New York Times’ headlines for December 5th, 1864 – coverage of the Battle of Franklin

Heavy Skirmishing in Front of Nashville.
A Reconnoitering Expedition No Rebels Across the River.
Surrender of a Blockhouse to the Rebels.
Rebel Views of Hood’s Movement.
Gen. Stanley’s Wound The Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad.

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.
NASHVILLE, Saturday, Dec. 3. After two days of wet weather, the clouds disappeared this morning, and the day has been magnificent. I have been on our right all day. Our line of battle extends around the suburbs of the city, our right and left, respectively, resting on the Cumber land River. The enemy’s line of battle is just two miles from the city. Quite heavy skirmishing in front of Gens. A.J. SMITH and WOOD has been going on all the afternoon by sharpshooters on both sides. On the right of our centre, near Widow ACKLIN’s place, the enemy’s skirmishers became troublesome, taking refuge behind houses on Franklin, Granny White and Highborn pikes. Two houses were burned, several injured and ruined by our artillery. We used considerable artillery this afternoon on our right and right centre, but elicited no reply from the rebel artillery. The supposition is that they are short of this kind of ammunition. Several of our men were killed to-day by their sharpshooters, including two members of the Sixth Ohio Battery. The enemy’s line can be seen quite plainly with the naked eve. All railroading south of this city has ceased to exist. Murfreesboro, Bridgeport and Chattanooga are deemed safe. Events of some moment are anticipated to-morrow. It may be considered an impossibility for the rebels to cross the river either on our right or left, as Commodore FITCH is here with a fleet of gunboats. Johnsonville has been evacuated. Everything was removed from all the railroads in safety. Thirty-three locomotives and trains were sent North this morning. Nashville and the surrounding country for miles has been converted into a huge fortress. The destruction of rebel property in deface of the city will be almost incalculable. As almost all the rich property-owners hereabouts are rebel sympathizers, the rage manifested by this portion of the community at the approach of the rebel army, necessitating the destruction of their property, is unbounded. Gen. FRANK CHEATHAM, commanding one of the rebel corps, has his headquarters at the house of Mr. EDMONSON, on the Murfreesboro pike, four miles from the city. He told EDMONSON that HOOD had orders to go to Nashville or to hell. There is plenty of water in the river for boating purposes Vague rumors are afloat about FORREST crossing the river, and BEECKINRIDGE joining HOOD, all of which are untrue. The situation of our forces is considered perfectly satisfactory. BENJ. C. TRUMAN.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 4. No new developments have taken place to-day, except that our army still encircles the city on the southeast, its wings resting on the Cumberland River. The enemy’s lines are clearly to be seen from high points in the suburbs and from the capitol. They are in trenching themselves in a southwestern direction, about three miles from the city. During the day heavy skirmishing occurred on our left and progressed along the line to the centre. Many persons witnessed the cannonading. Along the right of our lines nothing of importance transpired to-day. The general opinion is that HOOD will attack the Federal forces in front of Nashville. A Federal cavalry force has patrolled the north bank of the river at the fords to prevent cavalry from crossing, as numerous unsuccessful attempts have been made by them to cross since the 1st inst. Johnsonville has been evacuated, and the road has been uninterrupted, and part of the trains from there are advancing to this point by land. It is rumored here to-day that FORREST has placed a pontoon bridge across the river above the city, and that MARMADUKE has occupied Johnsonville. Both are without foundation. The first block-house on the Chattanooga road, four miles from the city, defended by negroes, commanded by Col. JOHNSON, of the colored infantry, who surrendered Dalton, Ga., and was paroled, held out unit this afternoon, when they surrendered. Col. JOHNSON and a portion of his men escaping on a train. The remainder were captured. The train was fired into. Several jumped from the train into the river and escaped. Col. JOHNSON among them, who is in the city tonight. A reconnoitering party sent Thursday returned today, having gone eighty miles up the river. They report that no rebels were seen or heard of crossing the river, and none appeared upon the banks. A rebel deserter, who came in to-day, reports that Gen. S.D. LEE published an order to his men Friday morning, complimenting them on their bravery, devotion, & c, thanking them for the victory won at Franklin, and assuring them that if true to themselves now in front of Nashville, they would be soon enabled to enter and take possession of a vast amount of stores contained there. Two prisoners were brought in to-day, Lieut. HICKMAN, Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, four miles from the city, and C.H. GARDY, of FORD’s Forty-eighth Georgia Infantry. The water on the shoals is nine feet deep, and still rising. REBEL VIEW OF HOOD’s CAMPAIGN. From the Sentinel. The news from Tennessee through United States papers, is of further retrograde without fight on the part of the Federal General This means, of course, further advance of the army of Gen. HOOD. By previous reports. Gen. FORREST was upon a flank movement. The next day tells the result. THOMAS fell back from Columbia to Franklin, twenty-five miles in twenty-four hours, a rapidity of movement which is a complement to his celerity, and evidence of the fright which hurried him. It was appropriately celebrated in New-York by a rise in gold. Franklin, at or near which point we are to suppose that HOOD had arrived. is only nineteen miles by rail from Nashville. Another flanker by FORREST, will send THOMAS behind the fortifications of the latter city. What may be HOOD’s further movements, we can only conjecture, so can the enemy. It would be a small thing for FORREST to do, to swing around Nashville and cut its Northern connections. HOOD has probably but to place the city in his rear to frighten THOMAS out of it. It would seem very clear that HOOD has already ccomplished enough to restore almost the whole of Tennessee to our side of the military lines. He has but to march upon East Tennessee to regain complete possession there without a blow. Lost by the treachery of the Commander at Cumberland Gap, it may soon be ours again. Isolated, cut off and unsupported, Chattanooga would then become utterly untenable by the enemy. This would restore to us our line of railway through Knoxville and Chattanooga to the Southwest. The campaign would indeed be glorious that should close with such an advantage to our cause; and yet it is a consummation which seems within our grasp. It may be that HOOD iS striving for still more. It may be that Nashville is to be regained, and that the feet of his soldiers will press the soil of Kentucky here halt is called. We cherish large hopes from his enterprise, but trust that what is now in our-grasp will not be too much imperiled in an effort at more. If it shall please Heaven to favor us with the success which it now seems reasonable to expect in Tennessee, it will be an overwhelming rebuke of the braggart SHERMAN, and hundredfold compensation for the pigs he may steal, and the corncribs he may burn, while running the gauntlet in Georgia. We watt with solicitude and yet with cheering anticipations, for further tidings. Gen. Stanley’s Wound — The Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad. LOUISVILLE, Dec. 3. Maj.-Gen. D.S. STANLEY left here by the mail-boat for his home at Yellow Springs, Ohio, this afternoon. His wound is rattier painful but not dangerous, and Col. SCOTT, the Surgeon-General of Kentucky, expresses the opinion that he will be able to reenter the service within fifteen or twenty days. Yesterday the rolling stock of the Chattanooga and Nashville Railroad, consisting of large numbers of trains, was ordered to Louisville. The order was countermanded to-day. The passenger train from Nashville has arrived three hours behind time.

1 thought on “New York Times’ headlines for December 5th, 1864 – coverage of the Battle of Franklin

  1. Peggy Harmon

    I love reading stories about history that was written when it was happening (as opposed to “Monday morning quarter-backing”).


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