Fort Granger is a large, mostly intact earthenworks Civil War fort just north of downtown Franklin, above Pinkerton Park. It sits on roughly twelve acres. Fort Granger was constructed by Federal soldiers, and some contraband labor, in the late winter and early spring of 1863. It took about ten weeks to complete.
I recently created a Google Map version of Fort Granger. It is loaded with all kinds of information to help you learn more about the fort, including access to original soldier’s letters and accounts.
To learn more about Fort Granger via an interactive Google Map, visit this site.
Earl Van Dorn tested the fort as it was being constructed in April 1863 and Nathan Bedford Forest attempted to take the fort in June 1864. Two Confederate spies were hung outside the fort in June 1863 too.
I have been leading tours of Fort Granger for ten years. If you would like to walk around the fort facility and learn who built it, why it was built, how it was built, how it was used, then contact me for a tour. Fort Granger tours (typically 75 minutes) are $35 per person, group rates available.
The 84th Indiana was in Grouse’s Brigade, Kimball’s Division at Franklin. I acquired this Strength Report of the 84th Indiana for March 1864 not too long ago.
The goldmine is in the bottom third of the document. The writer details copies notes about numerous 84th men and what their status is.
For example, Cpl William Pittengen is a deserter; he lists men in the hospitals in Nashville, mentions name after name of soldiers (e.g., Rufus Taylor, David Mohler, Francis Wincett, Col Champion, Benton Skinner, Capt John C Taylor, 1st Lt Mcclure who is detached to Fort Granger by order of Gen Gordon Granger. Many more soldier’s names are listed.
The 84th helped construct Fort Granger in Franklin from March-May 1863. The 84th mustered in at Richmond, Indiana.
It was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 4th Army Corps about Feb 1864.
The detail in the document is relevant in getting a better handle on the strength of the 84th Indiana following their action Chickamauga and Chattanooga in late 1863, then at Buzzard’s Roost, GA in late February 1864.
It is for sale
This map of the battlefield (on an interpretative marker on the Eastern Flank) is very helpful for one to orient oneself to the Battle of Franklin. There is so much to appreciate from studying this map. Here are a list of questions any good student of the Battle of Franklin would know, or at least want to know. The map below can answer each question.
- How far east-west was the Confederate Army spread out while positioned at Winstead Hill?
- Once the CSA Army got to the main Union earthworks, centered at the Cotton Gin, how far east-west was the army spread out then? Why is this important?
- What are the three main arteries the CSA Army traversed to get to ground zero (i.e., the Carter grounds)?
- What were the primary obstacles (i.e., man-made and natural) that the Union Army used to defend itself?
- What were the ‘high spots’ (natural and man-made) that both sides attempted to leverage?
- How far was Fort Granger and her guns from the McGavock farm? From the CSA Army as it approached the Union defensive main line?
- How does the landscape and important items noted impact the chances of a successful cavalry flanking maneuver by Forrest?
- How and why was the Harpeth River an important advantage to the Union Army?
Both images from interpretative markers on the Eastern Flank
INCIDENT AT FORT GRANGER a play about a true event that happened at Franklin’s Fort Granger in June of 1863, will be performed in the Pull-Tight Theatre on Sunday afternoon, June 24, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for this one-time-only performance are $15.00. The production is a fundraiser, proceeds to be used for this summer’s theatre renovation. Order tickets.
Jim Anderson and Vince Cusomato
The 104th Ohio Infantry was placed right beside the Carter cotton gin at the Battle of Franklin. The men in that area of the field saw some of the most horrific and intense fighting during the battle. One Union soldier in the 104th Ohio, who survived the battle, wrote a vivid detail of the action from his point of view.
“These rebel boys were ordered to advance and were led upon a death as certain and sure to be met with, as there was a God in Heaven. Right into the fury of a foe mostly concealed from their view and worthy of their valor,” Adam Weaver wrote.
“The shells from our rifled cannons located north of town, tore dreadful gaps, in the ranks of the rebels, with only the visible effects of causing them to close up the openings and press ever forward.”
The “shells from our cannons located north of town” were no doubt coming from the guns of Fort Granger on Figuer’s Bluff, just north of the Harpeth River.
Source for Weaver quote