Here are all the Union-Federal telegrams that took place related to the Battle of Franklin. They are in order of earliest to latest. Most of the telegrams in the Official Records are between Maj-Gen George H. Thomas and Maj-General John M Schofield (his subordinate).
Nov 29th, 1 pm – Pontoons down
Nov 30th, 5:30 am – troops across the Harpeth
The first Federal troops begin arriving in Franklin shortly after this telegram. Schofield discovers all the bridges are out. Many troops, in earnest, begin to construct breastworks.
Nov 30th, 9:30 am – Hood cannot be held
Nov 30th, no timestamp – map
Nov 30th, 12 noon – getting in a tight place
Even as late as noon on the eventual day of battle, Federal commanders do NOT expect an attack from Hood.
Nov 30th, no timestamp – hold Franklin for three days?
Nov 30th, 3 pm – Hood has a large force
Hood’s Army of Tennessee is now visible two miles south of Franklin, as they are spread out across roughly two miles (east-west), in front of Winstead Hill.
Nov 30th, no timestamp – pre-attack, trains sent to Brentwood
This is the last telegram prior to the opening assault (4 pm).
Nov 30th, 7:10 pm – persistent attack
Though just three hours into the action, the Federal estimates of casualties is remarkably accurate.
Nov 30th, no timestamp – glorious news