Aftermath of the battle

Aftermath of the battle (Wikipedia, 12/3/06)

The devastated Confederate force was left in control of Franklin, but its enemy had escaped again. Typically, a Civil War battle is deemed a victory for the army that forces its opponent to withdraw, but Hood’s “victory” came at a frightful cost. More men of the Confederate Army of Tennessee were killed in five hours at Franklin than in two days at the Battle of Shiloh. The Confederates suffered 6,252 casualties, including 1,750 killed and 3,800 wounded. Their military leadership in the West was decimated, including the loss of such skilled generals as Patrick Cleburne. Fifteen Confederate generals were casualties (6 killed, 8 wounded, and 1 captured), and 65 field grade officers were lost. Union casualties were 189 killed, 1,033 wounded, 1,104 missing.

The Army of Tennessee was all but destroyed at Franklin. Nevertheless, Hood immediately advanced against the entire Union Army of the Cumberland, firmly entrenched at Nashville with the Army of the Ohio, leading his battered forces to further, and final, disaster in the Battle of Nashville.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Battle Cry of Freedom, historian James M. McPherson wrote,

“Having proved even to Hood’s satisfaction that they could assault breastworks, the Army of Tennessee had shattered itself beyond the possibility of ever doing so again.”

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