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After occupying Nashville in February 1862, Union forces moved into surrounding areas such as Franklin, when they built this stockade fort before August 1862, in order to protect the railroad bridge over the Harpeth River. In 1863 a larger structure, Fort Granger, was built nearby on a larger bluff. Source: Civil War Drawings: from The Tennessee State Museum. p. 15, 1989.

On January 27, at Carnton Plantation’s Fleming Center, The Battle of Franklin Trust will kick off its Winter lecture series at 6 p.m. with “Lincoln’s Election and the Secession Drama,” examining the presidential election and the secession of southern states.


By Mrs. D.N. Bash


General David S. Stanley

The western sun is streaming across the Southern sky,

Bright bayonets are gleaming as troop on troop pass by;

Here, messengers are hastening to do a chief’s behest,

There, weary men have halted for greatly-needed rest;

For all day long the battle raged, as battle must,

When brothers strive with brothers, and feel their cause is just.

But now the sun is setting, the hard day’s work is o’er,

And watchful friend and foeman alike their dead deplore.

From far and near, the camp-fires send forth a feeble gleam,

While picket watches picket, on either side of stream.

With heavy hearts, the leaders consult as best they may.

And seen with anxious forethought to plan the coming day.

But hark! What means the tumult? Again is heard the peal

Of musketry, and cannon, and clang of glancing steel.

What means the sudden onset? Whence come the noise of war?

From every side the answer is heard above the roar.

The rebels are upon us! Forrest has crossed the ford

And Hood upon our ramparts, with al his host has poured.

No time was now for counsel, for right and left give way;

No power on earth can save us, and Hood will gain the day.

But to one man the peril brings purpose stern and high,

And, seizing on the moment, with fury in his eye,

He dashes ‘mid the conflict, his only conscious thought,

“The patriot dead must be avenged, the battle lost refought.”

Like lightning in a tempest, he dashes far and near,

Death in his fiery onset, and anguish in his rear.

From line to line he hastens to meet the fierce attack,

And faltering hosts are strengthened, the foe is driven back.

What matter that a bullet an ugly wound has made,

Or that a host of heroes beneath the sod are laid?

Once more the tide of battle is turned against the foe –

For this the hearts of Freeman with grateful ardor glow.

It was the hour of danger, the hour of glory, too,

The hour that nerves the bravest unwonted deeds to do.

Proud of their gallant leader, and proud of gallant deeds,

The soldiers shout, “We follow where e’er the general leads.”

All honor, then, to every man whose valor saved the day

Upon the field of Franklin, and turned the bloody fray.

And when one’s children’s children shall read of heroes past,

Around the name of Stanley a glory shall be cast.


Source: Minty and the Cavalry, Joseph Gale, 1886.



Battle of Franklin Trust Winter Lectures Schedule

Civil War Drama Leads Series

FRANKLIN- On January 27, at Carnton Plantation’s Fleming Center, The Battle of Franklin Trust will kick off its Winter lecture series at 6 p.m. with “Lincoln’s Election and the Secession Drama,” examining the presidential election and the secession of southern states. The second lecture has been scheduled for February 24 th at 6 p.m. at Carnton Plantation’s Fleming Center.

“This year’s Winter lecture series is going to be packed with information that is not as widely known to the public as other aspects of the Civil War,” said The Battle of Franklin Trust President and C.E.O. Jennifer Esler. “Eric [Jacobson] and Thomas [Flagel] bring a wealth of invaluable knowledge to the first lecture.”

Historians and authors Eric A. Jacobson and Thomas Flagel will discuss Abraham Lincoln’s rise to the presidency in the midst of political turmoil. The duo will also look in-depth into the reasons behind the quick secession of the first seven Southern States. In addition, the lecture will be a detailed look at what was being said by participants at the time, as well as why the Union came undone.

At the end of the lecture, guests will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Jacobson and Flagel. The duo will also be available after for a book signing. The lectures are free to members of the Battle of Franklin Trust and there is an optional $5 donation for the general public. Space is limited to the first 100 people. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Leigh Bawcom at .

Thomas Flagel is a historian and professor at Columbia State University. He has also authored numerous books including The History Buff’s Guide to Civil War, a detailed account into the Civil War.

Eric A. Jacobson is a historian for The Battle of Franklin Trust and author of For Cause and For Country, an exploration into the battles at Spring Hill and Franklin. He is also the Director of Operations for The Battle of Franklin Trust, which manages The Carter House and Carnton Plantation.

The Carter House was built in 1830 by Fountain Branch Carter. The Carter House is nationally known for its role in the Civil War. The house was caught in the center of the Battle of Franklin and still bears the scars of the battle, with more than 1,000 bullet holes still visible. The Visitor’s Center includes a new video presentation, military museum and museum shop.

The Battle of Franklin Trust is a 501 (c) 3 management corporation acting on behalf of Franklin’s battlefield sites to contribute to a greater understanding and enrich the visitor experience of the November 30, 1864 battle. It’s organized for the charitable and educational purposes of preserving, restoring, maintaining and interpreting the properties, artifacts and documents related to the battle so as to preserve an important part of the nation’s history. Learn more at or call (615) 786-1864.


Seven Union cavalry regiments were part of the November 30, 1864 Franklin campaign:  the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 12th Tennessee Cavalry units.

Photo source:

William David McCulloch, Company F, 2nd Tennessee Cavalry

To read about Tennessee Union cavalrymen pick up, Tennessee’s Union Cavalrymen by Myers E. Brown II (Author) of the Tennessee State Museum.


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Kraig McNutt is the author and publisher of this blog. He has been blogging on Franklin for over five years and on the Civil War in general since 1995. Email him.

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Summary of the Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee; in Williamson County. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee (around 33,000 men) faced off with John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the Cumberland (around 30,000 men). Often cited as "the bloodiest five hours" during the American Civil War, the Confederates lost between 6,500 - 7,500 men, with 1,750 dead. The Federals lost around 2,000 - 2,500 men, with just 250 or less killed. Hood lost 30,000 men in just six months (from July 1864 until December 15). The Battle of Franklin was fought mostly at night. Several Confederate Generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, and the Rebels also lost 50% of their field commanders. Hood would limp into Nashville two weeks later before suffering his final defeat before retreating to Pulaski in mid December. Hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to the John and Carrie McGavock home - Carnton - after the battle. She became known as the Widow of the South. The McGavock's eventually donated two acres to inter the Confederate dead. Almost 1,500 Rebel soldiers are buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, just in view of the Carnton house.

Make sure to check-out the Google Map of the Franklin Civil War Guide.

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