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HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Near Franklin, December 17, 1864-4 p. m. General JOHNSON,
Commanding Sixth Division:

GENERAL: The general commanding desires you to move on the road you are now on until dark; encamp, and communicate with him by a staff officer. Knipe is moving on the Columbia pike, and Hatch parallel to it, on the left.

Respectfully, &c.,

A. J. ALEXANDER,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Chief of Staff.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XLV | Page 242

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, Seven Miles from Franklin, December 17, 1864. Brigadier-General CROXTON,
Commanding Brigade:

GENERAL: Generals Hatch and Knipe are in Franklin. Push along as fast as possible by the road you fell back on when Hood advanced on Nashville. Cross the Harpeth River and endeavor to strike the enemy’s flank on the Lewisburg pike. Watch well your left. If possible, send a small force through to communicate with the garrison at Murfreesborough, to inform them what has taken place. Keep us well informed of your progress. Orders will be sent you when you reach the Lewisburg pike, or are near it.

By command of Brevet Major-General Wilson:

E. B. BEAUMONT,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XLV | Page 241

SPECIAL
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,

FIELD ORDERS,
MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Numbers 4.*
Johnson’s House, December 17, 1864.

I. Commanding officers will be very active to-night and early to-morrow in obtaining forage, and will see that every horse is well fed.

II. The corps will be assembled in the following order to-morrow:

Johnson’s division, with one regiment on Carter’s Creek, the balance connecting with the Seventh Division, General Knipe, on the West Harpeth River. The Seventh Division will be on the right side of the Columbia pike. The Fifth Division will be on the left of the Columbia pike, its right resting on the left of the Seventh Division. General Croxton’s brigade will be on the Lewisburg pike. When this disposition is effected, at 6.30 a. m. to-morrow the command will move forward in that order.

III. Commanders of divisions and detached brigades will detail a suitable officer from their respective commands to report to these headquarters as aides to the general commanding.

IV. Commanding officers will take measures to bring forward supplies of ordnance, and such other supplies as they may need.

By order of Brevet Major-General Wilson:

A. J. ALEXANDER,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Acting Chief of Staff.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XLV | Page 240

CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. CAV. CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS.,

Granny White Pike, Eight Miles from Nashville,

December 17, 1864-3.30 a. m.

The Cavalry Corps will move at the earliest possible moment after the receipt of this order, by the following lines:

1. Croxton’s brigade will march, by the most direct road, to the Franklin pike, pressing the enemy closely by that road and those immediately to the east of it, leaving the pike itself for Knipe’s division.

2. Knipe’s division will move, by the nearest road, to the Franklin pike, and press the enemy on that road and any that may be found on its immediate right.

3. Hatch’s division will follow the enemy, on this road, to Brentwood, and press the enemy closely on the right of the Franklin pike. It may not be necessary to strike Brentwood at all, if roads can be found between the Hillsborough and Franklin pikes. General Hatch will use his discretion.

4. General Johnson will march, in pursuance of instructions last night, by the Hillsborough pike.

5. Cavalry Corps headquarters will be with the Fifth Division. Frequent communications must be sent in by the various columns.

J. H. WILSON,

Brevet Major-General, Commanding.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XLV | Pages 239-240

HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Johnson’s House, Six Miles from Franklin, December 17, 1864-7.10 p. m.

Brigadier-General WHIPPLE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: Upon further investigation I find that Knipe’s division participated most handsomely in the affair of this evening; nothing could have been more brilliant than the behavior of the troops. If it had only been light we would certainly have destroyed their entire rear guard; as it was, they were severely punished. The guns will be sent in as soon as wheels can be fitted to the carriages. My command needs forage badly; this country seems to be entirely stripped. I will assemble everything, except Croxton’s brigade, along the line of the West Harpeth to-night. Johnson must be near our right flank. As soon as it is light in the morning, and everything fed, I will push forward.

Respectfully, &c.,

J. H. WILSON,

Brevet Major-General, Commanding.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XLV | Pages 238-239

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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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