit of rolling logs together, or of making a lunette of rails, with dirt in front, to cover their bodies . . . . On the “defensive” there is no doubt of the propriety of fortifying, but in the assailing army the general must watch closely to see that his men to do not neglect the opportunity to drop his precautionary defenses, and act promptly on the “offensive” at every chance. William T. Sherman, Memoirs, II, pp. 396-397.

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Sight of massed troop formations marching across open ground . . .
About 4pm on November 30, 1864, C.S.A. General John Bell Hood launched a frontal attack against the Federal troops of the 23rd and 4th Corps of General John M. Schofield. The Confederate Army of Tennessee marched in mass formation across open ground, mostly flat, for nearly two miles before clashing with the Federal line. On a few battlefields, massed enemy formations could be seen at a considerable distance, at least before the firing began in earnest. Robert G. Carter of the 22nd Massachusetts wrote of the sight of oncoming Confederates on the second day of Gettysburg: ―The indistinct form of masses of men, presenting the usual, dirty, greyish, irregular line, were dimly visible and moving up with defiant yells, while here and there the cross-barred Confederate battle flags were plainly to be seen.‖ Rebel lines also were fully visible at Antietam, Franklin, Bentonville, and a number of other engagements. The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat. Earl J. Hess, p. 12 Confederate General John Bell Hood had this basic view of the (then) open ground between Winstead Hill and the entrenched Federal line near Fountain Branch Carter‘s property in November 1864. The entire Confederate Army of Tennessee(about 20,000) was positioned here, facing north as in the picture, before they started the quick-step march toward the Federal army (about 22,000). Original view

Picture credit: Historical Markers of Williamson County, Rick Warwick, p. 174

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Gen. George H. Thomas’ report of the Battle
O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME XLV/1 [S# 93] NOVEMBER 14, 1864-JANUARY 23, 1865.–Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee. No. 1.–Report of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Cumberland. [The following section of Thomas' report relates specifically to the action at Franklin on 30 November, 1864.] The withdrawal of the main force from in front of Columbia was safely effected after dark on the 29th; Spring Hill was passed without molestation about midnight, and making a night march of twenty-five miles, the whole command got into position at Franklin at an early hour on the morning of the 30th; the cavalry moved on the Lewisburg pike, on the right or east of the infantry. At Franklin General Schofield formed line of battle on the southern edge of the town to await the coming of the enemy, and in the meanwhile hastened the crossing of the trains to the north side of Harpeth River. On the evacuation of Columbia orders were sent to Major-General Milroy, at Tullahoma, to abandon that post and retire to Murfreesborough, joining forces with General Rousseau at the latter place. General Milroy was instructed, however, to maintain the garrison in the blockhouse at Elk River bridge. Nashville was placed in a state of defense and the fortifications manned by the garrison, re-enforced by a volunteer force, which had been previously organized into a division, under Bvt. Brig. Gen. J. L. Donaldson, from the employés of the quartermaster‘s and commissary departments. This latter force, aided by railroad employés, the whole under the direction of Brigadier-General Tower, worked assiduously to construct additional defenses. Major-General Steedman, with a command numbering 5,000, composed of detachments belonging to General Sherman‘s column, left behind at Chattanooga (of which mention has heretofore been made), and also a brigade of colored troops, started from Chattanooga by rail on the 29th of November, and reached Cowan on the morning of the 30th, where orders were sent him to proceed direct to Nashville. At an early hour on the morning of the 30th the advance of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith‘s command reached Nashville by transports from Saint Louis. My infantry force was now nearly equal to that of the enemy, although he still outnumbered me very greatly in effective cavalry; but as soon as a few thousand of the latter arm could be mounted I should be in a condition to take the field offensively and dispute the possession of Tennessee with Hood‘s army. The enemy followed closely after General Schofield‘s rear guard in the retreat to Franklin, and upon coming up with the main force, formed rapidly and advanced to assault our works, repeating attack after attack during the entire afternoon, and as late as 10 p.m. his efforts to break our line were continued. General Schofield‘s position was excellently chosen, with both flanks resting upon the river, and the men firmly held their ground against an overwhelming enemy, who was repulsed in every assault along the whole line. Our loss, as given by General Schofield in his report transmitted herewith (and to which I respectfully refer), is, 189 killed, 1,033 wounded, and 1,104 missing, making an aggregate of 2,326. We captured and sent to Nashville 702 prisoners, including I general officer, and 33 stand of colors. Maj. Gen. D. S. Stanley, commanding Fourth Corps, was severely wounded at Franklin whilst engaged in rallying a portion of his command which had been temporarily overpowered by an overwhelming attack of the enemy. At the time of the battle the enemy‘s loss was known to be severe, and was estimated at 5,000. The exact figures were only obtained, however, on the reoccupation of Franklin by our forces, after the battles of December 15 and 16, at Brentwood Hills, near Nashville, and are given as follows: Buried upon the field, 1,750; disabled and placed in hospital at Franklin, 3,800, which, with the 702 prisoners already reported, makes

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an aggregate loss to Hood‘s army of 6,252, among whom were 6 general officers killed, 6 wounded, and I captured. The important results of the signal victory cannot be too highly appreciated, for it not only seriously checked the enemy‘s advance, and gave General Schofield time to remove his troops and all his property to Nashville, but it also caused deep depression among the men of Hood‘s army, making them doubly cautious in their subsequent movements. Not willing to risk a renewal of the battle on the morrow, and having accomplished the object of the day‘s operations, viz, to cover the withdrawal of his trains, General Schofield, by my advice and direction, fell back during the night to Nashville, in front of which city line of battle was formed by noon of the 1st of December, on the heights immediately surrounding Nashville, with Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith‘s command occupying the right, his right resting on the Cumberland River, below the city; the Fourth Corps (Brig. Gen. T. J. Wood temporarily in command) in the center; and General Schofield‘s troops (Twenty-third Army Corps) on the left, extending to Nolensville pike. The cavalry, under General Wilson, was directed to take post on the left of General Schofield, which would make secure the interval between his left and the river above the city. Casualty reports

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Col. Israel N. Stiles’ report (Union) after Battle of Franklin
Numbers 141. Reports of Colonel Israel N. Stiles, Sixty-third Indiana Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations November 30 and December 15-16, 1864. HEADQUARTERS SIXTY-THIRD INDIANA VOLUNTEERS, Nashville, Tenn., December 5, 1864. SIR: In compliance with instructions received from Brigadier-General Cox, I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the operations of the Third Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, at Franklin, Tenn., on the 30th of November, the brigade being temporarily under my command on that day, owing to the illness of Colonel Thomas J. Henderson, the brigade commander. By direction of General Cox I placed the command in position early on the morning of the 30th, on the left of the Second Brigade, and with the left resting on the river and in the following order: One hundred and twentieth Indiana Infantry, Sixty-third Indiana Infantry, One hundred and twenty-eighth Indiana Infantry, with the One hundred and twelfth Illinois Infantry a short distance to the rear in reserve. Substantial works were at once thrown up, and such portions of our front as were not already obstructed by a well-grown and almost impenetrable hedge were covered with a strong abatis made of the hedges which ran at right angles with the works. At about 4 p.m. the enemy commenced his advance on our front in three lines of battle, preceded by a strong line of skirmishers. When within shell range, Battery M, Fourth Regulars, stationed on the left and rear of the brigade, opened upon the advancing lines. The front line of the enemy soon came within range of our muskets and was repulsed. A portion of their second line succeeded in reaching that part of the works held by the One hundred and twenty-eighth Indiana, and planted their colors upon them. The colorbearer was killed, and the flag fell upon the outside. A number of the enemy succeeded in climbing over the works, and were taken prisoners. This charge of the enemy was soon repulsed, and he made no further serious efforts to drive us from our position. The battery I have already mentioned, together with a battery in the fort across the river, kept up a continuous firing upon our front till after dark, which, I have no doubt, did much to check any further attempt of the enemy to advance upon us. In the meantime the One hundred and twentieth Indiana on the left was subjected to a terrific enfilading fire, both from the enemy‘s artillery and infantry. The regiment and its commander, Colonel Prather, in my opinion, deserve great praise for the heroic manner with which they held their position, the loss of which might have resulted in a defeat to our army. It is proper also that I should mention the stubborn and soldierly conduct of Lieutenant -Colonel Packard, One hundred and twentyeighth Indiana, and his command, in resisting the enemy after he had reached their works. The One hundred and twelfth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Bond commanding, though in reserve, was exposed to a considerable fire during the engagement, and near night-fall was ordered by General Cox to re-enforce some portion of the Second Division. The conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Morris, commanding Sixty-third Indiana Volunteers, as well as that of the officers generally, was praise-worthy, and that of the men was made more efficient by the aid and presence of Colonel Henderson, the brigade commander, who, though suffering from illness, could not withstand the desire to be present where his command was engaged, and who was along the lines during the engagement, and whose opportunities of witnessing their good conduct were equal to my own. By direction of General Cox I withdrew the brigade, except the One hundred and twelfth Illinois, across the river at midnight. I learn that a report of the casualties and the number of prisoners taken has already been forwarded to General Cox. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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I. N. STILES, Colonel Sixty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Lieutenant STEARNS, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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Gen David S. Stanley served at Franklin
Stanley, David S., major-general, was born in Cedar Valley, Ohio, June 1, 1828. He was graduated at West Point in 1852 and as an officer of cavalry served on the Western plains for several years, reaching the grade of captain in 1861. At the opening of the Civil war he was tendered and refused an important commission in the Confederate service; took part in the early operations of the Federal forces in Missouri, and on Sept. 28, 1861, was promoted to be brigadiergeneral of volunteers. He participated in the battles of New Madrid and Island No. 1O, and for his special services on these occasions received the thanks of his superior officers. He took part in the capture of Corinth and the battle of Iuka, and on Nov. 29, 1862, was raised to the rank of major-general of volunteers. During the Atlanta campaign he rendered conspicuous service, especially at the battle of Jonesboro, where he commanded the 4th army corps. On Oct. 6, 1864, in the absence of Gen. Thomas, he was assigned to the command of the Army of the Cumberland in the field, and by his energy, skill and activity contributed largely to the successful defense of Nashville. At Spring Hill he repulsed three desperate assaults of the Confederate cavalry and infantry, and at the battle of Franklin, when the Federal line was broken and defeat threatened, he led a charge of a reserve brigade and in a gallant struggle at close quarters succeeded in recovering the ground that had been lost. He was severely wounded at Franklin but refused to leave the field until the battle was won, although his injuries incapacitated him for active service during the remainder of the war. For his services he received brevet ranks from lieutenant-colonel, to major-general in the regular army, and in 1866 was appointed colonel of the 22nd infantry. From 1866 until 1874 he was stationed mainly in Dakota. In 1873, as commander of the Yellowstone expedition, he led his troops into western Montana, and by his reports upon the section visited greatly hastened its settlement. From 1874 until 1879 he served on the lakes. In the latter year he was transferred to the Texas frontier, where he promptly suppressed Indian raids into that state and established more amicable relations with the Mexicans on the other side of the border. From 1882 until 1884 he commanded the Department of New Mexico and put down uprisings of the Navajo and Ute Indians by peaceful means. In March, 1884, he was promoted to be brigadier-general in the regular army and he retired from service on June 1, 1892. Gen. Stanley died March 13, 1902. Source: The Union Army, vol. 8

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confederate related
Col. Robert B. Young, 10th Texas Inf., killed at Franklin
White Oak, No Ca January 9, 1865 My Dear Son We have just received the sad fate of your poor Brother and our dear beloved Son, he was killed at Franklin Tennessee on the 30. November We felt anxious all the time about him ever since that dreadful Battle, but it had been so long since, we had hoped he had entirely escaped, but I feared him to hear from. The Adjutant of his regiment Mr. Willingham wrote to your Father. He was buried in Columbia Tenn with Gen Cleburne & Gen Granberry but taken up afterwards to Ashwood the Episcopal burying ground he was interred with Military honors. I suppose he was killed instantly he said there was nothing found on his body it was robbed he had his horse saddle bridle blankets it is hard rendering to relate but thought You would like to hear the last of Your poor Brother We have no more of the particulars God have mercy on his poor Soul I trust he is with his God singing praises to him, ever more done with all this horrible Warfare resting in everlasting peace with his God not ours Gods will be done but I would give anything on earth had I it to have him back Sound in body & mind, he was a noble man refined in all his manners, loved by all who knew him never had an enemy an affectionate and dutiful Son I have prayed night and day for our noble Sons to be Spared to us & come through this cruel War without blemish You are the last Son of our little flock & I pray God he will let You remain with us to Comfort & cheer us in the evening of our days. You are the only one we have now to look to and for our welfare and happiness do for heavens sake take care of Yourself, Your Fathers health is not very good & he is so undecided what course to persue, he speaks of going through the country to Georgia to see after our home whether he can go back and make a crop this Year or not he has rented a house in Spartanburg but does not want to go there I believe to live. He could not rent land enough for his hands to work there and I don‘t think we can live here in security & contentment. Our furniture has arrived at last in Spartanburg & I will go down with your Father on tomorrow or next day to see after it. We would be so happy to see You, and You must come Soon. Your Grand Mother is in tolerable health Your Father sends much love to You says take care of Yourself. I pray God may ever be merciful to You and Shield You from all harm restore You to us in perfect health & safety Your Mother E. C. Young Do write often we have not received a letter from you since your arrival in Carolina I have written several times. Your Mother E. C. Young [Etowah Valley Historical Society - Cartersville, Georgia]

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Major of 24th Texas writes father of 10th Texas (son), announcing his death at Franklin
Wartime letter of Maj. William A Taylor, 24th Texas Dismounted Cavalry, To the father of the late Col. Robert B. Young, 10th Texas Infantry U. S. Military Prison Johnsons Island State of Ohio Feb 5, 1865 Dear Sir: I have just learned through Capt. Jones of the death of your son Lt. Col. Robt. B. Young. This sad new was not unexpected to me. I hope I am not intruding by writing this letter upon your sorrow, but my Dear sir, his death has brought sorrow to other than those of his immediate family; many will mourn his life and refuse to be comforted because he is not. It is true that in this melancholy event we see the hand of God and know that we must submit, but oh, how hard. I first knew him in Texas (Waco). We were close and intimate friends, in fact, he was my best friend and with you I grieve at his loss. In him you have lost a son, I more than a friend, a brother. Surely it may be said of him, that none knew him but to love him. I know that a more brave and gallant spirit never left this earth. My Texas home, if I should live to return, will not be home without him. His genial spirit, his uniform kindness, his sociability will be greatly missed in the friendly circle. Alas, who can fill his void? We have long been together, in the Army in the same brigade. I saw him last in front of his Regiment, gallantly leading it on, inspiring his men with his undaunted spirit and courage. He fell to rise no more upon the bloody field of Franklin. He died, where the brave die, at his post, and in the thickest of battle. None performed their duty in this war more cheerfully or nobly than he. His love and enthusiasm for our glorious cause influenced all around him. His patriotism was pure, his devotion to his country was deep and heartfelt. He was brave without vanity, generous to a fault, ambitious only as became a patriot, the soul of honor, a true soldier and a gentleman by nature. T‘is thus they go, one by one The leaders hail, like autumn frost Where Victory is won or lost. Accept my Dear Sir this poor tribute of respect to the missing of one, loved by yourself, no more than by one, who, to you unknown deeply feels and mourns his irreplacable loss. Thus believe me to be Sir Very Respectly Your Obdt. Svt William A. Taylor Major 24th Regt. Tex Granbury‘s Brigade Army of Tennessee To: Dr. R. M. Young Spartanburg, S. C. [Collection of Young Descendant, Jenece Wade of Dewey, Arizona] Source: http://members.aol.com/SMckay1234/Letters/Taylor.htm contributed by: Young Descendant, JENECE WADE, Dewey, Arizona

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30th Georgia soldier-letter, details Battle
Franklin Tenn Decr. 3rd 1864 Dear Brother After a long and very hard march, we arrived at this place, the 30th day of Novr. about 4 oclk when we went immediately into a fight and every one says that it was the hardest fought battle that has been fought during the war. There is no telling what our loss is. We lost ten Genls killed & wounded. Genls Cleburne Granburry, Gist, Adams, Strahl, & one more I forgotten were killed and four that were wounded. Granbury‘s celebrated brigade left this place yesterday morning with 137 Guns all told. Hall & Jno Tom Gillispie was both killed dead on the field, and nearly every one of the company fared the same fate. The larger portion of Genl Bates Div acted very cowardly in the first of the fight. Tyler‘s & Finley‘s and Jackson‘s left would not charge the works. I was skirmishing in front of Tyler & Finley and they run three times and left me on the hill begging them to come back when one of old Abes boys plugged me in the right foot, making it a severe wound, tho not a serious one I hope. I am well cared for. I do not know any place where I could fare as I do here. The people are the kindest in the world especially the Ladies. The world does not know their superior and I doubt that their equal can be found. Lt McKibbin wounded in left fore arm. Troy Saunders slightly in arm (gone back to Co.) Mo Mays & Ben Deason were wounded but not dangerous I believe. I do not know how your company suffered (but little I believe). No Country knows a braver man than Genl Bates. I am proud to say that there was no one between me and the Yankees when I was wounded. You will have to excuse this short letter as my foot pains me a great deal & I do not know when I will get a chance to send off though I believe I will put it in the P.O. Give my love to all. Truly yours Jas A McCord(6) P.S. This fight lasted eleven hours. Content taken from Save the Franklin Battlefield web site Letter from Pvt James A. McCord of Co G, 30th Georgia Infantry to his brother Capt William McCord who commanded Company G until wounded at Jonesboro, Georgia August 31, 1864. Capt McCord was recuperating at his home in Jackson, Georgia when this letter was written. (From Special Collections of the Woodruff Library of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia)

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George Estes, Co A, 14th MS writes about the expected battle
The 14th MS was part of Adams‘s Brigade, Loring‘s Division Our division was in the right of the Pike and on the top of a high ridge from where we could see all the movements of the enemy. The blue coats were busy fixing for us. We could see them by the thousands, shoveling dirt, cutting brush and bushes and making all kind of traps for us to march against. I was very much in hopes they would run again, but they kept on digging and seemed to be burying themselves behind their breastworks. I kept feeling more and more anxious about the kind of reception they were going to give us. We lay in full view of them till nearly sundown. Oh! What a day of suspense, and mortal fear. I could hardly content myself with standing or sitting for I fully realized the fact that many of us who were now alive and full of fond anticipation would in a very short time ‗be laid low by the shells and shots of a relentless foe,‘ and my anticipations were fully realized.

-The Civil War Years Revealed Through Letters, Diaries & Memoirs. Warwick, p. 189. Estes survived the battle. Ten of Estes‘s fellow 14th MS are buried at McGavock.

33rd Miss., Letter to widow of CSA soldier killed at Franklin
Letter of Condolence to widow of M. A. Dunn John C. Wilkinson, 33rd Miss, Company K, Amite Defenders Hamburg, Edgefield District, S.C. February 15, 1865 Mrs. M.A. Dunn, My Dear Friend, I seat myself with a heart filed with sorrow to pen you a few lines to let you know that I do truly mourn and sympathize with you on account of you great irreparable loss. On the 22nd____, I received the sad and heartrending intelligence that Mr. M. A. Dunn and L.L. Anderson of my mess and seven others of our Co. were killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee on the 30th of November 1864. Mr. Dunn and I were only slightly acquainted when our Co. organized, but before leaving our beloved homes, we agreed to be members of the same family in Camp and drew our first rations together and continued so until I was wounded in May last. And to me, he proved to be a true friend under all circumstances, in sickness, in health, in trials, and under all the hardships we had to undergo, he was always a patient and cheerful friend.

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I am incompetent to write a eulogy upon such a character, and will only say to you that M. A. Dunn was free from the influence of the many vices and evils so common in Camp which entice so many from the path of rectitude. But did by a well ordered walk and godly conversation make manifest to his comrades that he was a devoted Christian, true gentleman and patriotic soldier. Being kind and obliging, he enjoyed the good will and confidence of all who had the pleasure of being acquainted with him. By this sad bereavement of Co. lost one of its first members, Amite County a good citizen, Ebenezar a worthy member, and you and your dear little ones, a kind and dearly beloved husband and father. Dear Friend, though I join you in shedding a tear of grief, let us not mourn as those who are without hope, for we feel assured that our loss is his Eternal gain, that his freed spirit is now singing praises to our Blessed Savior in the Paradis above where all is joy and peace. O, hat we could truly adopt the language of Paul under this heavy affliction – ―And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.‖ Then, how consoling would be the language of our Saviour, ―Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God believe also in me. In my Father‘s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there you may be also. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. For because I live, ye shall live also.‖ Then, my afflicted Sister, be admonished by the poorest of the poor to look to the fountain whence cometh all our help and strength; Jesus alone can comfort you in all your trails. ―For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, his ears are open unto their prayers.‖ We have the promise of the comforter, and Paul says, ―Likewise, the spirit also helpeth our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.‖ And to give us full assurance, our Blessed savior informs us that He maketh intercession for the Saints, that according to the will of God. And so, there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God, and we have so many sweet and precious promises. Let us therefore come boldly into the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in each time of need. I know that the ties of nature are such that you cannot refrain from weeping and though your dear husband cannot return to you, yet you have hope that you may go where he is, and join him in singing a song of deliverance. And may God on tender mercy remember you and your dear Little Ones. May He lead, rule, guide, and direct you safely through this life, giving you that sweet consolation which He alone can give. And finally, through the merits of his dear Son, crown you His (with your dear husband) in his kingdom above where ―God will wipe away all tears from your eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more pain, but where all is Joy and Peace is the desire of one who wished you well. You have no doubt seen a list of the killed, wounded and missing at the Battle of Franklin, Tenn. on the 30th November 1864. And many more mush have fallen at the Battle of Nashville on the 15th of December from which I have no news from my company.

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When I left Camp I left six messmates whom I loved, four of them, J.P. and C.C. Lea, L.L Anderson, and M. A. Dunn have poured out their life‘s blood in defense of their country. R.S. Capell is severely wounded and my dear son, W.H.W. reported captured. Truly, we have cause to mourn but I desire not to mourner. Not wishing to weary you with my imperfection, I close; when at the throne of grace, remember me and mine and believe me to be your friend in deep affliction. John C. Wilkinson [Thanks to Michael N. Pittman MD, descendant of John Cain Wilkinson, for a copy of the letter.]

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33rd MS., surgeon writes about Franklin aftermath
Surgeon W.B. Wall (C.S.A.) Army Tenn., Dec. 13, 1864 My Dear Wife, I hope you have recvd. some of the letters I have written lately as in them I gave you all the news from your relatives. They were well. No letter from you yet of later date than Oct. 21st. The time seems very long to me. It snowed here about a week ago. It is still upon the ground. The weather has been quite cold the thermometer standing from 12 to 15 degrees below zero. You would probably like to know how I am situated. Well, Dr. Phillips & myself took possession of a negro cabin that was nearly filled with corn. This we had thrown in the loft to the back of the cabin leaving us about half the room. It is well pointed & has an excellent fire place. We have some boxes & broken chairs to sit on so you see we are doing finely. At night we put down hay & spread our blankets on that for sleeping. We get plenty fat beef to eat & have but little to do except make ourselves comfortable. I have had only one man to report to me sick this month & there wasn‘t much the matter with him. I don‘t know how the men out on the lines stand the cold as they do. They have no extra amount of clothing, but few blankets & scarce of wood they suffer with cold, but endure it without much complaint. The wind is blowing fiercely today. We are in camp four miles from Nashville. You will have probably killed hogs before you get this. Let me know how much you made. Will you have corn enough or have you bought more? Like all of us I know you are anxious to learn what the army is doing & what it will do next. Well all I can tell you is we have dug trenches & are lying in them hoping the enemy will attack us. I have no thought we will attack them at Nashville and as to what we will do next I can give you no intimation for I have not the least knowledge of Gen. Hood‘s intentions. Now, when will the war end? This is a hard question & one I am entirely unable to answer. I have no thought it will ever end in our subjugation. It makes me sad to think of being separated from you so much & so long, but I hope before a great while to be where you can at least visit me occasionally. Don‘t allow yourself to become despondent but try to keep cheerful looking forward to a better day. Tell Laura and Mannie not to forget Papa. Hug & kiss them for me. Much love to Mrs. Oliver. I feel under deep & lasting obligations to her for her kindness to you & the children. Tell all the servants howdy & tell them to take care of the stock & not let it stray off or starve. I hope next year if the war continues to be where I can come home more frequently. I don‘t wish to quit the service if I can remain in it & give home the necessary attention. I wrote you that Frank Robinson [probably was C. Franklin Robertson] was killed on the [Nov.] 30th at Franklin & Lt. Brown had his arm broken. Your devoted Husband,

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W.B. Wall ___________________________________ The 33rd Mississippi lost its flag in the Battle of Franklin.

Collection of the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History, Jackson, MS. The 33rd Miss., Company B, were known as the Amite County Guards. The following 33rd men were killed at Franklin. It is likely that Surgeon Wall attended their wounds and/or their deaths: 1st Lt. John Powell, (Acting Major when killed Franklin, Co.B.), Alex Stewart (Co.,B.). For a complete list of the 33rd‘s casualties see this site. Dr. George C. Phillips, Surgeon for the 22nd Mississippi, watching the Battle with Surgeon W.B. Hall on top of a hill wrote, ―This was the first and only time I ever heard our bands playing upon a battlefield and at the beginning of a charge…When within three hundred yards of their breastworks a cannon boomed from their fort (Granger) across the little river north of the town. This seemed to be the signal waited for. A sheet of flame and smoke burst from the entire crescent of the enemy‘s breastworks, answered by the Rebel yell and musketry fire from our men. In a moment the whole valley was so filled with smoke that nothing could be seen but the flashes of cannon and musketry.‖

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16th NC., December 5, 1864 . . . . bold affair at Franklin
Kingston NC December 5 1864 My Dear Lizzie, [In part.....] I receive a letter last week from Joab dated 25th November; he was well and in comfortable winter quarters. He still desires a transfer to our Co. and I have today fixt up some transfer papers and sent them up to him. He will forward them up through the proper channel, but I have but little hope they will be approved. I don‘t know indeed whether Joab will want to come here when he finds that Will intends leaving the Regt. Will says he going to tender his resignation l… as he is returned to duty and I think it highly probable that I will have to ask to be retired or resigned one of the two. I am pronounced unable for active service in the field by our Surgeons and I suppose I will have no difficulty in getting out, but I will try it a while longer, and I do not improve I will seek and easier birth. We will try to get Joab here however and in case Will and I both leave we will try to get him out too, if he desires it. Will is having a good time. Nothing to do and no responsibility. He is engaged today in making a pot of soap and a barrel of …..beer. I can‘t tell hoe he will su… but I guess Very Well. Dr Lyle came down Saturday last and stayed with us until this morning when he returned to Raleigh. The Boys were glad to see hem and I think much pleasured with his visit. He told us of the affair at Franklin before I received your letter. I was a bold affair that those fellows ought to have been killed, guess they will re… and try it again. I fear trouble has just Commenced in that locality. I look for more trouble in …, has yet been…Sherman‘s grand march thorough Georgia will develop more disloyalty in the mountain district than exists before. But I hope to the present gloom will soon be dispelled by Sherman‘s defeat. We have nothing reliable from Sherman. Can‘t tell what they are doing in Georgia but my opinion is Sherman will plant himself in Savannah before Christmas and in that even what will be the result is a question of time. I will not venture any prediction as to what will be the end of our troubles. My kindest regards to all, God Bless you, goodbye John Written by JB Cunningham (from Macon NC) a commissioned officer with the 6th & 7th (65th regiment) North Carolina Calvary. Joab Moore (from Macon NC) a Srgt with the North Carolina 16th infantry Source: eBay, June 2007

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49th TN, John M. Copley’s account of the battle of Franklin
A SKETCH OF THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN, TENN.; WITH REMINISCENCES OF CAMP DOUGLAS. BY JOHN M. COPLEY. 1893. The 49th TN, Co.B. was part of Walthall‘s Division: Maj. Gen. Edward C. Walthall. Quarles‘s Brigade: Brig. Gen. William A. Quarles; Brig. Gen. George D. Johnson (Nashville) with the following regiments all part: 1st Alabama; 42d, 46th, 48th, 49th, 53d, 55th Tennessee As a member of Quarles‘ brigade (C.S.A.), the 49th TN, of which Copley was a member, would have faced the most direct fire from Casement‘s brigade (Union), more specifically primarily from the 124th Indiana, and secondarily, from the 65th Illinois. Pages 47-61 Our division, General Walthall‘s, was placed on the extreme right of the Columbia and Franklin pike, and formed the right wing and constituted the front line of battle of that position; this was to be the assailing column of the Federal works in our front. After this front line was definitely located, the remainder of our infantry began to form in lines of battle one behind the other. While this was going on the Federal army, who lay behind their main line of works, mounted on top of it, and stood for several minutes viewing our lines. We had a good view of them standing on top of their breast-works, their fine blue uniforms shining in the soft and hazy rays of a beautiful November‘s afternoon. Our right wing was nearly in front of the battery of thirty-six cannon on the main line of the Federal works, and a little to the right of the battery of six pieces of cannon on same works. We thoroughly understood that this portion of the line of battle had to storm the works near the battery of thirty-six guns, and if possible, take it. As soon as the lines of battle were formed, a number of our field officers rode out a little in front of the lines,—they were Walthall, Loring, Cheatham, Quarles, Cleburne, Granberry, and perhaps others; these officers appeared to hold a brief consultation, during which we could see them cast doubting glances in the direction of the formidable foe in our front; and judging from the appearance of their grave and serious looks, we all knew that our commanders in some degree realized the depth of that yawning gulf of destruction which awaited them and us, and which only too soon would engulf us all. These officers separated, each taking his respective place with his command. A profound silence pervaded the entire army; it was simply awful, reminding one of those sickening lulls which precede a tremendous thunderstorm. This was but momentary. Orders now rang down our line, shrill and clear, to forward march! The guns from the redoubts northeast of the town opened on us at long range, but they were scarcely noticed by us. The artillerymen who were manning these guns had a fine opportunity of testing their skill at long range. Our progress at first was rather slow, on account of the obstructions just in our front, which consisted of the beech grove with the tops of the trees fronting us; but we surmounted this brush and fallen timber, and began to move a little faster. A light skirmish line from our lines of battle was thrown forward, which was soon met by a similar line from the Federals behind their advance line of intrenchments. These two lines quickly engaged in a lively skirmish fight, but as our lines of battle advanced, their line retired behind the line of works which they had recently left. Our line halted, lay down, and fired upon them in this position, until our lines of battle moved up close enough for them to join us, and become part of the front line. We were now ordered to fix bayonets, fire, and charge the first line of works. They received us with a volley of musketry, but all opposition was inadequate to check our columns in the slightest degree, and with one prolonged and loud cheer we carried the first line of works at the very points of the Federal bayonets. They stood their ground until we mounted the top of their works, but as we went over, part of their line of battle broke and fled, while the

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remainder lay down flat on their faces in the ditch to save themselves, and were either killed or captured; but few of those who fled succeeded in reaching their main line. Our lines of infantry swept over their works, annihilating nearly everything before us. This partial victory was quickly won. It appeared as if our troops had received an electric shock, which aroused their enthusiasm to its highest pitch, and the air resounded with loud shouts from our whole army, which almost made the earth over which we were going quake and tremble. After taking this line of works, we made a momentary halt in order to reform our front line, but this was only for an instant; we now pressed closely at the heels of their retiring line, to storm the second. Their batteries immediately opened upon us with a perfect hailstorm of grape and canister, and when within a short distance of their main line, we encountered the abatis, or bois d‘arc hedge, and also the line of cheval-de-frise; here the battery of thirty-six guns a little to our right, and that of twelve guns on our left, all double charged with grape and canister, pointing down our lines from both directions, thus enfilading them both ways from end to end, sent a tremendous deluge of shot and shell through our ranks, and these seconded by a murderous sheet of fire and lead from the infantry behind the works, and also another battery of six guns directly in our front, made the scene of carnage and destruction fearful to behold. This hurricane of combustibles now burst forth in its height of fury, leaving ruin and desolation in its pathway, and nothing could be heard above the din of musketry and the roar of cannon, which was incessant. They fired on friend and foe, for we so closely pressed the retreating line in our front that had they waited for their own men to enter the works we would have gone over with them, and carried all before us. Whenever the dense smoke, in some degree, was cleared away by the flash and blaze from the guns, great masses of our infantry could be seen struggling to get over those ingeniously wrought obstructions, who were being slain by hundreds and piled in almost countless numbers. In the confusion which here ensued, numbers of our forces were thrown farther to the left and near the pike, forming a confused body of soldiers who were totally oblivious to all sense of order, thus giving the battery of thirty-six cannon on our right, the one of six pieces in our front, and that of twelve to our left, full play upon them. The firing of these guns was so rapid that it was impossible to discover any interval between their discharges. The slaughtering of human life could be seen down the line as far as the Columbia and Franklin pike, and where the works crossed the pike the destruction was indescribable. Along that portion of the works in front of the batteries on the right, our troops were killed by whole platoons; our front line of battle seemed to have been cut down by the first discharge, for in many places they were lying on their faces in almost as good order as if they had lain down on purpose; but no such order prevailed amongst the dead who fell in making the attempt to surmount the cheval-de-frise, for hanging on the long spikes of this obstruction could be seen the mangled and torn remains of many of our soldiers who had been pierced by hundreds of minie balls and grape shot, showing that they, beyond a possible doubt, had been killed simultaneously with the panic and consternation which happened upon their reaching this obstruction. The remnant of our lines succeeded in reaching the ditch on the outside of the works, and now became engaged in a hand to hand conflict across the top of the head-logs at the point of the bayonet. The smoke of battle belched forth from the hideous open mouth of this typical volcanic eruption cast a deep shade of gloom over that bright and lovely November eve, darkening the ether from earth to heaven, until a gentle breeze would lift and fan it away. The force and wind of the grape and canister, when fired from the fifty-four pieces of cannon on the Federal works, aided by that of the minie balls from their infantry behind the works, would lift us clear off the ground at every discharge. As the great clouds of smoke had to some extent vanished and I could look around me, I saw to my surprise I was left alone in the ditch, within a few feet and to the left of the battery of six guns on the Federal works, which was still pouring forth its messengers of death, and not a living man could be seen standing on my right; neither could one be seen for some distance on my left. They had all been swept away by that mighty tempest of grape and canister and rolling waves of fire and lead. A Federal, who was running in my front just before we entered the ditch, and a little beyond the reach of my bayonet, was shot dead from the works in front, and fell forward into

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the ditch; in his belt were two large army pistols, which were loaded and capped. I quickly removed them from his belt, and with one in each hand emptied them under the head-logs at the mass of men across the works in my front. The more our numbers became reduced the fiercer the conflict for life, simply too dreadful for pen to describe, and few who entered that portion of the ditch escaped death. When the pistols were emptied, having nothing with which to reload them, I reloaded my gun, and turned towards the embrasure of the cannon, which was a few feet on my right, and tried my best to shoot the artillerymen who were so skillfully and effectively manning that destructive battery, and whose gun swabs would whirl in the air after every discharge, but each time I obtained a glimpse of any of them, and before I could shoot, a cannon would run out and fire, forcing me to take refuge away from it. After getting my face blistered and eyebrows burned off, I abandoned that dangerous place by getting back away from the blaze of these guns. Streams of blood ran here and there over the entire battle ground, in little branches, and one could have walked upon dead and wounded men from one end of the column to the other; the ditch was full of dead men and we had to stand and sit upon them,—the bottom of it, from side to side, was covered with blood to the depth of the shoe soles. At the ditch we had to encounter an enfilading fire of musketry from both directions, as well as that in our front across the works under the head-logs. The enemy directly in our front attempted to shoot us by turning their backs to the breast works, taking their guns by the breach and raising them above their heads over the head-logs, so as to point the muzzles downward, firing them at us this way, and having nothing exposed except their arms and hands. We had to watch this and knock their guns aside with our bayonets, which was done several times; many of their men had both hands shot off while making these attempts to kill us. While this fearful battle was raging, a Federal officer on his horse, at the head of a line of infantry, came dashing up to the works in our front, and one of our soldiers in the ditch about ten feet on my left, raised his gun and fired, shooting him off his horse. Among the first whom I saw in the ditch, upon their feet and unhurt, were General Geo. W. Gordon, Lieutenant Colonel Atkins, commander of our regiment, and Captain Williams, of an Alabama regiment; they were only a few feet on my left. These men appeared to be undaunted, and a look of stoic determination had settled upon their weather-beaten faces. South of the Columbia and Franklin pike our troops were in some degree successful in capturing part of the line of works; the Federals who survived this onslaught took refuge behind the works on the north side of the pike, in our front. Our numbers were too weak on that portion of the line to charge the position in our front with any hope of success; however, they succeeded in reaching the brick houses I have described. At the residence and in the yard of Mr. Carter his son was killed dead. He had not been at home for two or three years, and as he passed through the yard and stopped at the door his sister ran and caught him by the hand and attempted to throw her arms around his neck, when a Federal soldier, who had taken refuge in the house, ran up and shot him through the body, killing him dead in the arms of his sister. General Quarles and Adjutant General Cowley, of our brigade, fell near the main line of the Federal works, the former wounded and the latter killed. General Pat Cleburne and his horse were killed while attempting to cross the works, the horse falling on top of the breast works and General Cleburne on the outside of the ditch; both rider and horse seemed to have received a missile of death at one and the same instant. The color-bearer and color-guard of our regiment were all killed near the edge of the ditch; the last man of the color-guard was shot while waving the regimental colors at the breastworks, and fell forward, the flag reaching over within the Federal works, the staff resting across the head-logs. Some brave soldier of our little remnant quickly seized the staff, recovered the flag and carried it off the field. I regret never having learned his name. This deadly strife was destined to be of short duration; as our attacking columns were destroyed and repulsed, the firing became less frequent, except from our batteries in the rear, which were kept active by the fearless and solitary few who survived this bloody encounter.

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The carnage and destruction was so dreadful that the sun, as if loath to longer gaze on this terrific scene, slowly sunk behind the western horizon and hid from view his smiling face; but the stars, more pitying, came forth to keep vigil o‘er the silent and sleeping dead. As the firing from the enemy in our front began somewhat to abate, sixteen of our soldiers, who were in the ditch some twenty or thirty feet on my left, sprang up and ran out of the ditch, attempting to escape; a whole volley of musketry was fired at them, killing the last one to a man. When they started I raised in a stooping posture, thinking I would run also; but they being killed so quickly caused me to abandon the idea of escape. The few of us who were alive at the ditch were in considerable danger from our own batteries and stray minie balls. We tried to lie down in the ditch; it afforded scant protection, being almost full of dead men. We now fully realized our critical situation, and saw that we had but one choice, if any, left, and that to surrender. Lieutenant Colonel Atkins was requested to surrender the little crowd, but declined, stating that he would rather die in the ditch than to surrender us. Some few of our soldiers, a little further on our left, raised their caps on ramrods, but they were fired upon and riddled with bullets, the Federals refusing to recognize this. Captain Williams then requested some one to hand him a white handkerchief, but not one could be found. One of our soldiers who was fortunate enough to have on a white shirt, tore off a large piece and handed it to him. The captain tied this on the end of a ramrod, and hoisted it over our heads so it could be seen by the Federals. A Federal officer ordered the troops in our front to cease firing, which they did. He came up to the works, looked over and said: ―Throw down your arms, boys, and come over.‖ I threw my gun and the two pistols as far back toward our lines as I could send them, and as I passed over the works glanced around at my fallen comrades who lay on the ground wrapped in the winding sheet of death, and drew a sigh of regret as I gave them a last sad look, knowing they never again would be aroused by the sound of the reveille from their deep untroubled sleep, but would remain in death‘s cold embrace until the last great trump shall sound and call forth the dead from the armies of both friend and foe. pp. 47-61

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Hope brothers both fought and died together at Franklin, for 46th TN, Company D
The 46th TN fought with Quarles‘ brigade, Walthall‘s division, AOT at Franklin. The 46th TN fought alongside the 1st Alabama; 42d, 48th, 49th, 53d, 55th Tennessee at Franklin. According to Eric A. Jacobson, For Cause and Country (2006); p. 315-16; William and Pleasant Hope were brothers. Jacobson also includes a touching letter from Pleasant wrote to his infant daughter, whom he never saw. April 25, 1864 It is with pleasure and delight that I write you a few lines, which will be the first letter you ever received, and one too which I hope you will preserve until you can read it. By the misfortunes of war, I have been separated from your Momma, but by the blessings of God, I hope to soon return to you, never more to leave you, until death shall separate us. My dear and only child, be a good girl, ever love and obey your affectionate Momma, and don‟t forget your first letter writer, who has not nor never will forget you, who daily prays to God, in his infinite mercy, to spare, bless and protect you amid the troubles of this world, and should you live to be old, may God bless you and prepare your soul in this life to go to that happy world after death. Your father, P.M. Hope Source: The Carter House Archives

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63rd VA infantry soldier writes about Franklin, postbattle
While in camp at Tupelo, Mississippi, 2nd Lt. Samuel Robinson , Co. G/I, 63rd Virginia Infantry, wrote home to his wife Lydia in Virginia……… Tupelo, Mississippi January 15, 1865 ―We have been marching and fighting all of the time on the 30 day of November we had the hardest little fight that has bin during this campaign but we was too hard for them. We drove them out of their works but our loss was heavy. It is reported to be thirty eight hundred kiled and wounded and I han‘t any dout but it is true for I want over the battle field the next morning and it was the turiblest sight that my eye ever beheld. The men lay piled and crossed upon each other where or men charged them. I think that we had about 3 to the yankeys one kiled. This fight took place at franklin. Tennessee and we run them on to Nashville where we skirmished with them several days when our Brigade was ordered to murfreesborough, we reached there on the 6 day of December and in the 7 we had a faight there with the yankeys but they was too many for us. We had several kiled and wounded our colonel was shot through the arme and was left in the hands of the enemy. They was one of my Co. that was left there but I don‘t know whether he was kiled or captured and we fell back some three or four miles and took appsition so as to keep them from reinforcing at Nashville and on the 15 and 16 was a big fight on the night of the 16 Janeral hood commenced retreating from Nashville with a heavy loss and we have retreated some too hundred miles through the Lilbourne Blevins, Co. C, wet and cold mud half leg deep and a great many 63RD Virginia Infantry of the men was entirely barfotted and almost naked. The men marched over the frozen ground till their feet was worn out till they could be tracked by the blood and some of them there feet was frosted and swolen till they bursted till they could not stand on their feet now this is what I saw my self and our Brigade left back with Jeneral Forrest Caveraly to Bring up and cover they retreat which left us in danger of being captured at any time but we got out safe or the mos of them, we had to stop and fight them most every day. On the 25 of the month which was Christmas day we pased through the town that is called Pulaski and we crossed the river and the caveraly aim to burn the bridge but the yankees run up and drove our men away about too o‘clock they overtaken us and we form a line of battle and they came up and we let loose a volley at they which turned them and we charged after them and captured several horses all one brass pees of artillery and that given them a sear till was not pestered with them any till we reached Tennessee River and we crossed over where we joined the rest of the army, or what got out. They was at least one third of the men left in Tenn kiled wounded and captured. So I will stop writing for this time. I am truly thankful that I am spared with they has so many hundred yeas thoughsands killed by and round me and I have yet escaped.‖ Source: http://barrsbattery.tripod.com/id4.html

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Prominent Franklin resident – Royce – prosecutes claim for loss of home during the Civil War
Franklin (TN) August 28, 1865 David Campbell Esquire Dear Sir, I neglected to speak to you yesterday in regard to prosecuting a claim for damages for my wife‘s property which was destroyed by the Federal army under General Granger. I will therefore make a brief statement of the facts in the case and would like to be advised what steps are necessary to be taken in the matter. The house where we formerly lived was deeded by me and W. S. McLemore (the former trustee for my wife) to myself as trustee for my wife and children some two years before the war – The deed was drawn by John Marshall and I had a perfect night to make the deed as I had sufficient property outside of that to meet all my debts and have a surplus. At the time my wife was ordered out of the lines she informed the authorities that the house was her property and she delivered the key to General Granger‘s Adjutant notifying him that she should hold him responsible for its safe keeping. She had never been required to take the oath of allegiance and of course had never refused [end page one] to take it. She had never been charged with doing any act prejudicial to the U.S. Army and as a matter of fact had done no such act. She had not been off her lot for three months previous to her being sent away, except twice, and no one was with her in the house except my two little girls, one eight and the other six years old. You are aware how the house was destroyed after she left, being hauled away by government wagons to the fort for the purpose of making barracks for soldiers. I estimate the damage to the property at five thousand dollars ($5,000) as I am satisfied it could not be restored for anything less than that amount. If there us any reasonable prospect of obtaining damages I wish to have steps taken immediately to prosecute the claim, and would like to be furnished with papers in proper form if it is necessary for me to certify to any such. All the facts stated here can be proven by witnesses now in Franklin. I am yours very truly, M.S. Royce

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Gen. Hood’s Official Report of the Battle of Franklin
Report of General John B. Hood, C. S. Army, Commanding Army of Tennessee Battle of Nashville [Franklin] RICHMOND, VA., February 15, 1865. General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va. GENERAL : Forrest‘s cavalry joined me on the 21st of November and the movement began, Major-General Cheatham‘s corps taking the road toward Waynesborough, and the other two corps moving on roads somewhat parallel with this, but more to the eastward, with the cavalry under General Forrest in the advance and upon their right flank. The enemy‘s forces at this time were concentrated at Pulaski, with some force also at Lawrenceburg. I hoped to be able to place the army between these forces of the enemy and Nashville; but he evacuated Pulaski upon the 23rd, hearing of our advance (our cavalry having furiously driven off their forces at Lawrenceburg), and moved rapidly by the turnpike and railroad to Columbia. The want of a good map of the country, and the deep mud through which the army marched, prevented our overtaking the enemy before he reached Columbia, but on the evening of the 27th of November our army was placed in position in front of his works at that place. During the night, however, he evacuated the town, taking position on the opposite side of the river about a mile and a half from the town, which was considered quite strong in front. Late in the evening of the 28th of November General Forrest, with most of his command, crossed Duck River a few miles above Columbia, and I followed early in the morning of the 29th with Stewart‘s and Cheatham‘s corps, and Johnson‘s division, of Lee‘s corps, leaving the other divisions of Lee‘s corps in the enemy‘s front at Columbia. The troops moved in light marching order, with only a battery to the corps, my object being to turn the enemy‘s flank, by marching rapidly on roads parallel to the Columbia and Franklin pike, at or near Spring Hill, and to cut off that portion of the enemy at or near Columbia. When I had gotten well on his flank the enemy discovered my intention and began to retreat on the pike toward Spring Hill. The cavalry became engaged near that place about midday, but his trains were so strongly guarded that they were unable to break through them. About 4 p.m. our infantry forces, Major-General Cheatham in the

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advance, commenced to come in contact with the enemy about two miles from Spring Hill, through which place the Columbia and Franklin pike runs. The enemy was at this time moving rapidly along the pike, with some of his troops formed on the flank of his column to protect it. Major-General Cheatham was ordered to attack the enemy at once vigorously and get possession of this pike, and, although these orders were frequently and earnestly repeated, he made but a feeble and partial attack, failing to reach the point indicated. Had my instructions been carried out there is no doubt that we should have possessed ourselves of this road. Stewart‘s corps and Johnson‘s division were arriving upon the field to support the attack. Though the golden opportunity had passed with daylight, I did not at dark abandon the hope of dealing the enemy a heavy blow. Accordingly, Lieutenant-General Stewart was furnished a guide and ordered to move his corps beyond Cheatham‘s and place it across the road beyond Spring Hill. Shortly after this General Cheatham came to my headquarters, and when I informed him of Stewart‘s movement, he said that Stewart ought to form on his right. I asked if that would throw Stewart across the pike. He replied that it would, and a mile beyond. Accordingly, one of Cheatham‘s staff officers was sent to show Stewart where his (Cheatham‘s)right rested. In the dark and confusion he did not succeed in getting the position desired, but about 11 p.m. went into bivouac. About 12 p.m., ascertaining that the enemy was moving in great confusion, artillery, wagons, and troops intermixed, I sent instructions to General Cheatham to advance a heavy line of skirmishers against him and still further impede and confuse his march. This was not accomplished. The enemy continued to move along the road in hurry and confusion, within hearing nearly all the night. Thus was lost a great opportunity of striking the enemy for which we had labored so long–the greatest this campaign had offered, and one of the greatest during the war. Lieutenant-General Lee, left in front of the enemy at Columbia, was instructed to press the enemy the moment he abandoned his position at that point. The enemy did not abandon his works at that place till dark, showing that his trains obstructed the road for fifteen miles during the day and a great part of the night. At daylight we followed as fast as possible toward Franklin, Lieutenant-General Stewart in the advance, Major-General Cheatham following, and General Lee, with the trains, moving from Columbia on the same road. We pursued the enemy rapidly and compelled him to burn a number of his wagons. He made a feint as if to give battle on the hills about four miles south of Franklin, but as soon as our forces began to deploy for the attack and to flank him on his left he retired slowly to Franklin. I learned from dispatches captured at Spring Hill, from Thomas to Schofield, that the latter was instructed to hold that place till the position at Franklin could be made secure, indicating the intention of Thomas to hold Franklin and his strong works at Murfreesborough. Thus I knew that it was all important to attack Schofield before he could make himself strong, and if he should escape at Franklin he would gain his works about Nashville. The nature of the position was such as to render it inexpedient to attempt any further flank movement, and I therefore determined to attack him in front, and without delay. On the 30th of November Stewart‘s corps was placed in position on the right, Cheatham‘s on the left, and the cavalry on either flank, the main body of the cavalry on the right, under Forrest. Johnson‘s division, of Lee‘s corps, also became engaged on the left during the engagement. The line advanced at 4 p.m., with orders to drive the enemy into or across the Big Harpeth River, while General Forrest, if successful, was to cross the river and attack and destroy his trains and broken columns. The troops moved forward most gallantly to the attack. We carried the enemy‘s first line of hastily constructed works handsomely. We then advanced against his interior line, and succeeded in carrying it also in some places. Here the engagement was of the fiercest possible character. Our men possessed themselves of the exterior of the works, while the enemy held the interior. Many of our men were killed entirely inside the works. The brave men captured were taken inside his works in the edge of the town. The struggle lasted till near midnight, when the enemy abandoned his works and crossed the river, leaving his dead and wounded in our possession. Never did troops fight more gallantly. The works of the enemy were so hastily constructed that while he had a slight

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abatis in front of a part of his line there was none on his extreme right. During the day I was restrained from using my artillery on account of the women and children remaining in the town. At night it was massed ready to continue the action in the morning, but the enemy retired. We captured about 1,000 prisoners and several stand of colors. Our loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners was 4,500. Among the killed was Maj. Gen. P. R. Cleburne, Brigadier-Generals Gist, John Adams, Strahl, and Granbury. Major-General Brown, Brigadier-Generals Carter, Manigault, Quarles, Cockrell, and Scott were wounded, and Brigadier-General Gordon captured. The number of dead left by the enemy on the field indicated that his loss was equal or near our own. The next morning at daylight, the wounded being cared for and the dead buried, we moved forward toward Nashville, Forrest with his cavalry pursuing the enemy vigorously. Respectfully, your obedient servant, J. B. HOOD, General.

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Captain W.O. Dodd, Reminicences Of Hood’s Tennessee Campaign.
Southern Historical Society Papers Vol IX. Richmond, Va., Oct., Nov And Dec., 1881. Nos. 10, 11 & 12. Reminicences Of Hood‘s Tennessee Campaign. By Captain W.O. Dodd, (The following is also one of the valuable series of papers read before the Louisville Branch of the Southern Historical Society) It is my purpose to give only personal observation and experience of the important movement of the Western armies in the fall and winter of 1864. The advance of General Hood on Nashville was the last important movement in the West during the war. In the summer of 1864 General Sherman, with a large and victorious army, occupied Atlanta, the very centre of the Confederacy. General Johnston had been removed, causing much dissatisfaction both in military and civil life, and General Hood placed in command, whose patriotism and courage were recognized by all, but whose ability to command the entire army was much questioned. It had been demonstrated that Gen. Hood must either be reinforced or retreat before the advancing columns of Sherman. Reinforcements could not be supplied, and an emergency had to be met. General Thomas commanded a large force in Tennessee, which was protecting Sherman‘s rear and guarding his lines of communication and supplies. Should Sherman advance southward from Atlanta with Hood in front, Thomas could easily overrun Alabama and capture Selma, Montgomery and Mobile. It was determined to throw Hood‘s army in the rear of Sherman and destroy the railroad, hoping thereby to draw Sherman out, leaving a portion of his army in Atlanta, and give Hood an opportunity of fighting him in detail. The movement was made, and in the main successful, except no opportunity was given for engaging Sherman‘s forces in detail. It was then resolved to move Hood‘s army into Tennessee and destroy Thomas and then take possession of Kentucky and threaten Ohio. The conception was a bold one. Its execution involved leaving a large Federal army in Georgia, which could march unobstructed to the sea, cutting again in twain the Confederacy, or it would move back and join Thomas, securing the destruction of Hood. It was at first determined to cross the Tennessee river above Decatur, but Forrest was near Jackson, Tennessee, and unacquainted with the plan of campaign, and on account of the swollen condition of the Tennessee river could not cross below Florence. So it was determined to cross the entire army at that point, and as soon as our commander (Forrest) received orders we hastened to Tuscumbia, where we joined Hood‘s army. Some delay was occasioned in repairing the Memphis and Charleston railroad so as to bring sufficient supplies for the expedition. The country is poor from Florence northward until you reach the neighborhood of Pulaski and Mount Pleasant, and we were required to take sufficient forage to last until we could reach the fertile country of Middle Tennessee. Our division, commanded by General Chalmers, covered the left of the army, and about the 19th of November, 1864, the army was put in motion.

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General Hood commanded the expedition, with three army corps of infantry commanded by Generals Stewart, S.D. Lee and Cheatham, with Forrest in command of the cavalry. The entire force numbered about thirty thousand. It was as gallant an army as ever any Captain commanded. The long march from Atlanta had caused the timid and sick to be left behind, and every man remaining was a veteran. Then the long and sad experience of retreating was now reversed, and we were going to redeem Tennessee and Kentucky, and the morale of the army was excellent. We hoped to cut off a large body of Federals at Pulaski, but by a forced march they got into Columbia just in time to prevent capture. On the 27th of November we formed around Columbia, the two wings of the army resting on Duck river, Cheatham being to the right. General Schofield retired to the north side of Duck river, and an artillery fire was kept up daring the 28th. General Hood supposed Schofield would remain a day or two on the opposite side of the river, which could not easily be crossed under the fire of Schofield‘s guns. So he concluded to leave General Lee, with two divisions at Columbia, who was ordered to make demonstrations as if to cross the river, while he would cross the river a few miles above, and intercept the rear of Schofield at Spring Hill, twelve miles in rear, on the Franklin pike. Our command moved up and crossed the river (fording it) on the evening of the 28th, about eight miles from Columbia, and early next morning made a detour through a rough country, skirmishing most of the time until, shortly after noon, we reached the beautiful country near Spring Hill. I remember distinctly the beautiful day, and as we got in sight of the little village of Spring Hill the old rugged veterans of Cheatham‘s corps came marching up on our left with their battle flags waving in the mellow sunlight, and we felt., that a long sought opportunity had at last arrived. Lee‘s guns at Columbia kept up lively music, admonishing us that he was meeting his part of the contract. We were satisfied that a few minutes — at most an hour — would be ample time in which to place our command across the pike, and then the surrender of Schofield would follow as night follows day. The command under Hood had crossed the river that morning about four miles above Columbia, Cheatham in front, followed by Stewart and Johnson‘s division of Lee‘s corps. We had but little artillery, as the roads were too rough for moving it. It was about 3 or 4 o‘clock when everything was ready to advance. Every soldier realized that we would have a fight, but the result was not a question. The Federals only had one division at Spring Hill, numbering about four thousand men, while we had two corps and a division of infantry and the greater part of Forrest‘s cavalry. Our force was fully sixteen thousand men, and I think nearer twenty thousand, and it was a fair open field fight. It was said at the time, and I have always believed it to be true, that General Forrest asked permission to place his command across the pike, but was refused. Cheatham‘s corps was put forward and deployed as if they were going to do all the work and have all the glory. I remember how anxiously we sat on our horses on a hillside overlooking the fertile fields around Spring Hill, and expected, in vain, to at least see the battle. But alas! night came on and we went into camp, at first cautioned not to make fires, but in a little time were asleep before good fires, having plenty of forage for our horses from the adjoining fields. General Schofield was permitted to march by that night without firing a gun, and the great and only opportunity of the campaign was lost. Who was to blame for the blunder? No one accuses either General Stewart or Forrest of being in any way responsible. It was either the fault of General Hood or of General Cheatham, in my opinion both were to blame, but the principal fault is at the door of General Cheatham. In giving this opinion, I know some gentlemen present whose opinions are entitled to more weight than mine, will differ with me, and I invite the fullest criticism, hoping thereby to get at the real truth of history. I know it was stated on the field on that ill fated day that General Cheatham was ordered by General

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Hood to take Spring Hill and cut off Schofield, every necessary support being promised him, and that he did not do it. His command was in advance, and naturally he would bring on the engagement. It was not denied at the time by Cheatham‘s friends that he received such orders. It subsequently appeared in the newspapers of the South, and he was charged with being responsible for the fatal mistake, and I have never seen or heard of a denial from him. Finally, General Hood, in his book, ―Advance and Retreat,‖ charges the calamity on Cheatham, and brings forward strong corroborating testimony to support it, and so far as I know, General Cheatham has never denied it, or in any way questioned the correctness of General Hood‘s statements. But I do not think Cheatham alone to blame. The General commanding the armies was on the ground and in sight of the pike, and could clearly see the Federals retreating in confusion, and the position was such that he could not but know what Cheatham was doing. There was plenty of time, and he could have seen the order executed before dark. Again, General Hood intimates that the soldiers were unwilling to fight except behind breastworks. Those who witnessed the battle of Franklin on the next day will not allow such an imputation to be made. Even after dark there would have been no material trouble in crossing the pike. General Hood says it got dark about 4 o‘clock, which is not correct; and then he says there were so many shade trees that darkness was hastened and increased from that cause. It was a clear day and a starlight night, and while there were quite a number of trees just around Spring Hill, the battle would have been largely in a corn field and an open piece of woodland. Schofield‘s command did not reach Spring Hill until 11 o‘clock at night, and it would have been an easy matter to rout them even at that hour. A soldier has a mortal dread of the enemy in the rear. But — we slept, and the Federals marched by without molestation. As I said before, there was not a soldier who did not realize that a golden opportunity was at hand, and every one felt mortified at the inglorious result. We lost confidence in General Hood, not that we doubted his courage, but we clearly saw that his capacities better suited him to command a division. This whole thing was a wretched affair, let the fault be wherever it may. It reminded me more of the death of General Albert Sidney Johnston on the battlefield at Shiloh than any other event of the war. No one doubts but that his death prevented the destruction of Grant‘s army, and a victory such as his life guaranteed on that eventful April day would have produced results such as imagination can hardly picture. So, if we had captured Schofield, as could easily have been done at a trifling loss, we would have taken Nashville without a battle and pushed on into Kentucky, and, while I do not claim that it would have changed the result, yet it would certainly have prolonged the war and thrown an uncertain factor into the great problem. It seemed then, as it looks now as we glance back over the scene, that a hand stronger than armies had decreed our overthrow. On the following morning, at the dawn of day, we were in our saddles, and pushed on after Schofield‘s command, which was rapidly hastening to Franklin. Our division crossed over to the extreme left and approached Franklin over the Carter‘s creek pike, and about 3 o‘clock P.M. we were on the high range of hills just south of Franklin and overlooking the town. The Federal army was in line of battle in front of the town, and we had a fine view of the situation. The soldiers were in fine fighting trim, as they felt chagrined and mortified at the occurrence of the preceding day, and each man felt a pride in wiping out the stain caused by a superior‘s fault. I will not undertake to picture or in any way describe the battle that was fought in the old field near a gin house in front of Franklin, that memorable afternoon and evening. No man who took part in it or witnessed it can help being proud of American soldiery. The battle lasted until long after dark, and the two armies at some points came to hand to hand contest. Our artillery was not much used, but the enemy used one battery, situated in a locust grove, with great effect. I do not believe there was any battle of the war to compare to it in severity, considering the number engaged and the time it lasted. The principal destruction was about sundown and a little later.

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Soon after night the Federals commenced retreating, and about one o‘clock in the morning I went with the advance into town. As soon as it was discovered that the enemy were gone, I made a torch and went over the battlefield. To those unaccustomed to such things, no description can give an idea of the sight. The dead were literally piled up, and to my sorrow I saw that our loss was much the greatest. We had pressed them into their last line, and there the dead lay mangled together. Entire companies were literally gone. And just a little back the gallant old soldier, General Pat Cleburne, lay dead. He was the idol of his command, and a better soldier never died for any cause. Brigadier General Adams was killed, he and his horse falling together, just on the earthworks of the enemy. Our loss was about 5,000 men including five Generals killed and six wounded. I could not but feel that the lives of these men were a useless sacrifice. It seemed to me to be a rashness occasioned by the blunder of the day before. It was an attempt to make good by reckless daring the blunder which incapacity had occasioned the preceding day. Schofield had as many or more men in Franklin than we had. He was gathering strength from all quarters as he fell back, while we were losing. The next morning we should have buried our dead, and those of the enemy, and retired from the State. While we held the battlefield, and the dead of our adversaries, we were disheartened and demoralized. We had witnessed on one day a brilliant flank movement terminate by lying down by the roadside in order to let the enemy pass by, and on the next day saw the army led out in a slaughter pen to be shot down like animals. Soldiers are quick to perceive blunders, and when confidence is destroyed in a superior officer he should be removed. There is nothing so wholesome with a good soldier as perfect confidence in the courage and judgment of superior officers. While the majority of the army believed General Cheatham mainly responsible for the misfortune at Spring Hill, yet General Hood did not escape censure. And when at Franklin the attempt was made to do by storm against an entrenched and reinforced foe, what strategy failed to do the day before, the morale of the army was almost destroyed. But instead of retreating at once and saving the remnant of a magnificent army, we moved up and formed around Nashville. Our little army, now about 23,000 strong, was stretched for miles around the city. We were on the extreme left, near the Cumberland river, and were not strong enough to make a good picket line. The rout and retreat were inevitable. Thomas accumulated an army of 82,000. The only wonder is that he did not capture us all. General Walthall, one of the bravest and best of all our gallant army, with a picked command, and aided by Forrest, covered the retreat and enabled us to get out with 18,000 men. We recrossed the Tennessee river on the 26th and 27th days of December. The campaign would have been brilliant and successful but for the fatal action or inaction at Spring Hill. I am well aware that we can look back after events have occurred and detect errors which it seems reasonable prudence would have avoided; but I have never seen more clearly the opportunity and the error than on the 29th day of November, 1864. What stirring events were then happening! Sherman started on his march to the sea about the same day Hood started to the North. In quick succession reverse after reverse came to our arms until, suddenly, the whole structure crumbled and fell to the ground. Death has drawn his cold mantle over the brave Hood, but he left his version of the unfortunate period about which I have written, and my own conviction is that in the main his story is true. General Cheatham is still living, and surely if General Hood is wrong the truth of history demands that he speak. If what has been written should provoke those familiar with the facts to tell their version I shall be more than paid.

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Major-General C.H. Steven’s official after-battle report of the battle of Franklin
Headquarters Stevenson‘s Division, In the field – January 20th, 1865. Major, — I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my division during the recent campaign in Tennessee: The march from Palmetto to the front of Columbia was without incident worthy of mention, except, perhaps, the demonstration upon Resaca, Georgia, in which my command acted with spirit in the skirmishing which resulted in driving the enemy within their works. My loss was numerically insignificant at this point, but amongst the killed was numbered the gallant soldier and genial gentleman, Colonel F.K. Beck, Twenty third Alabama regiment. By his fall my division lost a chivalrous soldier and his native State one of her worthiest sons. Upon our arrival in front of Columbia, my position in line was assigned from the right of the Mount Pleasant pike, the front of the division in line of battle. The investment was characterized by nothing of interest, as far as my division was concerned. A desultory skirmish fire was kept up most of the time. My losses here were few. On the night of the 27th November, my scouts reported that there were indications that the enemy were evacuating Columbia. I immediately increased the number of scouts, and about an hour before day sent forward the Eighteenth and Third Tennessee regiments (consolidated), under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W.R. Butler. He found the reports of the scouts to be correct, and occupied the town without opposition. I then moved forward my division, except Cumming‘s brigade (commanded on the campaign by Colonel E.P. Watkins, Fifty sixth Georgia), which, by General Lee‘s order, was sent down the river to press those of the enemy who had taken that route, and endeavor to save the railroad bridge, which, however, had been fired before their arrival. In the fort at Columbia we secured a large amount of howitzer and small arm ammunition and two siege howitzers. Colonel Butler had immediately upon gaining possession of the town sent a force to the ford of Duck river. The enemy‘s skirmishers were found to be in large force on the opposite bank and the enemy in position behind works about three quarters of a mile from the river. He immediately moved down his command, and skirmished with them briskly. The Sixtieth North Carolina, coming up soon after, was sent further up the bank of the river to a point from which they obtained a flanking fire upon the enemy. This drove them back from the immediate bank of the river. Orders were soon after received to discontinue the skirmishing. On the night of that day, General Hood, with Cheatham‘s and Stewart‘s corps and Johnson‘s division of Lee‘s corps, crossed Duck river some miles above Columbia, and pushed for the enemy‘s rear, leaving General Lee, with Clayton‘s and my division to occupy the enemy in front until he should have reached his position, then to force a crossing of the river and attack the enemy as he attempted to extricate himself. The greater part of the next day was spent in preparations for this movement. The bank of the river was quite steep on the side held by the enemy. A pontoon boat, in charge of Captain Ramsay, engineer, was taken down the river under a galling fire, launched, and could there, under the cover of our artillery and skirmish fire, be used without much exposure in ferrying our troops. This was done with all practicable rapidity, the troops as they crossed forming under the cover of the steep bank to which I have alluded. About an hour before sunset I had succeeded in crossing three (3) regiments of Pettus‘ brigade, Brigadier General Pettus in command. The Twentieth Alabama regiment (Colonel I.M. Dedman) of his brigade had previously been sent up the bank of the river to obtain a flanking fire upon the enemy, and the Thirtieth Alabama (Lieutenant Colonel F. R. Elliott) was retained on the Columbia side to cover the ford in case of any failure.

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Everything being made ready, I directed General Pettus to advance, and his command dashed forward at the word, driving the enemy before them by a charge which elicited the warmest admiration of all who witnessed it. Their loss was slight; that of the enemy so considerable that to explain the affair, the commander of the enemy saw fit to attribute to an entire division an attack made by three (3) of its regiments. Having driven the enemy within their main line, General Pettus halted, selected a position to prevent the enemy from interrupting the laying of the pontoons, and was subsequently reinforced by the rest of his brigade and by Holtzclaw‘s brigade of Clayton‘s division. The pontoon bridge was then laid with all practicable expedition. During the night General Pettus reported that the enemy was retiring, and he following with his skirmishers. This was as anticipated, and orders had already been given by General Lee to have everything in readiness to move, coupled with the statement that General Hood had advised him that he was between the enemy and Nashville, near Spring Hill. At daybreak I put my division in motion, in rear of Clayton‘s. Upon arriving at Spring Hill, we were informed that from some cause, which has not been explained, the enemy had been suffered to pass unattacked along the road commanded by the troops which the Commanding General took with him. We were then ordered to push on to Franklin. My division was halted about dusk in three miles of that place, and took no part in the battle. During the night the division was put in position, preparatory to an assault, which it was announced was to be made by the entire army at daybreak. The enemy, however, evacuated the town before the hour for the assault. We then advanced to within a few miles of Nashville, and threw up a line of works — my position being on the right and left of the Franklin pike. Several new lines were built, but my position with regard to the pike remained unchanged. Until the opening of the battles around Nashville, nothing of interest transpired in my command, except the part taken by my skirmishers, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J.B. Bibb, Twenty third Alabama, in a demonstration made by Lee‘s corps. The enemy‘s skirmishers were driven by a greatly inferior force from all of their entrenched positions. My skirmishers were handsomely handled, and did their work with a dash and gallantry which deserve praise. Just before this demonstration, Palmer‘s brigade (consolidated from Brown‘s and Reynold‘s old brigades), was detached and ordered to report to Major General N.B. Forrest in front of Murfreesboro‘. It remained so detached from the division until it reached Bear creak, on this side of Barton‘s station. On the 15th of December the battle in front of Nashville opened. Except some unimportant skirmishing, my division took no part in that day‘s fight; although its position was frequently shifted, and the line greatly attenuated, to fill vacancies in the works caused by the withdrawal of the troops. On the next day the enemy advanced early in heavy force in front of the new line, which we had constructed late the previous night, my division extending its entire length, part of it in two and part in one thin rank, from a short distance to the left of the Franklin pike. The skirmishers of the right of Lee‘s corps, Clayton‘s and mine maintained their positions so well, though in small force, that in their subsequent accounts, the enemy have seen fit to magnify the affair with them into a desperate assault by two corps upon our first line, which was finally successful, but attended with heavy loss. Soon afterward their forces advanced to the assault, principally upon a part of General Clayton‘s line and upon Pettus‘ brigade of my division — exposing, in their assault upon Pettus, their flank to a fire from Cumming‘s brigade. Their success the previous day had emboldened them, and they rushed forward with great spirit, only to be driven back with dreadful slaughter. Finding at last that they could make no impression upon our lines, they relinquished their attempts, and contented themselves with keeping up an incessant fire of small arms at long range, and an artillery fire which I have never seen surpassed for heaviness, continuance and accuracy. This state of things continued until evening — doing, however, but little damage, my men keeping closely in the trenches, and perfectly cool and confident. Towards evening General Lee sent me information ―that things were going badly on the left,‖ and that ―it might be necessary to retire under cover of the approaching night.‖ I at once

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hurried off orders for the artillery horses — which had been removed some distance to the rear to protect them from the fire of the enemy‘s artillery, under which they could not have lived half an hour — to be brought up. (It is proper to observe that about the middle of the day mist and rain arose, which entirely prevented my seeing anything that was going on beyond my own line.) The messengers had hardly gone for the horses before the break which, commencing some distance beyond the left of Lee‘s corps, extended to my line. Seeing it, the men on my left commenced leaving the works; but, at the call of their officers, returned at once, and held the line until the enemy were in fifty steps of them on their flank and pouring a fire into them from the flank and rear. When the true situation of affairs became apparent, and it was evident that the whole army, with the exception of my division and Clayton‘s, had been broken and scattered, the order for their withdrawal was given — an effort being made to deploy skirmishers from my left brigade, at right angles to the works, to cover in some measure the movement. Amidst the indescribable confusion of other troops, and with the enemy pouring in their fire upon their flank and from the front (having rushed towards the break and then forward, when they perceived that the troops on my left had broken), it was impossible to withdraw the command in order, and it became considerably broken and confused. Many of them were unable to get out of the trenches in time and were captured. All this happened in as short a time as it has taken to describe it. The artillery horses of Rowan‘s battery on the left of my line could not be brought up in time, and one of the guns of Cuput‘s battery was lost by being driven at full speed against a tree and the carriage broken. The different brigade and regimental commanders had sent off their horses, there being no protection for them near the breastworks, and being thus unable to move about more rapidly than the men, were prevented from reforming their commands as quickly as could have been desired and extricating them from the throng of panic stricken stragglers from other commands who crowded the road. This was done at last, and the line of march taken up for Franklin. On the way I received orders from General Lee to leave Pettus‘ brigade at Hollow Tree Gap, to assist in bringing up the rear, and to proceed with Cumming‘s brigade and bivouac near the battle field at Franklin, leaving guards upon the road to stop the stragglers of the army. The next morning, by General Lee‘s order, I returned with Cumming‘s brigade to Franklin, and was there joined by General Pettus with his brigade, which had that morning before reaching Franklin captured a stand of colors. Soon after crossing the Harpeth, Lieutenant General Lee was wounded. When about three miles from Franklin, General Lee moved off with the rest of the corps, and directed me to take command of the cavalry, commanded by Brigadier General Chalmers, which, with my division, was to constitute the rear guard. The enemy did not press us heavily until we arrived near Johnson‘s house, five or six miles north of Spring Hill. Here I formed my line, having about seven hundred (700) infantry, with the cavalry on my flanks. The enemy advanced rapidly upon me, attacking <shv3_166>me in front. I found it impossible to control the cavalry, and, with the exception of a small force on the left, for a short time, to get them into action. I may as well state that at this point, as soon as the enemy engaged us heavily, the cavalry retired in disorder, leaving my small command to their fate. The enemy, perceiving the shortness of my line, at once threw a force around my left flank, and opened fire upon it and its rear. This was a critical moment, and I felt great anxiety as to its effect upon my men, who, few in numbers, had just had the shameful example of the cavalry added to the terrible trial of the day before. I at once ordered Colonel Watkins to prepare to retire fighting by the flank, and General Pettus to move in line of battle to the rear, with a regiment thrown at right angles to his flank, thus forming three (3) sides of a square. Watkins drove the enemy in his front in confusion, moved at the order which was given on the instant of success by the flank, and charged those on his flank and drove them also. I halted again in about half a mile, formed a line upon each side of the pike, Pettus on the right, Watkins on the left, each with a regiment formed on his flank perpendicularly to his line to the rear, and having made these dispositions moved again to the rear. The enemy soon enveloped us in front, flanks and rear, but my gallant men, under all their charges, never

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faltered, never suffered their formation to be broken for an instant, and thus we moved driving our way through them, fighting constantly until within a short distance of Spring Hill, where we found that Major General Clayton, hearing of our situation, had turned and moved back to our assistance. Here I halted for a time, and Holtzclaw‘s brigade of Clayton‘s division was formed upon Watkins‘ left flank in the manner which I have described. While here the enemy made several attacks, and opened upon us with artillery, but were readily repulsed. This was some time after dark. We finally moved off, and after marching about a mile further, finding that the enemy had evidently become disheartened and abandoned his attacks, I placed the whole command again upon the pike and marched in the ordinary manner until I reached the bivouac of the remainder of the corps. I desire here to record my acknowledgments to the officers and men of Holtzclaw‘s brigade, commanded on the occasion by Colonel Jones, for the timely aid which they so gallantly afforded. Lieutenant General Lee was pleased to acknowledge, in grateful and complimentary terms, the services of my division upon this occasion, and I make no vain boast when I, too, thank them for their conduct, and declare that never did a command in so perilous a position extricate itself by the force of more admirable coolness, determination and unflinching gallantry. On that night I was directed by Lieutenant General Lee to assume command of his corps during his disability. I am greatly indebted to my staff: Major John J. Reeve, Assistant Adjutant General; Surgeon H.M. Crupton, Medical Director; Major J.E. McEleath, Assistant Quartermaster; Major J.H.F. Mayo, C.S.; Major H.M. Mathews, Ordnance Officer; Captain G.D. Wise, Assistant Inspector General; Captain Charles Vidor, Assistant Quartermaster; Lieutenant H.T. Botts, Aid de Camp; Lieutenant G.A. Hayard, Aid de Camp; also Captain W.H. Sikes, Forty fifth Tennessee regiment, and Lieutenant W.E. McElwee, Twenty sixth Tennessee regiment, temporarily on duty at my headquarters, for their most efficient and valuable services, and for their untiring efforts to assist me during this arduous and trying campaign. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, C. H. Stevenson, Major General. Major J. W. Ratchford, Assistant Adjutant General, Lee‘s Corps

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S.D. Lee’s official after-battle report of the battle of Franklin
Columbus, Mississippi, January 30th, 1865. Colonel – I have the honor to offer the following as my official report of the operations of my corps during the offensive movement commencing at Palmetto station, Georgia, September 29th, 1864. It is impracticable now, in consequence of the movement of troops and my temporary absence from the army, to obtain detailed reports from my division commanders. As a corps commander, I regarded the morale of the army greatly impaired after the fall of Atlanta, and in fact before its fall the troops were not by any means in good spirits. It was my observation and belief that the majority of the officers and men were so impressed with the idea of their inability to carry even temporary breastworks, that when orders were given for attack, and there was a probability of encountering works, they regarded it as recklessness in the extreme. Being impressed with these convictions, they did not generally move to the attack with that spirit which nearly always insures success. Whenever the enemy changed his position, temporary works could be improvised in less than two hours, and he could never be caught without them. In making these observations, it is due to many gallant officers and commands to state that there were noticeable exceptions, but the feeling was so general that anything like a general attack was paralyzed by it. The army having constantly yielded to the flank movements of the enemy, which he could make with but little difficulty, by reason of his vastly superior numbers, and having failed in the offensive movements prior to the fall of Atlanta, its efficiency for further retarding the progress of the enemy was much impaired; and, besides, the advantages in the topography of the country south of Atlanta were much more favorable to the enemy for the movements of his superior numbers than the rough and mountainous country already yielded to him. In view of these facts, it was my opinion that the army should take up the offensive, with the hope that favorable opportunities would be offered for striking the enemy successfully, thus insuring the efficiency of the army for future operations. Those opinions were freely expressed to the Commanding General. My corps crossed the Chattahoochee river on September 29th, and on October 3d took position near Lost mountain, to cover the movement of Stewart‘s corps, on the railroad, at Big Shanty and Altoona. On October 6th, I left my position near Lost mountain, marching via Dallas and Cedartown, crossing the Coosa river at Coosaville October 10th, and moved on Resaca, partially investing the place by four P.M. on October 12th. The surrender of the place was demanded in a written communication, which was in my possession, signed by General Hood. The commanding officer refused to surrender as he could have easily escaped from the forts with his forces and crossed the Oustenaula river. I did not deem it prudent to assault the works, which were strong and well manned, believing that our loss would have been severe. The main object of appearing before Resaca being accomplished, and finding that Sherman‘s main army was moving from the direction of Rome and Adairsville towards Resaca, I withdrew from before the place to Snake Creek gap about midday on the 13th. The enemy made his appearance at the gap on the 14th in large force and on the 15th it was evident that his force amounted several corps. Several severe skirmishes took place on the 15th, in which Deas‘ and Brantley‘s brigades of Johnson‘s division were principally engaged. This gap was held by my command till the balance of the army had passed through Matex‘s gap, when I followed with the corps through the latter. The army moved to Gadsden, where my corps arrived on October 21st. At this point clothing was issued to the troops, and the army commenced its march towards Tennessee. My corps reached the vicinity of Leighten, in the Tennessee Valley, October 29th. Stewart‘s and Cheatham‘s corps were then in front of Decatur. On the night of the 29th I received orders to cross the Tennessee river at Florence, Alabama. By means of the pontoon boats two brigades of Johnson‘s division were thrown across the river two and a half miles above south Florence, and Gibson s brigade of Clayton‘s division was crossed at south

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Florence. The enemy occupied Florence with about 1,000 cavalry, and had a strong picket at the railroad bridge. The crossing at this point was handsomely executed and with much spirit by Gibson, under the direction of General Clayton, under cover of several batteries of artillery. The distance across the river was about one thousand yards. The troops landed, and, after forming, charged the enemy and drove him from Florence. The crossing was spirited, and reflected much credit on all engaged in it. Major General Edward Johnson experienced considerable difficulty in crossing his two brigades, because of the extreme difficulty of managing the boats in the shoals. He moved from the north bank of the river late in the evening with one brigade, Sharp‘s Mississippi, and encountered the enemy on the Florence and Huntsville road about dark. A spirited affair took place, in which the enemy were defeated with a loss of about forty killed, wounded and prisoners. The enemy retreated during the night to Shoal creek, about nine miles distant. The remainder of Johnson‘s and Clayton‘s divisions were crossed on the night of the 30th and on the morning of the 31st. Stevenson‘s division was crossed on November 2d. My corps remained in Florence till November 20th, when the army commenced moving for Tennessee, my command leading the advance and marching in the direction of Columbia via Henryville and Mount Pleasant. I arrived in front of Columbia on the 26th, relieving Forest‘s cavalry then in position there, which had followed the enemy from Pulaski. The force of the enemy occupying Columbia was two corps. They confined themselves to the main works around the city, and their outposts and skirmishers were readily driven in. On the night of the 27th the enemy evacuated Columbia and crossed Duck river. Stevenson‘s division of my corps entered the town before daylight. After crossing, the enemy took a strong position on the opposite side of the river and entrenched, his skirmishers occupying rifle pits 250 yards from the river. There was considerable skirmishing across the river during the day, and some artillery firing, resulting in nothing of importance. On the morning of the 29th Johnson‘s division of my corps was detached and ordered to report to the General Commanding. I was directed to occupy and engage the enemy near Columbia, while the other two corps and Johnson‘s division would be crossed above and moved to the rear of the enemy in the direction of Spring Hill. The entire force of the enemy was in front of Columbia till about midday on the 29th, when one corps commenced moving off — the other remaining in position as long as they could be seen by us, or till dark. I had several batteries of artillery put in position, to drive the skirmishers of the enemy from the vicinity of the river bank, and made a display of pontoons — running several of them down to the river, under a heavy artillery and musketry fire. Having succeeded in putting a boat in the river, Pettus‘ brigade of Stevenson‘s division was thrown across, under the immediate direction of Major General Stevenson, and made a most gallant charge on the rifle pits of the enemy, driving a much superior force and capturing the pits. The bridge was at once laid down and the crossing commenced. During the affair around Columbia the gallant and accomplished soldier, Colonel R. F. Beckham, commanding the artillery regiment of my corps, was mortally wounded while industriously and fearlessly directing the artillery firing against the enemy. He was one of the truest and best officers in the service. The enemy left my front about 2:30 A.M. on the morning of the 30th, and the pursuit was made as rapidly as was prudent in the night time. The advance of Clayton‘s division arrived at Spring Hill about 9 A.M., when it was discovered that the enemy had made his escape, passing around that portion of the army in that vicinity. My corps, including Johnson‘s division, followed immediately after Cheatham‘s corps towards Franklin. I arrived near Franklin about 4 P.M. The Commanding General was just about attacking the enemy with Stewart‘s and Cheatham‘s corps, and he directed me to place Johnson‘s, and afterwards Clayton‘s, division in position to support the attack. Johnson moved in rear of Cheatham‘s corps. Finding that the battle was stubborn, General Hood directed me to move forward in person, to communicate with General Cheatham, and, if necessary, to put Johnson‘s division in the fight. I met General Cheatham about dark, and was informed by him that assistance was needed at once. Johnson was immediately moved forward to the attack, but owing to the darkness and want of information as to the locality, his attack was not felt by the enemy till about one hour after

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dark. This division moved against the enemy‘s breastworks under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, gallantly driving the enemy from portions of his line. The brigades of Sharp and Brantley (Mississippians), and of Deas (Alabamians), particularly, distinguished themselves. Their dead were mostly in the trenches and in the works of the enemy, where they fell in a desperate hand to hand conflict. Sharp captured three stand of colors. Brantley was exposed to a severe enfilade fire. These noble brigades never faltered in this terrible night struggle. Brigadier General Manigault, commanding a brigade of Alabamians and South Carolinians, was severely wounded in this engagement, while gallantly leading his troops to the fight; and his two successors in command, Colonel Shaw was killed and Colonel Davis wounded. I have never seen greater evidences of gallantry than was displayed by this division, under command of that admirable and gallant soldier, Major General Ed. Johnson. The enemy fought gallantly and obstinately at Franklin, and the position he held was for infantry defence one of the best I had ever seen. The enemy evacuated Franklin hastily during the night of the 30th. My corps commenced the pursuit about 1 P.M. on December 1st, and arrived near Nashville about 2 P.M. December 2d. The enemy had occupied the works around the city. My command was the centre of the army in front of Nashville; Cheatham‘s corps being on my right and Stewart‘s on my left. [Editor's note: Nashville battle content removed]. I have the honor to be, yours respectfully, Stephen Dill Lee, Lieutenant General. Colonel A. P. Mason, A.A.G

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Reporting of the losses at Franklin
General Hood reported the loss of the army of Tennessee at 4,500. The loss of Schofield‘s army numbered 2,326 killed, wounded and missing. Of this number, 1,104 were captured by the Confederates, about 600 of them by Brown and Cleburne from the enemy‘s line in advance of his intrenchments. Gen. J. D. Cox says the Federal loss in killed was ―trifling everywhere but near the center,‖ the point assailed by Cleburne and Brown. No report with list of casualties was ever made, and no data exist for the ascertainment of the actual losses of these two divisions, but it must have been 40 per cent in killed, wounded and missing. In Quarles‘ Tennessee brigade of Stewart‘s corps, the loss was just as great, and the death rate in Stewart‘s and Cheatham‘s corps was out of the usual proportion. It was great enough to make Tennessee a land of mourning. The attacks of the Confederates were repeated at intervals until dark, and on part of the line until 9 o‘clock. At midnight the Federal forces were withdrawn and marched to Nashville. After our dead comrades were buried and the wounded of both armies provided for, the army of Tennessee moved forward to the front of Nashville, where on the 2d of December a line of battle was formed and intrenchments provided. Smith‘s brigade of Cleburne‘s division came up, and Ector‘s brigade of Stewart‘s corps rejoined the army, which was now 23,053 strong, opposed to an army under Gen. George H. Thomas of more than three times that number. Source: Confederate Military History Volume 8: Tennessee Chapter X

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Kraig w. mcnutt

Kraig McNutt is the Director of The Center for the Study of the American Civil War (CSACW), which houses his extensive personal Civil War collection. The CSACW was founded in 1995. McNutt has been a serious student of the American Civil War since the early 1980s and has been publishing Civil War related content on the Web since 1995. He publishes two major Civil War blogs; combined they respectively receive tens of thousands of views a month. The Civil War Gazette is a blog of a more general nature, though it tends to focus on the socalled Western Theater of the Civil War. He also maintains and produces the most comprehensive and most visited blog on the Battle of Franklin (www.BattleofFranklin.net). Both of these web sites result in many inquiries each month from his blog readers who are looking for more information on Civil War ancestors, relatives, and research questions on the Civil War. McNutt is related to several Union (Kentucky) Civil War veterans. His children (and wife) are direct descendants of a Union veteran of Franklin. His wife is also related to more than 50 Civil War veterans from both sides, including five Confederate Generals. McNutt is known for his creative use of new media technology. He launched the first Civil War Internet-podcast called Grapevine Dispatches (currently not active). Two of the more technologically creative applications he has created are (1) The Civil War Gazette search engine, and (2) The Battle of Franklin interactive Google map. McNutt is active in historic preservation in his community (Williamson County, TN) and is proud to be a member of the Civil War Preservation Trust. He has lived in Franklin, Tennessee with his family since 2000. He has degrees from Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, and Grace Theological Seminary.

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Recommendations on behalf of Mr. McNutt
Long forgotten and seldom understood, the breathtaking events which swirled around Franklin, Tennessee in late 1864 are regaining their appropriate place in history. Many claim to be interested in telling and preserving this vital American story, but few do it with the passion of Kraig McNutt. His knowledge and integrity may only be exceeded by his energy, all of which make a respected member of the Civil War community in Middle Tennessee. My earnest hope is that his contributions last for many years to come. Eric Jacobson, author and historian Kraig McNutt, a lifelong student of the Civil War, has quickly become one of the pre-eminent Civil War bloggers on the web. His various offerings, many focused on the Civil War in Tennessee, are filled with great stories, historical insights, and modern-day Civil War developments. In a world of ever expanding content offerings, Kraig‟s blogs remain as a must read for anyone interested in the American Civil War. Rob Shenk, Civil War Preservation Trust, Director of Internet Strategy and Development Kraig McNutt is a dedicated student of the American Civil War who shares his knowledge of the Civil War and his passion for keeping alive the memory of those who served in this horrific conflict through his interesting websites as well as in his engaging presentations. He is also an active historic preservationist who lends his expertise to a number of Battle of Franklin preservation groups. This area is fortunate to have Kraig McNutt as a member of its community of Civil War scholars. Sam C. Gant, Ph.D. Professor of History, emeritus, Nashville State Community College Kraig McNutt is a scholar and storyteller of such passion that he can do what very few can. Mr. McNutt can breathe life into stories almost forgotten and can make the spirit burn at both the heinous atrocities and heart-breaking courage shown by all who were touched by this unforgettable time in history. It is a joy and honor to hear him speak and read his educated interpretations. Michelle Place, best-selling author, historian and historical interpreter Kraig McNutt brings with him not only years of study and understanding, but the necessary passion to make the cold facts of history come alive. Driven by that passion, Kraig has honed his studies into scholarship and his scholarship into understanding. As the Civil War slips further and further into a dim past, we are fortunate to have Kraig breathing life back into the story. Robert Hicks, best-selling author of The Widow of the South Kraig McNutt is an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and passionate student of the Civil War. He has for a number of years maintained one of the finest websites on the conflict and possesses, along with a wealth of knowledge, a deep inner appreciation of what the war meant for those who lived through it and for us their descendants. I highly recommend him to groups seeking a top-flight Civil War speaker. Steven E. Woodworth, Professor of History, Texas Christian University The study of the American Civil War has recently come into its own in Franklin [Tennessee] is fortunate to have Kraig McNutt living, collecting and sharing his knowledge with us. His

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interaction and contributions to the Williamson County Historical Society has been substantial. Having Kraig in a discussion group raises the bar and broadens the horizon for everyone. Rick Warwick, Historian The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County

Kraig McNutt, The Center for the Study of the American Civil War

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