Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30 - Tennessee Civil War Notes

30, "Attention, Militia." Opinion concerning the military draft.

It seems that a great deal of dissatisfaction is prevailing among the different classes of people of the State concerning the drafting of one part of the Militia into active service. Judging from all that I can see and hear, I thin there is a great injustice in regard to the non-drafting of those working for the State. I am confidently informed from some militia men who are working for the State, and who earn from twelve to thirty dollars per week, that they would rather for eleven dollars per month, with rations (soldier's pay,) than to lay out in camp during the wet and frosty, winter months.

To put the whole population on an equal footing, there ought to be no exception. Let them be all drafted alike and give those who work for the State if drafted, the choice either to go to the filed, or work for soldier's pay at home for the Government, and only excuse such men who cannot be spared or replaced by others in the different branches of Government work.

Another injustice is done by a great many doctors in this city, by giving certificates to a great many individuals certifying their unfitness for active service. Such certificates, some of which were bought with money, should not be accepted, and those men unfit for service if drafted, should be compelled to wait on the sick soldiers, if they are any way fit for that service, for the same pay as soldiers in active service.

If the State would follow this plan, a great deal of treasure would be saved by it, and justice done to all classes.


Nashville Daily Gazette, November 30, 1861



30, "Why Must Tennessee be Disgraced?" Anti-draft sentiment in Confederate Nashville

Had the people of Tennessee exhibited a reprehensible backwardness in furnishing men and money to the prosecution of the war, the fact might now be cited as a paliation [sic] for the present threatened attempt to draft those of her citizens who have not yet enlisted. If, seeing the imminent danger of the invasion of her own and the soil of her sister Southern States, by strong armies of the bloody and beastly Northmen, Tennessee had failed to stretch out her strong arms, in the face of the defiant foe -- had, in any respect, failed in the war preparations required by the trying emergencies of the times -- had, in any degree, exhibited the want of patriotism and liberality necessary to the assumption of her full share of the common burthen, her proud-spirited citizens could not today with so much good cause, cry out against the infamous outrage threatened to be visited upon her by her Chief Magistrate -- he who, of all men, should most vigilantly guard against the coming of harm to her sacred honor. The Executive of no other Southern State has yet found it necessary to say to his people that he would resort to forcible means to get them into the military service of the Southern Confederacy, or that he even thought such a necessity would arise in the future. No page of history of either of the Southern States, either in their relation to the old or new government, is blackened with the disgraceful chronicle, telling posterity that, in a time of war, its citizens were dragged, and thus dragged, forced, nolens volens, into military service.

In no Southern State did such dire necessity ever occur -- in no Southern State will a resort so disgraceful and humiliating to freemen ever be necessary. It is no more necessary to-day in Tennessee than it is in South Carolina or Georgia, and no more necessary in either of those two States than it is in our good county of Humphreys, which has sent, strange as it may see, almost twice her voting population into the field. Facts and figures can make the truth of this assertion apparent to every inquiring, reasonable mind; and to none is its truth more evident than to the authorities, civil and military, of the State. Why, then, should Tennessee be disgraced with a draft upon those of her citizens, who, for good and sufficient reason, are not at present disposed to volunteer for a term lasting through a series of years -- but are, nevertheless, perfectly willing to offer their services for a shorter term. 

There is reason in all things, even in panics and revolutions, but there is not reason in all men, not even in all men who wear Gubernatorial robes and military feathers. In this matter, so directly and immediately threatening the reputation of the brave and chivalrous people of Tennessee, there is either a miserable trick and conspiracy upon the part of certain parties to make the disgrace of the State complete, or an inexcusable incompetency upon the part of those most immediately charged with the keeping of the State's fair fame. If life and liberty be spared us we shall ascertain and show to which of the two caused this threatened disgrace is attributable, The truism "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," is sometimes quite as applicable to tyranny at home as to despotism from abroad

Nashville Daily Gazette, November 30, 1861



30, Battle of Franklin


General U.S. Grant was promoted to Supreme Commander of the Federal Army after the Union victory in the Battle of Chattanooga. He was transferred to Virginia to initiate an offensive against the Army of Northern Virginia. In the West Federal General W.T. Sherman moved toward Atlanta where General John Bell Hood had replaced General Joseph Johnston in command of the Army of Tennessee and in charge of the defense of Atlanta. After four disastrous attacks which brought about consequential Confederate losses, General Hood was compelled to forsake Atlanta and fall back into Alabama. Hood concocted an industrious strategy to both cut off Sherman's supply lines in Tennessee and through a war of attrition, starve the Federal troops in the Volunteer State into submission. Hood's plan called for the seizure of Nashville, a vital rail and supply center for the Union, where he could resupply his troops. Then, refreshed and rested, Hood planned then to move northward to attack Louisville and Cincinnati, after which he would join General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia for an expected Confederate comprehensive offensive on Washington, D.C. Jefferson Davis, however, heedless of the need for secrecy, openly discussed Hood's plans. General Sherman became aware of Hood's strategy when Davis's remarks appeared in the northern press. Sherman briefly pursued Hood, but concluded that the Federal cause would be better served by sending Major-General John M. Schofield to oppose Hood in Tennessee. Sherman was free then to return to his base in Atlanta and begin his march to the sea. Hood's plans to divert Sherman were thus ultimately futile.

On November 21, 1864, Hood advanced the Army of Tennessee from its refuge in Alabama into Middle Tennessee. When Hood learned that Major-General Schofield's army was only 30 miles away at Pulaski, he devised a scheme to arrest Schofield's forces from linking-up with Federal troops in Nashville. Schofield, however, cleverly managed to skirt Hood's army as it literally slept at Spring Hill. By this time, many believed that Hood's perception was marred by his very serious wounds which had left him with but one leg and a shattered right arm. 

The Federal troops entrenched themselves on top of a hill, behind earthen fortification built hastily at a bend on the Harpeth River, on the south side of Franklin. Hood aggressively followed when he discovered Schofield's new position and hurled his army at the entrenched Federal troops with six direct frontal assaults in the afternoon of November 30. In a battle lasting about six hours, more than 6,000 Confederates including 12 generals were killed or severely wounded. While Hood's army was not yet defeated, it would be vanquished at the Battle of Nashville later in December.

Private Sam R. Watkins of Company H, 1st Tennessee Regiment of Carter's Brigade wrote about the battle from a common soldier's viewpoint: 

As [we] marched through an open field the to the rampart of blood and death, the Federal batteries begin to open and move down....'Forward, men,' is repeated all along the line. A sheet of fire is poured down into our very faces....'Forward, men!' The air [is] loaded with death dealing missiles. Never...did men fight against such...odds...'Forward, men!' And the blood spurts in a perfect jet from the dead and wounded. The earth is red with blood....The death angel shrieks and laughs....I had made up my mind to die - [it] felt glorious. We pressed forward....Cleaborne's division was charging....I passed on until I got to their [Yankees] works and got over on their side. But in fifty yards of where I was, the scene....seemed like hell itself....Dead soldiers filled the entrenchment....It was a grand holocaust of death." 
Sam Watkins, Co. "Aytch" 

Just after the slaughter at the Battle of Franklin, Confederate Captain S.T. Foster wrote in his diary that:

General Hood has betrayed us. This is not the kind of fighting he promised us at Tuscumbia and Florence, Ala. when we started into Tenn.

This was not a 'fight with equal numbers and choice of the ground' by no means.

And the wails and cries of widows and orphans made at Franklin, Tenn Nov 30th 1864 will heat up the fires of the bottomless pit to burn the soul of Gen J B Hood for Murdering their husbands and fathers at that place that day. It can't be called anything but cold blooded Murder.
Diary of Capt. Samuel T. Foster, Granbury Texas Brigade. 

The following is Major-General John B. Hood's Official report on the Battle of Franklin. It is noteworthy for its brevity and focus on the loss of general officers and not the thousands of ordinary Confederate soldiers. Union sources had intercepted it from Confederate newspapers, and it was then forwarded to Lieutenant-General U.S. Grant:

CITY POINT, VA., December 16, 1864.

Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT, Washington, D. C.:

* * * *

Gen. Hood's Official report of the battle of Franklin has at last been received. It will be seen that our reported extraordinary loss of general officers is but too true. The following is Gen. Hood's dispatch:

"HDQRS. ARMY OF TENNESSEE, "Six Miles from Nashville, Tenn., December 3, 1864. (Via Mobile 9th.)
"Hon. J. A. SEDDON:

"About 4 p. m. November 30 we attacked the enemy at Franklin, and drove them from their center line of temporary works into the inner line, which they evacuated during the night, leaving their dead and wounded in our possession, and retired to Nashville, closely followed by our cavalry. We captured 7 stand of colors and about 1,000 prisoners. Our troops fought with great gallantry. We have to lament the loss of many gallant officers and brave men. Maj.-Gen. Cleburne, Brig.-Gen.'s John Adams, Gist, Strahl, and Granbury were killed; Maj. Gen. John C. Brown and Brig.-Gen.'s Carter, Manigault, Quarles, Cockrell, and Scott were wounded; Brig.-Gen. Gordon was captured.
"J. B. HOOD, "Gen."

A subsequent telegram from Gen. Hood says that our loss of officers was excessively large in proportion to the loss of men.

* * * *

JNO. A. RAWLINS, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 445, pt. II, pp. 211-212.

The following newspaper account of the Battle of Franklin, Tenn., November 30, 1864, written by Isham Green Harris, Confederate Governor of Tennessee, was published in the December 20, 1864 number of the Milledgeville, GA, Southern Recorder. From the Governor's standpoint, the battle was a victory for the Confederacy


We pursued and overtook the enemy at Franklin, where he had thrown up one line of breastworks and commenced two others.
The enemy evidently intended to hold permanently the line of Franklin and Murfreesborough.

We attacked him in position about 4 o'clock p.m. and successfully carried their two outer lines.

At dark we had reached and stood upon the outer edge of their interior and last line of works while the fight continued until 11 o'clock.

We held our position during the night, expecting to renew the fight in the morning, but unfortunately under cover of the darkness, about 12 o'clock, the enemy had retired, leaving killed and wounded on the field.

We were unable to use our artillery on account of the presence of the women and children in the town.

We massed about 100 pieces of artillery that night [and] opened on the enemy at daylight, expecting the non-combatants to have gotten out before day.

We have lost an unusual large proportion of officers.

Generals [Patrick Ronayne] Cleburne, [Hiram Bronson] Granbury, [William Wirt] Adams, [Otho French] Strahl, and [States Rights] Gist were killed.

Generals [John Calvin] Brown, [William Andrew] Quarles, [John carpenter] Carter and [Thomas Moore] Scott were wounded.

We have captured about 1,300 prisoners and picked up on the battlefield about 6,000 stands of arms.

We have also captured a large number of colors.

We have also captured four locomotives and trains and are running the Tennessee and Alabama railroad.

Other trains are cut off, which we hope soon to have in our possession.

About 5,000 of the enemy are cut off at Murfreesborough.
The Army is in fine health and excellent spirits, and confident of success. 

The people are delighted and enthusiastic at our advance.

SOR, Ser. I, Vol 7, pp. 677-678.

[A map of the battle is available in OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, p. 225.]



30, 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 Towards nightfall all was quiet....
* * * * 
War Journal of Lucy Virginia French, entry for December 3, 1864.

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