Wilson’s Federal cavalry aggressively tried many times to rout the retreating Confederate blocking forces by encirclement and cutting the road behind them. All day long, many sharp skirmishes resulted in casualties and captures on both sides. Pitched battles raged at Holly Tree (Hollow Tree) Gap, from Spencer Creek to the Little Harpeth river crossings in Franklin, at Winstead Hill, and at the Battle of the West Harpeth River – this last action is listed as an official battle in the Civil War Atlas. This was a vicious, confused fight starting about one-half mile south of Coleman Road, and ending in darkness at the West Harpeth bridge, two & one-half miles farther south.
December 17 was the end of heavy fighting in Williamson County, but the treatment and removal of the wounded, and the recovery and burial of the dead went on for weeks. The repair of Franklin’s buildings, fences, and farm fields would take years. The war went on for another 4 months before Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia.
- PDF file – STFB