Eric Jacobson describes A.P. Stewart’s Confederate Corps made up of the Divisions of Loring, Walthall and French, coming across the Eastern flank, across the McGavock farm, as the battle unfolded [Watch now, 1:42]
Read about the dedication of the marker to Loring’s Division on the Eastern flank in June 2008.
The Federal army, under Schofield, had the huge advantage of Ft. Granger, which sat just south of the Harpeth River, and east of Columbia Pike.
The picture below (click on to enlarge) shows the view from Granger. From the yellow pin designating Ft. Granger one can see Carnton at 12 o’clock (about a mile away), the Carter House at 2 o’clock (about a half mile away), and Winstead Hill at 1 o’clock (about 2 1/2 miles away.
Granger had several large guns in position during the Battle of Franklin. Loring’s and Wathall’s Divisions came from the southwest, crossing Carnton plantation. These Granger guns decimated these divisions from nearly a mile away.
The next map (click to enlarge) shows the Confederate Army of Tennessee as it approached the Federal lines at Franklin. Notice how the Federal position leveraged several geographic features. (1) Using the Harpeth River and the Nashville-Decatur Railroad as a natural barrier for their far left flank. (2) Position of Ft. Granger to protect that left flank. (3) The osage orange abatis also protected the far left flank, making it nearly impossible to penetrate.
Here’s a schematic of the design and layout of Fort Granger.
Following today’s memorial service for the nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers buried at McGavock Cemetery in Franklin, many people walked over near the Carnton gift shop to hear Carnton historian – Eric Jacobson – lead a brief ceremony to unveil the new historical marker placed on the ground where thousands of Loring’s men – mostly Mississippians walked across on the early evening of November 30, 1864 to face the near impenetrable Union left flank.
Jacobson, author of For Cause and for Country, detailed the tragic events of that Indian summer day in Franklin (November 30, 1864) and how Loring’s men would suffer nearly 30% casualties that day.
There are more Mississippi Confederate soldiers buried at McGavock than soldiers from any other Southern state. The only Confederate state that did not participate at the Battle of Franklin was the state of Virginia.
Hundreds of the Mississippi boys faced torid fire from Hoosier boys of the 120th, 63rd and 128th Indiana regiments (Stiles’s brigade) on 30 November 1864.
The marker cost about $800 to erect. It is a fitting tribute to the sacrifice and memory of thousands of Confederate soldiers who fought under Gen. Loring that fateful day in Middle Tennessee.
The final man bearing the flag of the 15th Mississippi was shot as he reached the top of the Yankee parapet and then pulled inside. Both he and the flag were captured. Lt. Thaddeus O. Donoghue of the 14th Mississippi was killed near the guns of the 6th Ohio Battery. Col. Michael Farrell of the 15th Mississippi was horribly wounded in both legs and lost his left to amputation. Farrell, a popular officer, did not have a single living relative nor did he have any money or own any property before enlisting. Those who knew him admired him and said he fought for ‘principle and constitutional liberty.’ Col. Farrell’s injuries eventually led to his death on Christmas Day.
For Cause and for Country, Jacobson, p. 362.
The 6th Mississippi Regimental flag, Company D, also known as Lowry’s Rifles. The 6th was in Adams’s Brigade, Loring’s Division. The 6th saw action to the right of Cleburne’s Division, assaulting the Federal line facing fire from Casement’s and Reilly’s Brigades.
There are three known-identified 6th MS boys buried at McGavock. It’s very likely there are numerous more unknown buried at McGavock as their known dead is a very low amount for Mississippi regiments, and considering the 6th MS saw action to the Union left of the Cotton Gin.
Picture Credit” Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy (p. 259).
“The casualties of the corps,” reported Lieut.-Gen. Stewart, “were something over 2,000 in killed, wounded and missing. Among them were many of our best officers and bravest men. Brig.-Gen. John Adams was killed, his horse being found lying across the inner line of the enemy’s works.” The casualties of Adams’ Brigade were the heaviest of the division — 10 officers and 34 men killed; 39 officers and 232 men wounded, 23 missing. Col. Robert Lowry took command of the brigade, which, on December 9, reported an aggregate present 1,769, effective 1,047, prisoners of war 50.
Dunbar Rowland’s “Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898
The 14th MS fought with Adams’s Brigade, Loring’s Division. The 14th faced heavy casualties near the Cotton Gin. As the 14th MS assaulted the Union line at the Gin, the colors displayed a picture of Lady Liberty holding a picture of Jefferson Davis.
The 14th also fought with: 6th, 15th, 20th, 23dand 43d Mississippi regiments. Many boys from the 14th MS are buried at McGavock. One wonder show many young men and boys saw this flag emblem in the final moments of their lives as the died on the Franklin battlefield.
There are at least ten young men from the 14th MS buried at McGavock Cemetery.
There’s a fascinating story behind this particular emblem/patch see below. Color Bearer Andrew S. Payne of the 14th Mississippi cut this emblem away from the rest of the flag when the 14th surrendered at Ft. Donelson and sewed the patch into the interior lining of his coat to keep it from falling into Federal hands. When Payne and his fellow comrades were paroled in October 1862 he returned the shield to his regiment.
Picture credit: An Illustrated History of the Civil War, (p. 136).