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Encyclopedia > Second Battle of Franklin
Battle of Franklin II
Part of the American Civil War

Battle of Franklin, by Kurz and Allison, 1891.
Date November 30, 1864
Location Williamson County, Tennessee
Result Union victory
Combatants
United States of America Confederate States of America
Commanders
John McAllister Schofield John Bell Hood
Strength
IV Corps and XXIII Army Corps (Army of the Ohio and Army of the Cumberland) Army of Tennessee
Casualties
2,326 6,261
Franklin-Nashville Campaign
AllatoonaDecaturJohnsonvilleColumbiaSpring Hill2nd Franklin3rd MurfreesboroNashville

The Second Battle of Franklin (more popularly known simply as The Battle of Franklin) was fought at Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. It was one of the worst disasters of the war for the Confederate States Army. While the Union Army left the field after the battle, the Confederate Army paid a horrible price for it. Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert Edward Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x635, 482 KB)TITLE: Battle of Franklin. ... November 30 is the 334th day (335th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 31 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Williamson County is a county located in the state of Tennessee. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Motto: Deo Vindice (Latin: With God As Our Vindicator) Anthem: God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (popular) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery (until 29 May 1861) Richmond (29 May 1861–2 April 1865) Danville (from 3 April 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Confederate Republic President Jefferson... Portrait of John Schofield during the Civil War John McAllister Schofield (September 29, 1831 – March 4, 1906) was an American soldier who held major commands during the Civil War. ... John Bell Hood John Bell Hood (June 1, 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. ... There were two corps of the Union Army called IV Corps during the American Civil War. ... XXIII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... The Army of the Ohio was the name of two Union armies in the American Civil War. ... Union army in the west during the American Civil War, commanded at various times by Generals Robert Anderson, Don Carlos Buell, William S. Rosecrans, and George Thomas. ... The Army of Tennessee can refer to either of two American Civil War armies: Army of Tennessee, the Confederate army named after the state of Tennessee. ... The Franklin-Nashville Campaign, also known as Hoods Tennessee Campaign, was a series of battles fought in the fall of 1864 in Alabama, Tennessee, and northwestern Georgia during the American Civil War. ... Battle of Allatoona Conflict American Civil War Date October 5, 1864 Place Bartow County, Georgia Result Union victory The Battle of Allatoona, also known as Allatoona Pass, was a battle during the American Civil War on October 5, 1864. ... The Battle of Decatur was fought October 26–29, 1864, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War. ... The Battle of Johnsonville was fought November 4–5, 1864, in Benton County, Tennessee, as part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War In an effort to check the Union army’s advance through Georgia, Maj. ... Battle of Spring Hill Conflict American Civil War Date November 29, 1864 Place Maury County, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Spring Hill was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on November 29, 1864 in Maury County, Tennessee. ... Battle of Franklin II Conflict American Civil War Date November 30, 1864 Place Williamson County, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Franklin was a major engagement of the American Civil War fought at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. ... Battle of Murfreesboro Conflict American Civil War Date December 5-7, 1864 Place Murfreesboro, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Murfreesboro III was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on December 5-7, 1864 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders George H. Thomas John Bell Hood Strength IV Corps, XXIII Corps, detachment of Army of the Tennessee, provisional detachment, and Cavalry Corps Army of Tennessee Casualties 2,900 approximately 13,000 The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle... Franklin is a city in Williamson County, Tennessee, USA. The population was 41,842 at the 2000 census. ... November 30 is the 334th day (335th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 31 days remaining. ... 1864 (MDCCCLXIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The Franklin-Nashville Campaign, also known as Hoods Tennessee Campaign, was a series of battles fought in the fall of 1864 in Alabama, Tennessee, and northwestern Georgia during the American Civil War. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert Edward Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ...

Contents

Background

Franklin followed the Battle of Spring Hill of the previous day. The Confederate Army of Tennessee, commanded by Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, had failed to destroy part of the Union force in Tennessee, allowing the Union Army of the Ohio, commanded by Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, to escape. Hood had hoped to destroy Schofield before he could link up with the Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas, farther north in Nashville, Tennessee. That combined Union force would be over 60,000 men, almost twice as large as Hood's army. As the armies met at Franklin, however, Hood had approximately 38,000 men to Schofield's 32,000. Battle of Spring Hill Conflict American Civil War Date November 29, 1864 Place Maury County, Tennessee Result Union victory The Battle of Spring Hill was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on November 29, 1864 in Maury County, Tennessee. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Army of Tennessee was formed in November 1862. ... US Lieutenant General insignia In three branches of the United States Army, United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force, a Lieutenant General is also called a three-star general, named for the three stars worn on the uniform. ... John Bell Hood John Bell Hood (June 1, 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. ... The Army of the Ohio was the name of two Union armies in the American Civil War. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... For John Schofield, the recipient of a Victoria Cross see John Schofield (VC). ... Union army in the west during the American Civil War, commanded at various times by Generals Robert Anderson, Don Carlos Buell, William S. Rosecrans, and George Thomas. ... General George H. Thomas George Henry Thomas (July 31, 1816 – March 28, 1870), the Rock of Chickamauga, was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War. ... Nickname: Music City Location in Davidson County and the state of Tennessee Coordinates: Country United States State Tennessee Counties Davidson County Founded: 1779 Incorporated: 1806 Mayor Bill Purcell (D) Area    - City 526. ...


Schofield's advance guard arrived in Franklin at about 6:00 a.m., after a forced march north from Spring Hill. Brig. Gen. Jacob Dolson Cox, a division commander temporarily commanding the Union XXIII Corps (and later governor of Ohio), immediately began preparing strong defensive positions around breastworks originally constructed for the First Battle of Franklin in 1863. The defensive line formed approximately a semicircle around the city, from northwest to southeast; the other half of the semicircle was the Harpeth River. A Brigadier General, or one-star general, is the lowest rank of general officer in the United States and some other countries, ranking just above Colonel and just below Major General. ... Jacob Dolson Cox (October 27, 1828 - August 4, 1900) was an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War and later a Republican politician from Ohio. ... XXIII Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... The Battle of Franklin I was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on April 10, 1863 in Williamson County, Tennessee. ... The Harpeth River is one of the major streams of north-central Middle Tennessee and one of the major triubtaries of the Cumberland River. ...


Schofield's decision to defend at Franklin with his back to a river seems odd. The reason was that he had insufficient pontoon bridges available to cross the river; the bridges had been left behind in his advance to Spring Hill due to lack of wagons to transport them. Now he needed time to repair the permanent bridges spanning the river and calculated that the breastworks were well positioned and adequate to delay Hood's inevitable assault.


By noon the Union line was ready. Counter-clockwise from the northwest were the divisions of Maj. Gens. Nathan Kimball (from the IV Corps), Thomas H. Ruger (XXIII), and Cox (XXIII). Two brigades of the IV Corps division under Brig. Gen. George D. Wagner were forward, screening the Confederate approach. Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood's division of the IV Corps was posted north of the Harpeth. Schofield planned to withdraw across the river by 6:00 p.m. if Hood had not arrived by then. Nathan Kimball (February 22, 1822 – January 21, 1898) was a physician, politician, postmaster, and military officer, serving as a general in the Union army during the American Civil War. ... There were two corps of the Union Army called IV Corps during the American Civil War. ... Thomas H. Ruger in the Civil War Thomas Howard Ruger (April 2, 1833 – June 3, 1907) was a lawyer and a Union general in the American Civil War. ... Thomas J. Wood was a Union General during the American Civil War. ...


Hood's army arrived at 3:00 p.m. Hood was noted for his aggressive, sometimes reckless battlefield leadership. Over the objections of his top generals, he ordered a frontal assault in the dwindling afternoon light against the Union forces, now strongly entrenched behind three lines of breastworks. Many historians believe that Hood, still angry that the Federal army had slipped past his troops the night before at Spring Hill, acted irrationally in ordering the attack. The Confederates attacked on the southern end of the Union line, with Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham's corps on the left of the assault and Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart's on the right. Benjamin F. Cheatham Benjamin Franklin Cheatham (October 20, 1820 – September 4, 1886), known also as Frank, was a Tennessee farmer, California gold miner, and a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. ... Alexander Peter Stewart (October 2, 1821 – August 30, 1908) was a U.S. Army officer, college professor, general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. ...


Battle

Hood's attack initially enveloped Wagner's forward brigades, which fled back to the main breastworks. Blue and Gray troops were intermingled, which made the Union soldiers defending the line reluctant to fire on the approaching masses. This caused a weak spot in the Union line at the Carter House as an inexperienced regiment, just arrived from Nashville, broke and fled with Wagner's troops. The Confederate divisions of Maj. Gens. Patrick Cleburne, John C. Brown, and Samuel G. French converged on this spot. An heroic counterattack by the brigade of Emerson Opdycke and two of Cox's regiments sealed the gap after thirty minutes of fierce hand-to-hand combat. Patrick Cleburne Patrick Ronayne Cleburne (March 16 or 17, 1828 – November 30, 1864) was a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, killed at the Battle of Franklin. ... John Calvin Brown (January 6, 1827 – August 17, 1889) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War and the governor of Tennessee from 1871 to 1875. ... Union General during American Civil War. ...


Over and over the Confederates smashed headlong and futilely into the Union line. Just before dark, the division of Maj. Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson arrived and it had no more luck than its predecessors. By 9:00 p.m. the fighting subsided. The overall attack had been awesome, described by some as a tidal wave, and known as the “Pickett's Charge of the West.” But it was actually much larger than the famous charge at Gettysburg. In the East, 12,500 Confederates crossed a mile of open ground in a single assault that lasted about 50 minutes. In Franklin, some 20,000 marched into the guns across two miles and conducted seventeen distinct assaults lasting over five hours. Edward Allegheny Johnson Edward Johnson (April 16, 1816 – March 2, 1873), also known as Allegheny Johnson (sometimes spelled Alleghany), was a U.S. Army officer and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ... Map of Picketts Charge, July 3, 1863. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America Commanders George G. Meade Robert E. Lee Strength 93,921 71,699 Casualties 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured/missing) 22,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured/missing) The Battle of...


Across the river to the east, Confederate cavalry commander Nathan Bedford Forrest attempted to turn the Union left flank, but the Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson repulsed his advance. Nathan Bedford Forrest Nathan Bedford Forrest (July 13, 1821 – October 29, 1877), was a Confederate general and perhaps the American Civil Wars most highly regarded cavalry and partisan ranger (guerrilla leader). ... Portrait of James Wilson during the Civil War James Harrison Wilson (September 2, 1837 – February 23, 1925) was a U.S. Army topographic engineer, a Union Army general in the American Civil War and later wars, a railroad executive, and author. ...


Schofield, who spent the battle in Fort Granger (just across the Harpeth River, northeast of Franklin), ordered an overnight withdrawal to Nashville, starting at 11:00 p.m. Although there was a period in which the Union army was vulnerable, straddling the river, Hood was too stunned to take advantage of it. The Union army reached the breastworks at Nashville on December 1. December 1 is the 335th (in leap years the 336th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Aftermath

The devastated Confederate force was left in control of Franklin, but its enemy had escaped again. Typically, a Civil War battle is deemed a victory for the army that forces its opponent to withdraw, but Hood's “victory” came at a frightful cost. More men of the Confederate Army of Tennessee were killed in five hours at Franklin than in two days at the Battle of Shiloh. The Confederates suffered 6,252 casualties, including 1,750 killed and 3,800 wounded. Their military leadership in the West was decimated, including the loss of such skilled generals as Patrick Cleburne. Fifteen Confederate generals were casualties (6 killed, 8 wounded, and 1 captured), and 65 field grade officers were lost. Union casualties were 189 killed, 1,033 wounded, 1,104 missing. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Ulysses S. Grant Don Carlos Buell Albert Sidney Johnston† P.G.T. Beauregard Strength Army of West Tennessee (48,894) and Army of the Ohio (17,918) Army of Mississippi (44,699) Casualties 13,047 (1,754 killed, 8,408... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Patrick Cleburne Patrick Ronayne Cleburne (March 16 or 17, 1828 – November 30, 1864) was a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, killed at the Battle of Franklin. ...


The Army of Tennessee was all but destroyed at Franklin. Nevertheless, Hood immediately advanced against the entire Union Army of the Cumberland, firmly entrenched at Nashville with the Army of the Ohio, leading his battered forces to further, and final, disaster in the Battle of Nashville. Union army in the west during the American Civil War, commanded at various times by Generals Robert Anderson, Don Carlos Buell, William S. Rosecrans, and George Thomas. ... The Army of the Ohio was the name of two Union armies in the American Civil War. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders George H. Thomas John Bell Hood Strength IV Corps, XXIII Corps, detachment of Army of the Tennessee, provisional detachment, and Cavalry Corps Army of Tennessee Casualties 2,900 approximately 13,000 The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle...


In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Battle Cry of Freedom, historian James M. McPherson wrote, The gold medal awarded for Public Service in Journalism The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical compositions. ... James M. McPherson (born October 11, 1936) is an American Civil War historian, and is the George Henry Davis 86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. ...

Having proved even to Hood's satisfaction that they could assault breastworks, the Army of Tennessee had shattered itself beyond the possibility of ever doing so again.

Battlefield today

View of the battlefield from atop Winstead Hill, which served as General Hood's headquarters.
View of the battlefield from atop Winstead Hill, which served as General Hood's headquarters.

The Carter House, which stands today and is open to visitors, was at the center of the Union lines; it and its outbuildings still show more than a thousand bullet holes. Much of the rest of the Franklin battlefield has been lost to commercial development. The spot where Cleburne fell, for instance, was covered until late 2005 by a Pizza Hut restaurant. Although the restaurant was purchased by a preservation group and demolished, the Civil War Preservation Trust continues to rank the Franklin battlefield as one of the ten most endangered in the U.S. City officials and historic-preservation groups have recently placed a new emphasis on saving what remains of the land over which this terrible battle raged. Image File history File links Winstead_Hill_Franklin_TN.jpg View from atop Winstead Hill, which was General Hoods headquarters during the Battle of Franklin. ... Image File history File links Winstead_Hill_Franklin_TN.jpg View from atop Winstead Hill, which was General Hoods headquarters during the Battle of Franklin. ... The Civil War Preservation Trust is a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of American Civil War battlefields. ...


See also

The following Union Army units and commanders fought in the Battle of Franklin of the American Civil War. ...

References

  • Eicher, David J., The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  • Esposito, Vincent J., West Point Atlas of American Wars, Frederick A. Praeger, 1959.
  • Foote, Shelby, The Civil War, A Narrative: Red River to Appomattox, Random House, 1974, ISBN 0-394-74913-8.
  • McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-19-503863-0.

Shelby Foote (November 17, 1916 – June 27, 2005) was a noted author and historian of the American Civil War. ... James M. McPherson (born October 11, 1936) is an American Civil War historian, and is the George Henry Davis 86 Professor Emeritus of United States History at Princeton University. ...

External links


 
 

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