Patrick Cleburne is killed at Franklin; YouTube video

General Patrick R. Cleburne

Wiley Sword (from pages 223-224):

“About forty yards from Reilly’s works, and nearly in front of the salient at the cotton gin, an ounce of lead, little more than a half inch in diameter and traveling about 1,000 feet per second, found its mark. It was the work of but an instant; a great chasm in Southern history frozen in microseconds. In one shocking moment Pat Cleburne collapsed to the ground, carrying with him perhaps the best hopes of a dying Confederacy’s western army. A lone minie ball had struck just below and to the left of his heart, shredding veins and arteries like tissue paper as it ripped through his body. In a few moments he breathed his last. Pat Cleburne lay dead, his battle saber still grasped firmly in his hand, and his lifeblood soaking the white linen shirt and gray uniform vest with a slowly expanding blotch of crimson. After all the glory and the anguish, it had come to this. Perhaps the South’s most brilliant major general, the “Stonewall Jackson of the West,” his ideas scorned by his president and his competence punished by his commanding general, had been required to lead a suicidal frontal attack like some captain of infantry. Was it God’s decreed fate, or simply man’s stupidity?”

Watch a video of historian Eric Jacobson describing the action around the Cotton gin during the Battle of Franklin.

The following newspaper account was printed in the New York Times, December 3rd, 1864 issue.

The pistol in this picture is Cleburne’s actual Colt revolver, now on display in the Layland Museum in Cleburne, Texas. Courtesy, the the Layland Museum.

Want more?

  1. Read the article “From mystery to history: the story of Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne’s once-lost pistol”.
  2. Read other article/posts on this web site about Cleburne.
  3. Browse over the Franklin battlefield Google map, accessible at where you will find the only web-based interactive map of the Battle of Franklin; including troops positions, authentic accounts and pictures – all in the Google map interface.  Easy to use.

December 5, 1864 . . . . bold affair at Franklin

Kingston NC
December 5 1864

My Dear Lizzie,

[In part…..]

I receive a letter last week from Joab dated 25th November; he was well and in comfortable winter quarters. He still desires a transfer to our Co. and I have today fixt up some transfer papers and sent them up to him. He will forward them up through the proper channel, but I have but little hope they will be approved. I don’t know indeed whether Joab will want to come here when he finds that Will intends leaving the Regt. Will says he going to tender his resignation l… as he is returned to duty and I think it highly probable that I will have to ask to be retired or resigned one of the two. I am pronounced unable for active service in the field by our Surgeons and I suppose I will have no difficulty in getting out, but I will try it a while longer, and I do not improve I will seek and easier birth.

We will try to get Joab here however and in case Will and I both leave we will try to get him out too, if he desires it. Will is having a good time. Nothing to do and no responsibility. He is engaged today in making a pot of soap and a barrel of … I can’t tell hoe he will su… but I guess Very Well. Dr Lyle came down Saturday last and stayed with us until this morning when he returned to Raleigh. The Boys were glad to see hem and I think much pleasured with his visit. He told us of the affair at Franklin before I received your letter. I was a bold affair that those fellows ought to have been killed, guess they will re… and try it again. I fear trouble has just Commenced in that locality. I look for more trouble in …, has yet been…Sherman’s grand march thorough Georgia will develop more disloyalty in the mountain district than exists before.

But I hope to the present gloom will soon be dispelled by Sherman’s defeat. We have nothing reliable from Sherman. Can’t tell what they are doing in Georgia but my opinion is Sherman will plant himself in Savannah before Christmas and in that even what will be the result is a question of time. I will not venture any prediction as to what will be the end of our troubles.

My kindest regards to all,

God Bless you,



Written by JB Cunningham (from Macon NC) a commissioned officer with the 6th & 7th (65th regiment) North Carolina Calvary.

Joab Moore (from Macon NC) a Srgt with the North Carolina 16th infantry

Source: eBay, June 2007

41st Georgia soldiers mentions Hood in Atlanta (Sept 1864)

Camp 41st Geo. Regiment

Near Jonesborough

September 10, 1864

Robert O. Douglass of Troup County, Georgia writes about the fall of Atlanta. Reading this letter, one cannot help but conjure up images in Gone With the Wind of Atlanta burning.

Note: At the time of this letter the 41st GA was with Barton’s/Gardner’s brigade, Stevenson’s division, Army of Tennessee
Douglass writes to his sister, in part:

“…I hope though that Old Sherman will allow us to rest for a little while so that we can recuperate our health. I supposed you have heard of Genl Sherman driving all the citizens away from Atlanta. It’s the most brutal and inhumane act I ever heard of. General Hood sends 500 wagons for them Monday… What do you all think of the fall of Atlanta? Are you whipped? I hope not. When you hear of the last Confederate soldier laying in his grave, then you may say that the South is conquered, but not until then. We will continue to fight them as long as we live… Our cause is a just one. God is a just God, therefore, we must win…”

Source: eBay June 2007

Residence Troup County GA; Enlisted on 3/4/1862 as a 3rd Sergt.

On 3/4/1862 he mustered into “E” Co. GA 41st Infantry
He was Surrendered on 4/26/1865 at Greensboro, NC

* 1st Lieut
* Sergt Major 4/8/1862 (Adjutant)

Order of the Battle of Franklin (11/30/64), Confederate Army of Tennessee, General John Bell Hood, commanding

Confederate Order of Battle, Franklin, TN (November 30, 1864)

Army of Tennessee, General John Bell Hood, commanding


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.
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

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
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


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


Morton’s Tennesse Battery, Slocumb’s Louisiana Battery

33rd MS., surgeon writes about Franklin aftermath

Surgeon W.B. Wall (C.S.A.)
Army Tenn.,

Dec. 13, 1864

My Dear Wife,

I hope you have recvd. some of the letters I have written lately as in them I gave you all the news from your relatives. They were well. No letter from you yet of later date than Oct. 21st. The time seems very long to me. It snowed here about a week ago. It is still upon the ground. The weather has been quite cold the thermometer standing from 12 to 15 degrees below zero. You would probably like to know how I am situated. Well, Dr. Phillips & myself took possession of a negro cabin that was nearly filled with corn. This we had thrown in the loft to the back of the cabin leaving us about half the room. It is well pointed & has an excellent fire place. We have some boxes & broken chairs to sit on so you see we are doing finely. At night we put down hay & spread our blankets on that for sleeping. We get plenty fat beef to eat & have but little to do except make ourselves comfortable. I have had only one man to report to me sick this month & there wasn’t much the matter with him. I don’t know how the men out on the lines stand the cold as they do. They have no extra amount of clothing, but few blankets & scarce of wood they suffer with cold, but endure it without much complaint. The wind is blowing fiercely today. We are in camp four miles from Nashville. You will have probably killed hogs before you get this. Let me know how much you made. Will you have corn enough or have you bought more? Like all of us I know you are anxious to learn what the army is doing & what it will do next. Well all I can tell you is we have dug trenches & are lying in them hoping the enemy will attack us. I have no thought we will attack them at Nashville and as to what we will do next I can give you no intimation for I have not the least knowledge of Gen. Hood’s intentions. Now, when will the war end? This is a hard question & one I am entirely unable to answer. I have no thought it will ever end in our subjugation. It makes me sad to think of being separated from you so much & so long, but I hope before a great while to be where you can at least visit me occasionally. Don’t allow yourself to become despondent but try to keep cheerful looking forward to a better day. Tell Laura and Mannie not to forget Papa. Hug & kiss them for me. Much love to Mrs. Oliver. I feel under deep & lasting obligations to her for her kindness to you & the children. Tell all the servants howdy & tell them to take care of the stock & not let it stray off or starve. I hope next year if the war continues to be where I can come home more frequently. I don’t wish to quit the service if I can remain in it & give home the necessary attention. I wrote you that Frank Robinson [probably was C. Franklin Robertson] was killed on the [Nov.] 30th at Franklin & Lt. Brown had his arm broken.

Your devoted Husband,

W.B. Wall

William B.[Burgeess] Hall enlisted as a surgeon in the 33rd Miss. Infantry, Company I.

According to Wikipedia:

Thomas planned to strike both of Hood’s flanks, with a minor attack on the Confederate right and the major effort on the left. Before daylight on December 15, the division led by Maj. Gen. James Steedman hit the Confederate right and held down one corps there for the rest of the day. The attack on the left, under Schofield, leading two corps and a division, began after noon with a charge up Montgomery Hill and it had a devastating effect on the entire Confederate line. Hood’s army was battered, but not routed. Fighting stopped at dark and Hood reformed his men for the second day of battle. He established a main line of resistance along the base of a ridge about two miles south of the former location, throwing up new works and fortifying hills on their flanks. Union troops marched out close to the Confederate’s new line and began constructing fieldworks on the morning of December 16. Once again Thomas planned to attack on both flanks, but the initial attack on the strongly fortified Confederate right was unsuccessful. It was followed by the stronger left flank attack under Schofield, Smith, and Wilson, which succeeded. Their success inspired Thomas J. Wood and James B. Steedman to resume their attack on the right flank, which overran the Confederates. Hood’s army collapsed and fled in a heavy rain in the direction of Franklin.

The 33rd Mississippi lost its flag in the Battle of Franklin.

Collection of the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History, Jackson, MS.

The 33rd Miss., Company B, were known as the Amite County Guards.

The following 33rd men were killed at Franklin. It is likely that Surgeon Wall attended their wounds and/or their deaths: 1st Lt. John Powell, (Acting Major when killed Franklin, Co.B.), Alex Stewart (Co.,B.). For a complete list of the 33rd’s casualties see this site.

Dr. George C. Phillips, Surgeon for the 22nd Mississippi, watching the Battle with Surgeon W.B. Hall on top of a hill wrote, “This was the first and only time I ever heard our bands playing upon a battlefield and at the beginning of a charge…When within three hundred yards of their breastworks a cannon boomed from their fort (Granger) across the little river north of the town. This seemed to be the signal waited for. A sheet of flame and smoke burst from the entire crescent of the enemy’s breastworks, answered by the Rebel yell and musketry fire from our men. In a moment the whole valley was so filled with smoke that nothing could be seen but the flashes of cannon and musketry.”