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.
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
I recently found this excellent map of the Battle of Franklin. It was auctioned off by Case Antiques in 2012. It is identified as: titled “The Battlefield in front of Franklin Tennessee, where the U.S. forces consisting of the 4th and 23d corps and the Cav. corps uner the command of MAJOR GENERAL J.M. SCHOFIELD severely repulsed the Rebel Army commanded by LT. GEN. HOOD November 30, 1864, compiled under the direction of Col. W.E. Merrill, Chief Engineer, from surveys made by Major James R. Willett.” – See more at: http://caseantiques.com/item/lot-72-folding-map-battle-of-franklin/#sthash.9CYOgdF6.dpuf
It went for $1,856.00
This Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 CST Battle of Franklin preservationists and enthusiasts will gather at the site of the Carter cotton gin site behind the Domino’s to celebrate the official purchase of the Domino’s and strip mall property where the epicenter of the Battle of Franklin was fought.
I’ve blogged on this many times.
Speakers at the ceremony include Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer, Tennessee Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, Caroll Van West co-chairman of the Tennessee Sesquicentennial Commission, Franklin’s Charge member Julian Bibb and Battle of Franklin Trust Historian Eric Jacobson.
This Google map below shows the strip mall area in relation to the original troop placements.
Fort Granger has three bastions. The map shows the location of each one.
By definition a bastion is:
a projecting work in a fortification designed to permit fire to the flanks along the face of the wall.
When entering the fort from the parking lot one walks right up to the middle bastion. You will be standing facing the MIddle bastion, looking south.
Armament (i.e., artillery) was placed in the cul de sac of each bastion. There were 30 pounders in Granger.
Each bastion sits roughly 15 feet from the ditch on the outside.
This Google map shows the relative position of Fort Granger in the larger scope of the battlefield (Franklin). Notice the Harpeth River running in front of the fort and the railroad to the west side (running north/south).
The Eastern flank portion of the Franklin battlefield was in the direct spray of artillery from Granger. Thus, Loring’s Division, and more specifically, Featherston’s Brigade, took the worst of the Federal onslaught of artillery from Granger.
Here is a video showing the middle bastion just as you enter the fort.
To order my book on Fort Granger, or to learn more click on http://www.FortGranger.US