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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

Major-General Bate, referring to an interview with General Hood between the hours of 10 and 12 of the night of the 29th of November, at which General Bate mentioned a conflict in the orders of the general commanding and the corps commander touching the movement of his division, relates that General Hood said:

“It makes no difference now, or it is all right, anyhow, for General Forrest, as you see, has just left and informed me that he holds the turnpike with a portion of his forces north of Spring Hill, and will stop the enemy if he tries to pass toward Franklin, and so in the morning we will have a surrender without a fight.”

He further said in a congratulatory manner, “We can sleep quietly to-night.”

Source: Confederate Military History Volume 8:
Tennessee Chapter X

Major-General Cheatham gave the following account of the affair at Spring Hill:

In pursuance of orders from army headquarters, my command crossed Duck river on the morning of the 29th of November, 1864, the division of Major-General Cleburne in advance, followed by that of Major-General Bate, the division of Major-General Brown in the rear. The march was made as rapidly as the condition of the road would allow and without occurrence of note, until about 3 o’clock p.m., when I arrived at Rutherford’s creek, two and one-half miles from Spring Hill. At this point General Hood gave me verbal orders as follows: That I should get Cleburne across the creek and send him forward toward Spring Hill, with instructions to communicate with General Forrest, who was near the village, ascertain from him the position of the enemy, and attack immediately; that I should remain at the creek, assist General Bate in crossing his division, and then go forward and put Bate’s command in to support Cleburne, and that he would push Brown forward to join me.

As soon as the division of General Bate had crossed the creek I rode forward, and at a point on the road, about one and a half mile from Spring Hill, I saw the left of Cleburne’s command just disappearing over the hill to the left of the road. Halting there, I waited a few minutes for the arrival of Bate, and formed his command with his right upon the position of Cleburne’s left, and ordered him forward to the support of Cleburne. Shortly after Bate’s division had disappeared over the same range of hills, I heard firing toward Cleburne’s right and just then General Brown’s division had come up. I thereupon ordered Brown to proceed to the right, turn the range of hills over which Cleburne and Bate had crossed, and form line of battle and attack to the right of Cleburne. The division of General Brown was in motion to execute this order when I received a message from Cleburne that his right brigade had been struck in flank by the enemy and had suffered severely, and that he had been compelled to fall back and reform his division with a change of front.

It so happened that the direction of Cleburne’s advance was such as had exposed his right flank to the enemy’s line.


When his command was formed on the road by which he had marched from Rutherford’s creek, neither the village of Spring Hill nor the turnpike could be seen. Instead of advancing directly upon Spring Hill, his forward movement was a little south of west and almost parallel with the turnpike toward Columbia, instead of northwest upon the enemy’s lines, south and east of the village. A reference to the map will show Cleburne’s line of advance. General Cleburne was killed in the assault upon Franklin the next day, and I had no opportunity to learn from him how it was that the error of direction occurred.

Meanwhile General Bate, whom I had placed in position on the left of Cleburne’s line of march, continued to move forward in the same direction until he had reached the farm of N. F. Cheairs, one and a half mile south of Spring Hill.

After Brown had reached the position indicated to him and had formed a line of battle, he sent to inform me that it would be certain disaster for him to attack, as the enemy’s line extended beyond his right several hundred yards. I sent word to him to throw back his right brigade and make the attack. I had already sent couriers after General Bate to bring him back and direct him to join Cleburne’s left. Going to the right of my line I found Generals Brown and Cleburne, and the latter reported that he had reformed his division. I then gave orders to Brown and Cleburne that as soon as they could connect their lines they should attack the enemy, who were then in sight; informing them at the same time that General Hood had just told me that Stewart’s column was close at hand, and that General Stewart had been ordered to go to my right and place his command across the pike. I furthermore said to them that I would go myself and see that General Bate was placed in position to connect with them, and immediately rode to the left of my line for that purpose.

During all this time I had met and talked with General Hood repeatedly, our field headquarters being not over 100 yards apart. After Cleburne’s repulse I had been along my line and had seen that Brown’s right was outflanked several hundred yards. I had urged General Hood to hurry up Stewart and place him on my right, and had received from him the assurance that this would be done; and this assurance, as before stated, I had communicated to Generals Cleburne and Brown.

When I returned from my left, where I had been to get Bate in position, and was on the way to the right of my line, it was dark; but I intended to move forward with Cleburne and Brown and make the attack, knowing that Bate would be in position to support them. Stewart’s column had already passed by on the way toward the turnpike, and I presumed he would be in position on my right.

On reaching the road where General Hood’s field quarters had been established, I found a courier with a message from General Hood requesting me to come to him at Captain Thompson’s house, about one and a fourth miles back on the road to Rutherford’s creek. I found General Stewart and General Hood. The commanding general there informed me that he had concluded to wait till morning, and directed me to hold my command in readiness to attack at daylight.

I was never more astonished than when General Hood informed me that he had concluded to postpone the attack till daylight. The road was still open–orders to remain quiet until morning–and nothing to prevent the enemy from marching to Franklin.

Source: Confederate Military History Volume 8:
Tennessee Chapter X

Letter from Pvt James A. McCord of Co G, 30th Georgia Infantry to his brother Capt William McCord who commanded Company G until wounded at Jonesboro, Georgia August 31, 1864. Capt McCord was recuperating at his home in Jackson, Georgia when this letter was written. (From Special Collections of the Woodruff Library of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia)

Franklin Tenn
Decr. 3rd 1864
Dear Brother

After a long and very hard march, we arrived at this place, the 30th day of Novr. about 4 oclk when we went immediately into a fight and every one says that it was the hardest fought battle that has been fought during the war. There is no telling what our loss is. We lost ten Genls killed & wounded. Genls Cleburne Granburry, Gist, Adams, Strahl, & one more I forgotten were killed and four that were wounded. Granbury’s celebrated brigade left this place yesterday morning with 137 Guns all told. Hall & Jno Tom Gillispie(1) was both killed dead on the field, and nearly every one of the company fared the same fate. The larger portion of Genl Bates Div acted very cowardly in the first of the fight. Tyler’s & Finley’s and Jackson’s left would not charge the works.

I was skirmishing in front of Tyler & Finley and they run three times and left me on the hill begging them to come back when one of old Abes boys plugged me in the right foot, making it a severe wound, tho not a serious one I hope. I am well cared for. I do not know any place where I could fare as I do here. The people are the kindest in the world especially the Ladies. The world does not know their superior and I doubt that their equal can be found.

Lt McKibbin(2) wounded in left fore arm. Troy Saunders(3) slightly in arm (gone back to Co.) Mo Mays(4) & Ben Deason(5) were wounded but not dangerous I believe. I do not know how your company suffered (but little I believe). No Country knows a braver man than Genl Bates. I am proud to say that there was no one between me and the Yankees when I was wounded. You will have to excuse this short letter as my foot pains me a great deal & I do not know when I will get a chance to send off though I believe I will put it in the P.O. Give my love to all.
Truly yours
Jas A McCord(6)

P.S. This fight lasted eleven hours.

Notes:

(1) Cpl William Hall Gillespie, Co B, 7th Texas Infantry was mortally wounded and died at Franklin, Tennessee. He is buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, Texas Section 3, Grave 39. His brother, Pvt John Thomas Gillespie Jr. was in the same company and was also killed at Franklin. He is buried in Texas Section 2, Grave 26.

(2) Lt Martin Van Buren McKibben enlisted as 5th Sgt, Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on September 25, 1861. He was appointed 1st Sgt May 13, 1862. Promoted to Jr 2nd Lt on July 16, 1863 and 2nd Lt in 1864. He was severely wounded at Franklin on November 30, 1864. He was listed in Saint Mary’s Hospital at West Point, Mississippi on January 13, 1865.

(3) Pvt Troy S. Saunders enlisted in Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on June 30, 1863. He was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19, 1863. He was listed in Direction Hospital at Griffin, Georgia on December 22, 1863. No further record.

(4) Pvt Robert W. Mays enlisted in Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on September 25, 1861. Roll for December 31, 1862, last on file, shows him ‘present’. Pension records show he was wounded in the right breast at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19, 1863. Born 1842, he died in Butts County, Georgia on December 8, 1918.

(5) Pvt Benjamin T. Deason enlisted in Co I, 30th Georgia Infantry on September 25, 1861. He was wounded at the Battle of Franklin and captured in one of the Confederate hospitals there on December 17, 1864. He was released from Camp Chase, Ohio Prison on June 13, 1865.

(6) Pvt James A. McCord enlisted on November 1, 1862. In January 1864, he was on detail duty as a clerk at the General Hospital in Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi due to a disability. He was wounded at the Battle of Franklin and captured in one of the Confederate hospitals there on December 17, 1864. He was released from Camp Chase, Ohio Prison in June, 1865.

Content taken from Save the Franklin Battlefield web site

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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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