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Historian and author Eric Jacobson describes John Bell Hood’s frontal assault at Franklin in it’s historical context for the Civil War and at Franklin.

 

I have recently updated the Google Map of the Battle of Franklin (easy reference: www.FranklinBattlefield.com).

If you have learned hot to navigate using the Google Map tools (or are learning) I’m sure you have already found that Google Maps is a hidden treasure.  I have spent hours upon hours working on the Google Map of the Battle of Franklin over the past few years. It is always a work in progress and is constantly being upgraded and improved based on feedback I get from readers and the more I learn.

There are many new features and enhancements awaiting the diligent map-student.  Click on any object to see what hidden features lie buried underneath.  I’ve even added the location marker and info on the unknown soldier’s remains discovered in May.

From the Google Map of the Battle of Franklin you can:

  • see how the troops deployed before clashing around the Carter House.
  • watch embedded videos from expert historians describing the action from key points on the battlefield.
  • see historic pictures of homes and property pertinent to the battle
  • read contemporary accounts of soldiers, civilians and the newspapers
  • zoom in/out to find out more info on brigades and regiments
  • see pictures of actual soldiers who fought and died
  • really get a better scope of the battle as you experience an interactive layout of the battlefield

Carnton is set to host the largest John Bell Hood exhibit in history! Carnton has gathered a variety of artifacts that once belonged to Hood.These items including his coat, hat, saddle, sword, and writing kitwill be on display at Carnton in the new Fleming Center. The exhibit entitled “Hood’s Legacy” willshowcase the items on loan to Carnton and provide information about the General’s life. Carnton Plantation will explore the man and his complete story, as well as his legacy. Well known in Middle Tennessee for the disastrous frontal assault of the earthworks at Franklin, Hood has a long and prestigious military career. He graduated West Point class of 1853, and fought Indians in the southwestern United States prior to the Civil War. When the Civil War started in 1861, Hood resigned his position in the U.S. military and joined the Confederate cause. Hood served in the Army of Northern Virginia and fought under General Robert E. Lee. By the summer of 1864, Hood had been elevated to command of the Army of Tennessee. While the results of the Tennessee campaign in the fall of 1864 were devastating, Hood never wavered. His reputation as a brave and daring commander held true. Accompanying this exhibit will be a panel discussion about Hood. This discussion will be held in two sessions both beginning at 6 pm: Friday, November 6 and Saturday November 7. Topics to be covered include the early life, military career, Tennessee Campaign, and legacy of General Hood. Please join us for both the exhibit and the discussion about this controversial figure in Civil War history.

Where: Carnton Plantation, 1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin
Admission: $12, $10 for ages over 65, $5 for ages 6-12, free for ages 4 and younger
Info: www.carnton.org, 794-0903

And check out my recent interview with the Carnton collections manager about the Hood exhibit.

Effects of C.S.A. General, John Bell Hood, The Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, VA by you.
Hood’s uniform seen here on display at the Museum of the Confederacy

According to historian Eric Jacobson, the Army of Tennessee had 28,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry when it arrived in middle Tennessee in late 1864. Hood took over the Army of Tennessee in July from Johnston. There were 8,000 Federals garrisoned at Nashville at the time.

Hood would lose at least 7,500 at Franklin (30 Nov 1864) and another 6,600 at Nashville, two weeks later. When the Army of Tennessee retreated back to Pulaski in mid December 1864, the army was reduced to but a shadow of its former self.

Confederate General, John Bell Hood

Hood was the fifth commander of the Army of Tennessee. He commanded the army from July 17, 1864, until January 15, 1865. Many historians say his recklessness destroyed the Army of Tennessee. In just six months (July 1864 – December 1864) Hood lost at least 30,000 men* at a time when the Confederate army, and especially the Army of Tennessee, was in desperate need of men.

*Casualty estimates are based on the conservative figures as reported by the National Park Service. Here are the major engagements Hood was involved in from the time he became commander of the Army of Tennessee.

July 20 Peachtree Creek – 4,796

July 22 Atlanta – 8,499

July 28 Ezra Church – 3,000

Aug 31 – Sept 1 Jonesborough – 2,000

Nov 30 Franklin – 6,261

Dec 15 Nashville – 4,462

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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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