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Two known-identified 9th MS boys who fought at Franklin are buried at McGavock. The 9th MS also fought with the 7th, 10th, 41st and 44th MS Infantries, and the 9th Mississippi Sharpshooters Battalion.

Here is an early picture of the 9th Mississippi regiment, taken in 1861 at Pensacola.

Picture credit: Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy (p. 263 & 31).

Though this picture of the 9th MS is taken in 1861 at Pensacola, it does not take much to imagine that this scene was replayed again in Spring Hill, TN, on November 29, 1864, one day before the bloody Battle of Franklin.

Author and historian Eric A. Jacobson (For Cause and Country) recently made this comment:

The attack by Edward Johnson’s Division is often overlooked or forgotten, or mentioned almost as a footnote, in studies of Franklin. Sadly through the years even the division’s formation as it attacked had been mangled. By studying what information is available (unfortunately Johnson nor any of his brigade or regimental commanders ever filed reports) the proper formation of Johnson’s Division is now known with near certainty. Like Brown’s Division, Johnson’s Division had four brigades and moved forward with a two brigade front and two in reserve. On the right front was Zachariah Deas; on the left was Jacob Sharp. In reserve was William Brantley on the left; Arthur Maniagult on the right.

As the division advanced Brantley was moved to the left front, giving Johnson a three brigade front. A similar effort was made to move Manigault to the left front, but everything fell apart before that happened. As a result Brantley was horribly exposed on his left flank (it was effectively up in the air) and his men suffered grievous casualties. His brigade alone absorbed forty percent of the division’s total casualties.

Manigault’s Brigade suffered the fewest casualties in the division, but may have had the most difficult time maneuvering. Manigault’s men were being shifted under fire and well placed bullets took out the brigade’s three ranking commanders. In the darkness and confusion, and with the rest of the division being pounded, there was little Manigault’s men could so.

Interesting to note that Henry Clayton, whose division was formed up and ready to attack following Johnson, but was subsequently ordered not to, said “night mercifully interposed to save us from the terrible scourge which our brave companions had suffered.”

Confederate Order of Battle, Franklin, TN (November 30, 1864)

Army of Tennessee, General John Bell Hood, commanding

INFANTRY

LEE’s Corps: Leut. Gen. Stephen D. Lee

Johnson’s Division: Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson

Deas’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Zachariah C. Deas
19th, 22d, 25th, 39th, 50th Alabama

Manigault’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Arthur M. Manigault, Lt. Col. William L. Butler (Nashville)
24th, 28th, 34th Alabama; 10th, 19th South Carolina

Sharp’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Jacob H. Sharp
7th, 9th, 10th, 41st, 44th Mississippi
9th Battalion Mississippi Sharpshooters

Brantley’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. William F. Brantley
24th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 34th Mississippi
Dismounted Cavalry Company

Stevenson’s Division: Maj. Gen. Carter L. Stevenson

Cummings’s Brigade: Col. Elihu P. Watkins
24th, 36th, 39th, 56th Georgia

Pettus’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Edmund W. Pettus
20th, 23d, 30th, 31st, 46th Alabama

Clayton’s Division: Maj. Gen. Henry D. Clayton

Stovall’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Marcellus A. Stovall
40th, 41st, 42d, 43d, 52d Georgia

Gibson’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Randall L. Gibson
1st, 4th, 13th, 16th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 30th Louisiana
4th Lousiana Battalion; 14th Lousiana Battalion Sharpshooters

Holtzclaw’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. James Holtzclaw
18th, 32d, 36th, 38th, 58th Alabama

STEWART’s Corps: Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart

Loring’s Division: Maj. Gen. William W. Loring

Featherston’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Winfield S. Featherston
1st, 3d, 22d, 31st, 33d, 40th Mississippi
1st Mississippi Battalion

Adams’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. John Adams; Col. Robert Lowry (Nashville)
6th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 23d, 43d Mississippi

Scott’s Brigade: Brig Gen Thomas M. Scott; Col. John Snodgrass (Nashville)
27th, 35th, 49th, 55th, 57th Alabama; 12th Louisiana

French’s Division: Maj. Gen. Samuel G. French, Brig. Gen. Claudius Sears

Ector’s Brigade: Col. David Coleman
29th, 30th North Carolina, 9th Texas
10th, 14th, 32d Texas Cavalry (dismounted)

Cockrell’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. F.M. Cockrell, brigade detached prior to Nashville under Col. Peter C. Flournoy
1st, 2nd, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th Missouri
1st Missouri Cavalry (dismounted)
3d Missouri Cavalry Battalion (dismounted)

Sears’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Claudius Sears, Lt. Col. Reuben H. Shotwell (Nashville)
4th, 35th, 36th, 39th, 46th Mississippi
7th Mississippi Battalion

Walthall’s Division: Maj. Gen. Edward C. Walthall

Quarles’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. William A. Quarles; Brig. Gen. George D.
Johnson
(Nashville)
1st Alabama; 42d, 46th, 48th, 49th, 53d, 55th Tennessee

Cantley’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Charles M. Shelley
17th, 26th, 29th Alabama; 37th Mississippi

Reynold’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Daniel H. Reynolds
4th, 9th, 25th Arkansas
1st, 2d Arkansas Mounted Rifles (dismounted)

CHEATHAM’s Corps: Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham

Cleburne’s Division: Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne, Brig. Gen. James A. Smith (Nashville)

Lowrey’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Mark P. Lowrey (Franklin)
16th, 33d, 45th Alabama; 5th, 8th, 32d Mississippi;
3d Mississippi Battalion

Govan’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Daniel C. Govan
1st, 2d, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 19th, 24th
Arkansas

Granbury’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Hiram B. Granbury; Capt. E. T. Broughton
5th Confederate; 35th Tennessee; 6th, 7th, 10th, 15th Texas
17th, 18th, 24th, 25th Texas Cavalry (dismounted); Nutt’s Louisana Cavalry (dismounted)

Smith’s Brigade: on detached duty before Nashville-
Brig. Gen. James A. Smith; Col. Charles H. Olmstead
(Nashville)
54th, 57th, 63d Georgia; 1st Georgia Volunteers

Brown’s (Cheatham’s Old) Division: Maj. Gen. John C. Brown; Brig. Gen. Mark P. Lowrey (Nashville)

Gist’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. States Rights Gist; Lt. Col. Zachariah L. Watters (Nashville)
46th, 65th Georgia; 2d Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters; 16th, 24th South Carolina

Maney’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. John C. Carter; Col. Hume R. Field (Nashville)
1st, 4th (provisional), 6th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 27th, 28th, 50th Tennessee

Strahl’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Otho F. Strahl; Col. AndrewJ. Kellar (Nashville)
4th, 5th, 19th, 24th, 31st, 33d, 38th, 41st Tennessee

Vaughan’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. George W. Gordon; Col. William M. Watkins (Nashville)
11th, 12th, 13th, 29th, 47th, 51st, 52nd, 154th Tennessee

Bate’s Division: Maj. Gen. William B. Bate

Tyler’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Thomas B. Smith
37th Georgia; 4th Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters;
2d, 10th, 20th, 37th Tennessee

Finley’s Brigade: Col. Robert Bullock; Maj. Jacob A. Lash
1st, 3d, 4th, 6th, 7th Florida, 1st Florida Cavalry (dismounted)

Jackson’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Henry R. Jackson
25th, 29th, 30th Georgia; 1st Georgia Confederate;
1st Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters

Artillery:

LEE’s Corps: 1) Col. Robert F. Beckham 2) Maj. John W. Johnston

Courtney’s Battalion: Capt. James P. Douglas
Dent’s Alabama Battery; Douglas’s Texas Battery; Garrity’s Alabama Battery

Eldridge’s Battalion: Capt. Charles E. Fenner
Eufaula Alabama Battery; Fenner’s Louisiana Battery; Stanford’s Miss Battery

Johnson’s Battalion: Capt. John B. Rowan
Corput’s Georgia Battery; Marshall’s Tenn Battery; Stephens’s Light Artillery

STEWART’s Corps: Lt. Col. Samuel C. Williams

Truehart’s Battalion:
Lumsden’s Alabama Battery; Selden’s Alabama Battery

Myrick’s Battalion:
Bouanchaud’s Louisiana Battery; Cowan’s Miss Battery,
Darden’s Miss Battery

Storrs’ Battalion:
Guiborps Missouri Battery; Hoskin’s Miss Battery; Kolb’s Alabama Battery

CHEATHAM’s Corps: Col. Melancthon Smith

Hoxton’s Battalion:
Perry’s Florida Battery; Phelan’s Alabama Battery; Turner’s Miss Battery

Hotchkiss’s Battalion:
Bledsoe’s Missouri Battery; Goldtwaite’s Alabama Battery; Key’s Arkansas Battery

Cobb’s Battalion:
Ferguson’s South Carolina Battery; Phillip’s [Mabane's]

Cavalry: Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest

CHALMER’s Division: Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers

Rucker’s Brigade: Col. Edmund W. Rucker
7th Alabama Cavalry; 5th Miss Cavalry; 7th, 12th, 14th, 15th Tenn Cavalry; Forrest’s Regiment Tenn Cavalry

Biffle’s Brigade: Col. Jacob B. Biffle, 10th Tenn Cavalry

BUFORD’s Division: Brig. Gen. Abraham Buford

Bell’s Brigade: Col. Tyree H. Bell
2d, 19th, 20th, 21st Tenn Cavalry; Nixon’s Tenn Cavalry Regiment

Crossland’s Brigade: Col. Edward Crossland
3d, 7th, 8th, 12th Kentucky Mounted Infantry;
12th Kentucky Cavalry; Huey’s Kentucky Battalion

JACKSON’s Division: Brig. Gen. William H. Jackson

Armstrong’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Frank C. Armstrong
1st, 2d, 28th Miss Cavalry; Ballentine’s Miss Regiment

Ross’s Brigade: Brig. Gen. Lawrence S. Ross
5th, 6th, 9th Texas Cavalry; 1st Texas Legion

ARTILLERY

Morton’s Tennesse Battery, Slocumb’s Louisiana Battery

Maj.-Gen. B. F. Cheatham.

“On the morning of the 4th of December,” says General Cheatham, “I went to the headquarters of GenBenjamin F. Cheathameral Hood, and referring to his note and the criticism that had evidently been made by some one, I said to him, ‘A great opportunity was lost at Spring Hill, but you know that I obeyed your orders there, as everywhere, literally and promptly.’ General Hood not only did not dissent from what I said, but exhibited the most cordial manner, coupled with confidence and friendship.”

At daylight Cheatham’s corps passed through the village of Spring Hill, and between 1 and 2 o’clock p.m. the army reached the vicinity of Franklin, and Stewart’s and Cheatham’s corps were put in positions. The enemy was heavily intrenched and was superior in numbers and equipment. On the morning of the battle, General Schofield, commanding the Federal army, had behind his works 23,734 infantry and artillery, and his cavalry numbered 5,500. Maj.-Gen. J. D. Cox, U. S. A., upon whose authority these figures are given, states in his history of the battle of Franklin that Hood delivered the assault on the Federal lines with “two or three hundred less than 24,000″ men, and gives Forrest’s strength at 9,000. Maj.-Gen. John C. Brown reported that on the morning of November 29, 1864, he had not exceeding 2,750 men in his division, the largest in Cheatham’s corps, and the three divisions did not exceed 6,000. Smith’s brigade of Cleburne’s division was not present. Stewart’s corps after Allatoona was less than 7,000, and with Johnson’s division of Lee’s corps, the assaulting column did not exceed 16,000 men. General Forrest stated in his official report that the entire cavalry force under his command was about 5,000.

Bate’s division was on the left, Brown’s in the center, Cleburne’s on the right. General Bate says his line “charged the works of the enemy. http://www.campchase.com/WEBlibrary/WillSmith/theocarter.jpgMy right got to the works (the second line) and remained there until morning;’the left was driven back. The enemy’s works were strong and defiant, constructed on a slight elevation, with few obstructions in front for several hundred yards. The works to the left of Carter’s creek turnpike were not strong, and with a vigorous assault should have been carried; a fact, however, not known until next day.” Bate’s division sustained a loss of 47 killed and 253 wounded. Capt. Todd Carter (right), on staff duty with Smith’s Tennessee brigade, fell mortally wounded near the enemy’s works and almost at the door of his father’s house.

No more magnificent spectacle was ever witnessed than the advance of the two divisions commanded by Cleburne and Brown; no two divisions of the army were ever led with greater skill and gallantry; no generals of division were ever supported with better ability by brigade, regimental and company officers. The troops were veterans who had never failed to respond to orders, although discouraged by recent and frequent disasters; and fully alive to the desperation of the assault about to be made, they advanced with noble courage. Before troops of equal numbers in the open field they would have been irresistible, but to attack intrenched troops, superior in numbers, advancing over an open plain without cover, was a disregard of the rules of war, a waste of precious lives, and a wrecking of an army once the pride and hope of the Southwest.

Source: Confederate Military History Volume 8:
Tennessee Chapter X

Description of the Battle (Wikipedia, 12/3/06)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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