Battle of Franklin – 146th Anniversary

Today is the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. After the fall of Atlanta, on September 2, 1864, CSA Lieutenant General John Bell Hood pushed his Army of Tennessee northwest into Alabama. His plans were to push into southern Tennessee and attack US Major General John M. Schofield’s forces at Columbia. After defeating Schofield he would move on Major General George H. Thomas at Nashville. His plans were grand. Where would he stop: Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati…?

On November 29, Hood’s forces pushed into the small village of Spring Hill. His goal was to place his army between Schofield and Thomas, making his retreat to Nashville impossible. Unfortunately, in what has become known as the Affair at Spring Hill, Schofield was able to thwart Hood’s well made plans and sneak by him in the overnight hours of November 30. Once beyond Spring Hill, Schofield moved his two army corps to Franklin where he set up a strong defensive position. Hood was furious that Schofield had escaped and pushed quickly after him. Finding the Federals in a strong position at Franklin, Hood attacked again, and again, nearly wiping out his army.

The Battle of Franklin is a fascinating story. Heroism was the norm on both sides. Six Confederate general officers would be killed, with more wounded. To learn more about the Battle of Franklin, I suggest you read the following articles I wrote last year.

From Atlanta to Spring Hill – John Bell Hood’s 1864 Franklin-Nashville Campaign

The Battle of Franklin – John Bell Hood’s 1864 Franklin-Nashville Campaign

Additionally, I had the opportunity to interview famed Franklin historian Thomas Y. Cartwright for my campaign study on Franklin. Cartwright is one of the most knowledgeable historians on the Franklin-Nashville Campaign and is extremely entertaining. You can listen to the interview by clicking on the following link.

Thomas Y. Cartwright Interview

Lastly, you can view my photo essays on Spring Hill, by clicking HERE, and Franklin, by clicking HERE.

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About Michael Noirot

I grew up in the Central Illinois farming community, of Dunlap. Growing up, I played sports, tinkered with cars and enjoyed photography. While I did well in school, I did not become passionate about history until my early 30's. I have built a large library, of books on early America, politics and the Civil War. I am an avid reader. Fortunately, I have had plenty of opportunities to travel, over the years, and have been to most of the Civil War battlefields. I work while I travel, so more often than not, I am up, in the middle of the night, to get sunrise pictures, or I will be out until well after dark, exploring Civil War battlefields. I have other hobbies, and passions, that I really enjoy. Number one on the list would be guitar. I play my guitars on a regular basis, and enjoy the Bluegrass, and Contemporary Christian (CCM) genres. I play a style of guitar, called FLATPICKING, where using a flat pick, you play lead solos, similar to the way a fiddle would have been played during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Laura, my wife, and I also enjoy scuba diving, travel and spending time at our property, in the country. Lastly, we spend as much time with our families, as possible. Thanks for stopping by.
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4 Responses to Battle of Franklin – 146th Anniversary

  1. My great-grandfather Abner Warner Graham led his company in the horrible Battle of Franklin, Tenn. Later he wrote of his war experience: “He received a commission as Lieutenant after returning home but never was mustered, as he preferred civil life in time of peace.”

  2. What regiment was he in?

  3. Sam says:

    On the morning of Nov 30 in Spring Hill, Hood was not the only angry Confederate. John Copley of the 49th Tennessee described the outrage of Nathan Bedford Forrest in his 1893 book, A Sketch of the Battle of Franklin, with Remeniscences of Camp Douglass. Copley wrote: “When we discovered their successful escape on the morning of the 30th, our chagrin and disappointment can be better imagined than described. General Forrest was so enraged that his face turned almost to a chalky whiteness, and his lips quivered. He cursed out some of the commanding officers, and censured them for allowing the Federal army to escape. I looked at him, as he sat in his saddle pouring forth his volumes of wrath, and was almost thunderstruck to listen to him, and to see no one dare resent it.” It is interesting to note that Copley stated that Forrest did not blame Gen Hood specifically, rather he directed his ire at multiple culprits…”He cursed out some of the commanding officers (plural), and censured them (plural) for allowing the Federal army to escape.” Another Confederate placed the blame on multiple commanders. Mississippian Rhett Thomas said, “I have never seen more intense rage and profound disgust” among the troops “when they discovered that their officers (note again, plural) had allowed their prey to escape.” (For Cause and For Country, Eric Jacobson, page 200)

    As for his “grand” plans for Louisville or Cincinnati, notwithstanding the statements of Thomas Connelly, Wiley Sword and others, Hood’s goal was quite clear. PGT Beauregard wrote to Jefferson Davis from Macon GA on Nov 24, 1864, “Have ordered Gen Hood to take active offensive in Middle Tennessee to relieve Gen. Lee.” (OR Series I, Vol 45 part 1, p 1242.) Davis replied on Nov. 30, urging Hood forward: “Until Hood reaches the country proper of the enemy, he can scarcely change the plans of Sherman’s or Grant’s campaigns.” (Source; Beuaregard memoirs, Vol II, page 303.) It was actually US Grant in his memoirs who spoke of the possibility of Hood reaching as far as Chicago. It was not Hood’s plan to go any farther than Kentucky, where he could go east through the Cumberland Gap into Virginia to relieve Lee at Richmond and Petersburg.

  4. Sam,

    Excellent points. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my article about the Battle of Franklin!

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