EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS OF THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN

 

 

"Brother john is a few steps away, staring out over the breastworks as if in a trance, Far to the south I hear a band . . Looking around at the different boys, I see Willie crying, I am told he received word of the dying of his only daughter by small pox . . The air is hazy and I can see a few rebels being deployed in a line of battle in the far distance." - Private Adam J. Weaver 104th Ohio Infantry, Reilly Brigade

"The Men seemed to realize that our charge on the enemy works would attend with heavy slaughter, and several of them came to me bringing watches, jewelry, letters and photographs, asking me to take charge of them and send them to their families if they were killed I had to decline as I was going with them and would be exposed to the same danger. I was vividly recalled to me the next morning, for I believe every one who made this request of me was killed." - Chaplain James H. M'Neilly Quares' Brigade

" In clear ringing tones came the final commands: 'Shoulder Arms! Right Shoulder Shift! Brigade Forward! Guide Center! Music! Quick Time! March' And this array of hardened veterans . . . moved forward to our last and bloodiest charge. Our brigade band went in with us, starting off with 'The Bonnie Blue Flag' changing to 'Dixie' as we reached the deadly point . . and continued playing until the enemy’s batteries began to rake our line." - Capt. Boyce - 1st Missouri Inf. (CS), Cockrell's Brigade, French's Division

"When Conrads brigade took up its advanced position we all supposed it would be only temporary, but soon an orderly came along the line with instructions for the company commanders, and he told me that the order were to hold the position to the last man, and to have my sergeants fix bayonets and to instruct my company that any man, not wounded, who should attempt to leave the line without orders, would be shot or bayoneted by the sergeants." - Capt John K. Shellenberger 64th Ohio Inf. Conrad's Brigade

"The suspense and nervous strain became greater and greater . . Nearer and nearer the confederates approached with the precision of dress parade and our hearts beat rapidly.” - W.W. Gist 26th Ohio Inf. Lanes Brigade

"The rebel skirmish line came toward us from the hills. Behind them came in splendid order, banners flying, drums beating, the enemy in line of battle as the beautiful an array in active was as I have witnessed. " - Lt. William O. Mohrmann 72nd Illinoise, Strickland Brigade

"As evening came on the neighbors began to come in . . and we went down in the cellar. Grandpa had already put rolls of rope in the windows. . to keep the bullets out. The negroes crouched down in the in the dinning room, and all the children & grand children and neighbors in the hall cellar, and grandpa walked back and forth and watched out the window." "The first sound of the firing and the booming of cannons, we children all sat around our mothers and cried." - Alice M. Nichol age 8 Tod Carters neice

"A cannon ball or shell came screeching over the house from the confederate side. I think I grew short quicker than anything you ever saw. Oh - my ! but I just thought I was hit for sure . . I got down low and wasnt long in following the old folks into the cellar. then the noise began in dead earnest. I hadnt seen anything, but I had heard more than I wanted to." - Mrs Carrie Snyder a nothern vister to Franklin

"With one prolonged and loud cheer Our lines of infantry swept over their first line of works . . they stood their ground until we mounted the top of their works, but as we went over, part of their line of battle broke and fled while the remainder lay down on their faces in the ditch to save themselves and were either killed or captured" - James M. Copley 49th Tennessee Quarles Brigade

"The isolated small brigade to our right . . broke for the rear in disorder. Of course skirmish line followed suit at once.. It was simply a race for safety and the charging rebels followed close at our heels on the run, their leaders shouting 'Right into the works with them boys!" - Lt. William O. Mohrmann 72nd Illinoise, Strickland Brigade

"Gen. Gist ordered the charge in concert with Gen Gordon. In passing from left to the right of the regiment. the general waved his hat to us and rode away in the smoke of battle." - Col. Ellison Capers 24th South Carolina Gist's Brigade

"De last tome I seen Marse States he wuz on foot, nigh er maple tree, still leading his men. His horse 'Joe' had been shot through the neck, en wuz rearing en plunging so he had ter dis mount.. Whens it it got to hot, I went back ter our tent" - "Uncle Wiley" Howard, Gen state Rights Gist Body servant

"Our boys emptied their guns into the fleeing troops and rushed to the works to reform our line. Just then I noticed Gen. Cleburn on a little gray horse that belonged to one of his couriers. His horse was shot from under him.. and with his hat in hand and waving it above his head, scaled the works.. I could not hear what he was saying but knew it ment going forward again we raised the rebel yell and renewed the charge to storm the enemies last line"

"In our front was an obstruction of brush and stakes . . I saw a brake in it and turned to the left to pass through . . Just at that instant a sheet of flame and smoke rose from the breastworks and I was shot, . . the ball entering the outer corner of the right eye passing through the left eyeball and fracturing my cheek . .

"When I regained consciousness I was laying in the ditch . . of running water and could feel the loose dirt fall in on me when the Yankees bullets would strike the top of the ditch . . I became thirsty but had fallen on my canteen but could not get to it.. . I drank the water in the ditch and it was cold and good. . I knew my sight was destroyed. . I placed my hands under my forehead to keep my face from above water .. and fell asleep" - Lt. Mintz 5th Arkansas, Govans Brigade

General Cleburn moved forward on foot waving his cap and I lost sight of him in the smoke and din of battle, and he must have met his death in few seconds afterwards.. all of this occurred near the intersection of the pike and his body was found within 20 yards of where I saw him last waving his cap and urging his men forward - Brigader Gen. Daniel C. Govan

"I went up to the works with Granbury's Brigade and Govan with his staff were on foot. About half way between the first and second lines Gen Granbury was killed. I was within ten feet of him and I remember well the last words he spoke: 'Forward men, Never let let it be said that Texans lagged in the fight' as he spoke . . a ball struck him in the cheek and passed through his brain. Throwing his hands to his face he sank down on his knees and remained in that position until his body was taken off the field after the battle." - Lt. L. H. Mangum, Cleburne's aide-de-camp

"So closeely we and determinedly were we pursued that. . the enemy cam in with at the pike. The 5oth Ohio and our own left compaines fell back out of their works. A battery stationed there was taken. The rebeles . . Reversed the guns to use them on us but could not find the primers." - Lt. William O. Mohrmann 72nd Illinois, Strickland Brigade

"The 50th Ohio on our immediate left was swept away in the first mad rush, the enemy occupying part of their works in the ditch on the inside and also the outside, which afforded them a comparatively safe shelter. . . An enfilading fire on us and some coming from the rear called upon us to surrender.. here from a time we were badly intermingled, man of the men using the bayonet and others the clubbed musket. I recollect seeing a man, with blood streaming down his face from a wound in the head with a pick axe in hand, rushing into a crowd of the enemy and swinging his pick" Capt James A Sexton 72nd Illinois, Strickland Brigade

"Our lines had become broken and the men rushed onward regardless of order, converging toward the pike till they became solid masses all anxious to reach as soon as possible the breastworks where their comrades were engaged in hand to hand fighting. The first men of the front line reached the works, and fought with the foes across them, others reaching the ditch in front scrambled across it and fell down exhausted and out of breath." Lt Rennolds 5th Tennessee Strahls Brigade

"Lieut Frank H. Hale of Company H succeeded in scaling the works and crawled about twenty feet inside the federal lines to the frame house that stood in the yard of the Carter House where he was killed filled with bullets from the guns of his own regiment."

Serg't Lum Walker of Co. H scaled the works and took shelter behind the brick smokehouse where he was wounded. Lieut W. W. Etter of Co. K succeeded in getting upon ther works and jumped down among the federals. they took their hats off to him but did not take him prisoner, when he too reached the smoke house and remained unhurt until the federals retreated and he re joined the regiment. - W.J. Worsham 19th Tennessee Strahls Brigade

"We were posted in reserve near the Carter house behind the center of the line Col Arthur MacArthur and I were taking supper, if you can call hardtack and coffee by such a formal name.. when the confederates of Cheatham's division of Tennesseans suddenly hit and broke through immediately in front of us." - Capt Edwin B. Parsons 24th Wisconsin Opdycks Brigade

"Through the gap and over the works they came.. Gen. Wagnor was on his horse directly in front of the Carter House, and was making superhuman efforts to check his men. . With terrible oaths he called them cowards and shook his broken stick at them,, His horse backing against his will, crowded to the rear by the surging mass of his own soldiers who were pressing against him in great numbers.. While the great mass of men took to the pike after getting over the earthworks, a great many were crowding along in the open ground east of the pike. . Wagner drifted out of sight with his own men toward the town" - Capt Scofield Gen. Cox's staff

"I saw a confederate soldier , close to me thrust one of our men through with a bayonet and before he could draw his weapon from the ghastly wound his brains were scattered on all of us that stood near, by the butt of a musket swung with terrific force by some big fellow whom I could not recognize in the grim dirt and smoke.. As I glanced hurriedly around and heard the dull thuds, I turned from the sicking sight and glad to hid the vision in work with a hatchet for I had broken my sword. - Col Wolf 64th Ohio Conrad's Brigade

"On our right the artillery teamsters stampeded and the gunners took picks, shovels or anything at hand and defended their guns. One of the guns was loaded but in the confusion caused by the stamped was not fired.. the enemy thinking the battery silenced made for the embrasure and a large crowd were rushing the muzzle of that gun. The man with the lanyard held his fire until the first rebel in the rush placed his hands on the muzzle to spring over. . when he let go like a huge thunderbolt that awful roar and flash went blasting through the crowd of men. . arms and legs and mangled trunks were torn and thrown in every direction. - W. A. Keesy 64th Ohio Conrad's Brigade

"We charged up to the works. . we used bayonets, buts of guns, axes, picks, shovels... Capt Barnard of Company K used his little old four barrel pistol and even a hatchet that he always carried with him to assist in putting up his tent." - J.K. Merrifield 88th Illinois Opdycke's Brigade

"I could get no place in the entrenchment, and as did many others, I lay as close to the ground as possible loaded the short Enfield rifle that i had been permitted to carry on account of my size and had passed it to Gen, Strah the fourth or fifth time I think, The man on the embankment had cocked it and was taking aim when he was shot dead and fell on the heap below him." - Sgt Maj Cunningham 41st Tennessee, Strahl Brigade

"Corporal Robert Goff of Co. F took refuge in the Smokehouse. It had one window and that was to the west out of which he had a excellent view of the enemy and was comparatively safe from the direct fire of the enemy. He told me that he counted seventeen distinct charges made by the enemy around this house" - Lt. Thoburn 50th Ohio Strickland's Brigade

"We fought them across the breastworks, both sides lying low and putting their guns under the head logs that were on the earthworks, firing nervously rapidly and at random and not exposing any part of the body except the hand that fired the gun." - Brig. Gen. George W. Gordon

"The slaughtering could be seen down the line as far as the Columbia and Franklin Pike, and where the works crossed the pike . . . Our troops were killed by whole platoons, Our front line of battle seemed to have been cut down by the first discharge for in many places they were lying on their faces in almost as good order as if they had lain down on purpose; but no such order prevailed among the dead who fell in making the attempt to surmount the Cheval-de-frise, for hanging on the long spikes of this obstruction could be seen the mangled and torn remains of many of our soldiers who had been pierced by hundreds of minie balls and grape shot ... The ditch was full of dead men and we had to stand and sit upon them. The bottom of it from side to side was covered with blood to the depth of shoe soles" - James M. Copley 49th Tennessee Quarles' Brigade

"A fair faced, blue eyed beardless youth, about seventeen was severely wounded in the neck. He evidently had not been long in the service for he had a knapsack which could not have seen much usage. None of us knew his name or regiment. When the ball struck him he cried out 'Oh I am wounded!' and his head fell backward against the man in his rear. We tried to do something for him. No Bandage or rag could be had. In a little while gasping the poor boy began to struggle with his arms and legs, but the crowd was so dense there was small room for movement . . . Man after man was either killed or wounded . . Nothing could be done for him or them, and so he was permitted to continue to struggles -his fight for life - until he had nearly worked himself into a recling postion. In the meantime as the carnage grew. . those in the greatest danger began to think of themselves. before death came to the unfortunate comrade, men were sitting and kneeling upon his pristine body . . while life-blood oozed away" - Sgt Maj. Banks Acting Adjutant 29th Alabama Shelly's Brigade

" I was in the charge about sundown .. It seemed to me that the air was all red and blue flames with shells and bullets screeching and howling everywhere over and through us as we rushed across the cotton fields strewn with fallen men... Wounded and dying men lay all about in ghastly piles and when we reached the works at the old gin gatepost only two or three of my comrades were with me.. they were in the ditch but i was tumbled over by a Yankee bullet and was dragged over and laid as prisoner by the old gin house" - Capt. James Synnamon 6th Missouri Cockrell's Brigade

"Poor Capt Steward the last I saw of him he was trying to cut a path through the Osage orange hedge with his sword. He fell with four bullets in him . I soon saw that nearly all of my company was killed or wounded." - Joseph Nicholas Thompson 35th Alabama Scott's Brigade

Gen. Adams was mounted and rode along the line urging his men forward.. He then rode straight toward the colors of the 65th Illinois. We looked to see him fall every minute but luck seemed to be with him. He spurred his horse and made the last heroic effort to carry his line forward and to drive us out of line" Tillman H. Stevens 65th Indiana Casement Brigade

"Our Col Stewart called to our men not to fire on him but it was to late Gen. Adams rode his horse over the ditch to the top of the parapet undertook to grasp the 'Old flag' from the hands of the color Sergeant, when he fell, horse and all shot by the color guard" - James Barr 65th Illinois Casement Brigade

"The horse fell dead upon the top of the embankment and the general was caught under him pierced with bullets... As soon as the charge was repulsed our men sprang upon the works and lifted the horse while other dragged the general from under him. he was perfectly conscious and knew his fate. He asked for water as all dying men do in battle as lifeblood drips from the body. Ore of my men gave him a canteen of water while another brought him a armload of cotton from the an old gin near by and made him a pillow.. The General thanked them and in answer to our expression of sorrow at his sad fate, he said" it is the fate of a soldier to die for his country and expired" - Lt Col. Edward Adams Baker 65th Indiana Casement Brigade.

"I continued until O fell in to the big long ditch outside of the breastworks. I then got up to the works so that the Yankees could not bring their pieces to bear upon me. . I struck hard and fast to my position. The ditch was full of men dead, living and wounded. . If I ever prayed earnestly in my life it was then. It seemed to me that the Federals had concluded to kill every man in the ditch." Capt R.N. Rea, Sears Brigade

"I spent the entire afternoon upon the top of the barn and woodshed, in a tree top* and either high places seeing all that could be seen. At the time the first assault was made the bullets were flying and whizzing around everywhere to such an extent that I concluded I was as liable to be hit as a soldier and I retreated to the cellar.. Harding Figures age 15 *(The tree that he speaks was in the Figures yard not to far from their home.. It just recently fell down after some very strong storms came through. The tree has been estimated to be over 400 yrs old)

When night came down, the groans and frenzied cries of the wounded on both sides of the earthworks were awe inspiring. The ravings of the maimed and mangled . . . were heart rending. Crazed with pain, many knew not what they did or said... - Sgt Maj. Banks Acting Adjutant 29th Alabama Shelly's Brigade

"One of the Drafted men of the company was brought in from the ditch outside mortally wounded. No doubt he had reached the ditch. . to exhausted. . to climb over the breastwork and had lain out among the rebels where he was repeated hit by our own fore. The pain of his wounds had made him crazy for he could not talk but kept crawling about on all fours moaning in Agony"

"I step up into the embrasure a short distance from the cotton gin,, the sight that met my eyes was the most horrible even in the dim starlight."

"The mangled bodies of the dead rebels were piled up as high as the mouth of the embrasure and the gunners said that repeatedly when the lanyard was pulled the embrasure was filled with men crowding forward to get in who were literally blown from the mouth of the cannon, the ditch was piled promiscuously with the dead and badly wounded and heads arms and legs were sticking out in almost every conceivable manner. The ground near the ditch was filled with the moans of the wounded and the pleadings of some of those who saw me for water and for help were heartbreaking." - Capt John K. Shellenberger 64th Ohio Inf. Conrad's Brigade

"Nothing could be heard but the wails of the wounded and the dying, some calling for their friends, some praying to be relieved of their awful suffering and thousands in the deep agonizing throes of death filled the air with mouthful sounds and dying groans" - Capt. Hickey 1st Missouri Cockrells Brigade

" I could hear the wounded calling for help in every direction. I again wanted water and thought I would again drink from the water in the ditch, but this time it tasted of blood and I managed to get my canteen from under me and drank from it." - Lt. Mintz 5th Arkansas, Govans Brigade (who had been blinded)

"The ground upon which i was laid was hard frozen, , the wind was coming from the north and I soon became very cold. . At about this time the army of the enemy came by in full retreat. As they passed me someone cursed and abused me other spoke kindly to me and one soldier said to me 'you will freeze here before morning' he pulled from his shoulders a pair of heavy blankets and placed them over me. I asked him his name 'My name is H.A. Bsarr My home is in Willow springs Nabraska. I dont blame you for fighting for the south . I am for the north because my home and family reside there. Good Bye and God Bles you'"

"Soon along came another soldier and said ' you weill freeze here here if not protected from ythat cold wind' and he began placing boxes of crackers and other army surpplies around me to protect me from the north wind."

"Others passed around , some threatening to bayonet me."

"And soon another came along ... and said 'this will never do you will freeze here' Gathering some kindling would he split some boxes and made a good fire at my feet and passed on.. To theses three men I no doubt owe my life." - Col Stephens 31st Mississippi Featherston's Brigade (a wounded prisoner left by the retreating federals)

At one time two companies of the One hundred and eighty-third Ohio, on our immediate left, broke and left their part of the Works unprotected. A body of the enemy occupied the outside of these works for some time. Here we shot down two color-bearers, and prevented their entering the works, till they were again occupied by two companies of the Eightieth Indiana. As the Eightieth was moving to the left to occupy this position I threw one company on the right center where the enemy's fire at that time was very light over the works, and fired one volley into rebels as they lay upon the outside of our works.

During the engagement we took among other prisoners Lieutenant Lee, aide-de-camp, of General S. D. Lee's staff. - Col. O. L. Spaulding 23rd Michigan Infantry

"The blood actually ran in the ditch,and in places saturated our clothing where we were lying down."- Private Rhea H. Vance 29th Mississippi

"The line was formed in a few minutes. Bates' Division, French's Division, and Cleburne's Division led the way. Our Division was to support Bates. We drove them from one line of works and had charged them in the second line. . . we was ordered charge and we rushed upon them and drove them from their position.

We crossed over into the ditch, we was obliged to lie down in the ditch to protect ourselves, but the ditch was not deep enough to shelter us.

We lay there and fought them about 2 hours when they took advantage of the darkness and withdrew their force in the direction of Nashville. "Private Calvin J. C. Munroe of Company G, 25th Alabama

"The locust grove to our left center consisted of trees about four to twelve inches in diameter. Nearly every one was cut down by bullets from the enemy, and fell with tops from their works. They were a mass of splinters from about two to twelve feet high. " W.L. Truman 1st Missouri Battery

"I was met by a person on horseback inquring for General Sharp. I made my self known when he said,.' .. General Bates Says that of you will let your left rest on the (Widow Bostick's) brick house and swing around as you move forward, you will take the enemys works.' I sent my staff officers, except my aid , Captain Harris to coution the men not to fire."

"We were with in thirty paces of the enemy's Works when the darkness was lighted up as if by an electric display . . . . The enemy was there to greet us. . . . Our brave boys gave a yell, scambled through the locust grove and went into the works."

"I was shot just below the knee and it seemed as if my leg was shivered into splinters. I directed Captain Farris to report to colonel Bishop that I was wounded, and direct him to assume command of the brigade. . . Colonel Biship was killed at the works, and Colonel Simms's leg was broken; Colonel calhoun was . . . wounded; and from that on it seems to have been mananged by the company officers and the ... men that were spared" Brig. Gen. Jacob H. Sharp

"We were ordered to omit the usual 'yell', conceal our approach under cover of the darkness and make a spirited dash for the works. My own path lay through the north edge of the famed 'locust grove'. Our progress was retarded by the brush which had been cut down. We clambered over pulled through , or crawled under on our hands and knees... We reached the works just a little left of the carter Brick dwelling.

Our first clash was fierce struggle across the works, at the very muzzles of our guns. . . Thw enemy in our Immediate front were forced back, and the flag of the 41st. Mississippi regiment was borne across the works to the persuit some distance to the front, a squad of us aligning ourselves with the colors. . . The rally for a advamce was not genearal, and we returned under cover of the embankment. The enemy again returned to contest for the works. . . There was a brief but fierce clash again, another shout for the advance. Captain Spooner . . . mounted the works and walked to and fro waving his sword and encourageing his men. his symmetic form could be seen through the darkness by the light from the perpetual flash of our guns."

Some one assisted me ... to bring a cartouch of ammunition , left by the enemy, across to our side. This gave us a abundant supply of ammunition , and we settled down to a steady fusillade to our front and left. .. to our left. .. the other side of the ditch was filled bluecoats just a few rods from us. . . We could shelter under the works and pour an enfilade fire down their line. This was too much for them and one desperate effort after another was made by them to force their way up to the ditch to our immediate front. as we poured our deadly fire down their line, we could distinctly hear the death groan and agonizing cries of the wounded.... The Contest was thus continued for hours - it seemed an age, and we began to feel ourselfs in great straits. We had been long with out orders, not the voice of a commanding officer could be heard. We were hard pressed. What should we do? At this time , in an interval between the onslaughts, Capt. John Reed called a few heads togerther to deside whether we should hold out , retreat, or surrender.. The decision was to fight till the end."

"After this it became apparent that the enemy was not so aggressive. The Fireing slackened. There were intervals of dead silence to be broken again by the crack of the rifles.. A death - like silence was pervadind the hush of night. . . when a clear voice from one of our watchmem rang out: 'Look at that yankee right there!' Pop! pop! pop! rang out a number of the rifles. With the stealth of a indian he had designed to creep apon us and give us a farewell shot, and was discovered within a few yards of our lines. His life paid the forfeit of his folly." - George W. Leavell of the 41st. Mississippi in Sharps Brigade

"Oh the groaning and praying and pleading I never before heard and God knows I do not want to do again" Private in the 23rd michigan

"I was suffering great pain from were i was shot through the right leg , I was also hungry and cold, haveing had nothing to eat since early morning. That meal was only a peice of cornbread cooked in the ashes of our camp fire. I had but one thin blanket. I lay on part of it and drew the other part over me. the ground beneath was frozen. Capt. William C. Thompson 6th Mississippi"

Just before starting on our midnight march north acroiss the river. . I visited with a group of prisioners and guards that halted along the roadside. The big hearted guards were sharing liberally from their haversacks with the prisoners. It wadan impressive incident to witness with such comradship and to listen to their jokes.

All of the psioners were ragged and dirty mostly in butternut homespun and nearly all wore black or gray slouch hats, several marked with bullet holes. Some of the olderones were silent and thoughtful, but the younger men were cheerful and apparently enjoying their captive life.

It was plainly noticiable in the faces of nearly all of them tthat they had lost heart in their cause, but there were exceptions for some were still defiant and full of fight as shown by their bold and dogged expressions" Capt Scofield Gen. Cox's staff

"in the Cellar hudled close to the western wall. My brother , just older than mysaelf a negro man and my dog fannie were my companiones. I felt perfectly safe for a while. Somthing I heard made me laugh and the negro man said 'Marse Harding dont you know thar we all be killed if you laugh?' My dog crouched at my feet and whined"

A dud bomshell struck the main sill of the house just ovber our heads.. I said to my brother we are in range of that cannon and i am goining out of here.

He replied you will be killed in a minute if you go out.

I said I rather die upstairs that down here .. When I got upstairs the house was full of confederate wounded. I made up fires, found pillows made them all as comfortable as possible as making pallets on the floor and dressing their wounds as best I could. I was the only member of the family in the house my mother and the children had sought safty by going to neighbors house down the street.

As soon as the firing ceased, which was about 2wo o'clock inthe morning. . My mother came home and at once took charge of the situation. In a little while all the wounded soldiers were calling her 'Little Mother' " Harding Figures age 15

I saw men on the march drop by the roadside, so exhausted that nothing short of a job from the rear guard bayonet would induce them to continue their way. The Bayonet thrust was usually accompanied by the cry. 'Get up or the Johnnies will get ya! Rebel prisons had a reputation that was a stench to the land and everyone was anxious to keep out of them. A.J. Jones 24th wisconsin

"Some time during the later part of the night of the 30th, we started (to Nashville) on quick . . . Surrounded by a guard... Gen Hood's Cannons gfrequently hurried us on the road from quick time to a swift run; in fact we were almost constantly under the necessity of running very fast to keep beyonf their range." John M. Copley 49th Tennessee Quarles Brigade

Mrs McGavocks House was in the rear of our line. This was taken as a hospital and the wounded , in hundreds, were brought to it during the battle, andd all the night after. Ever room was filled, every bed had two poor, bleeding fellows, every spare space, nich, and corner under the stairs, in the hall, everywhere but one room for her own family.

And when the nobel old house was could hold no more, the yard was appropriated until the wounded and the dead filled that, and all that were not priovided for.

Our Doctours were deficient in bandages, and she began by giving her old linen, then her towels, amd napkins, then her sheets and table clothes, then her husband's shirts and her own undergarments.

"During all this time the surgeons plied their deadful work amid the sighs and moans and death rattle. Yet asmid it all, this nobel woman. . . was very active and constantly at work. During all the night neither she nor any of the household slept, but dispensed tea and coffeeand such stimulants as she had and that two with her own hands.. she walked from room to room from man to man her very skirts staind with blood." Capt. William D. Gale - Lt. Gen Alexander P. Stewart's staff

Col. W. S. Nelson of the 12th Lousiana , Lay dying torn to pieces by a discharge of grape and canister at close range.. Both legs were crashed by a cannon ball and his bowels torn by iron grape. Poor fellow! such agony f0r several hours few men ever endured, His eyes, through exhaustion caused by pain, sank deep back into his head....

'Give me forty grains of morphine' he called out all through the night. 'Give me forty grains of morphine and let me die!' 'Oh Can't' I Die?' ' My Poor Wife and Child!'' My Poor Wife and Child!'

"OMG ! Can you get the surgeons to administer some drug that will relieve me of this torture"

I did try through my appeals were in vain. " Cold presperation gathered in knots on his brow and of course (he ) knew that death was inevitable. . . "I went down the steps and far beneath the silence of the stars to escape his piteous prayers. C. E. Merrill Adjutant General , Brig. Gem Scott's Staff

"As our Company. . . was passing through the town of Franklin, a woman came running from a house into the street at the rear of the company, screaming at the top of her voice. . . 'The yanks are retreating' over and over 'The yanks are retreating'. At once amidst her wild screening one of my company. . . stepped quckly to her and with muzzle of his of his gun within two or three feet of her body, shot her through the heart, returning instantly to his place in the ranks." - Capt. James S. Pressnall 63rd Indiana

"I fell off the horse i was riding and rolled twenty feet down an embankment. I crawed back up the bank and got on the horse again`and I didnt fall off again. It isnt any wonder that i went to sleep. I had lain down for two hours in three days and nights." - John Lord 72nd Illinos


- War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for December 3, 1864 -

November 30, 1864 -

A McMinnville Confederate Woman's Impressions of the Battle of Franklin

. . . Wednesday [30th] was a golden day. . . I was out in the yard the greater portion of the day-and set out some hyacinths and tulips. While at our pleasant work on this pleasant day-I would pause every now and then to listen to a dull shudder in the air, which we so well knew to be distant cannon. It reminded me so forcibly of the day when the battle of Stone's River was fought-Tho' that was just one month later, and the day tho' bright was not so warm. There was a fresher breeze on that day too and the cannonading sounded much louder. Towards evening on Wednesday the guns seemed to redouble their efforts, but the sound was different. Instead of being a shudder in the air, the reports came like a thick-falling thud-Mollie had come home that day and we listed to the guns with hearts filled with varied emotions. Hope and fear, joy and sadness swayed us by turns. Towards nightfall all was quiet.


Taken from a letter to a Ohio newspaper from a member of the 111th OVI

Camp 111th Regiment O.V. I.
Franklin Tennessee Dec. 19th 1864

My first report of the casualties at this place, in the fight on the 3oth of November are incorrect. I stated our loss at 12 killed. I regret to state that our loss is heaver and is at 20.

As soon as we arrived at this point a detail was made from the regiment to disinter and bury our dead in a decent manner. Nearly all have been identified, and by tomrrow morning they will all be placed in seperate graves, with head boards marked with name and company.

The rebels buried their own dead were they hell. There are between ninety and a hundred rebel dead in front of the ground occupied by the 111th OVI. The following is nearly correct. The 5th Missouri 31 graves; the 41st Mississippi 20 graves; the 6th Tennessee 21 graves; the 16th Tennessee 19 graves, the 22nd Alabama 7 graves some of which are inside our works.

The causualties of the 111th OVI in the fighting at Nashville are light. .. The rebels were badly whipped at Nashville. It ios asserted by rebel officers that the flower of their army was up at Franklin. The 111th had 1 killed and 9 wounded at Nashville.


The last soldier to die from wounding at Franklin was Rebel Heinrich Harmier of Robertson's Battery. He was struck in the left eye by a minie ball, or a fragment, that lodged in his skull. Except for the loss of sight in that eye, Harmier did not have apparent long term physical or mental impairment. But the wound never completely healed. Recurring flare-ups of infection and excruciating headaches forced Harmier to repeatedly seek medical and finally, surgical relief. On Valantines Day, February 14, 1912, the old soldier died of his wound. At long last, Heinrich Harmier was released from the torment that began over 47 years earlier at The Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

 


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