Franklin, Tennessee - Encyclopedia

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FRANKLIN, a town and the county-seat of Williamson county, Tennessee, U.S.A., in the central part of the state, on the Harpeth river, and about 20 m. S.W. of Nashville. Pop. (1890) 2250; (1900) 2180. Franklin is served by the Louisville & Nashville railway. It is the seat of the Tennessee Female College and the Battle Ground Academy, and its chief objects of interest are the battle-ground, the Confederate cemetery and the Confederate monument. During the Civil War Franklin was the scene of a minor engagement on the 10th of April 1863, and of a battle, celebrated as one of the most desperately fought of the war, which took place on the 30th of November 1864. The Union general Schofield, who was slowly withdrawing to Nashville before the advance of General J. B. Hood's army, which he was ordered to hold in check in order to give Thomas time to prepare for battle (see American Civil War, § 32), was unable immediately to cross the Harpeth river and was compelled to entrench his forces south of the town until his wagon trains and artillery could be sent over the stream by means of two small bridges. In the afternoon Schofield's outposts and advanced lines were attacked by the Confederates in full strength, and instead of withdrawing as ordered they made a determined stand. Thus the assailants, carrying the advanced works by storm, rushed upon the main defences on the heels of the broken advanced guard, and a general engagement was brought on which lasted from 3.30 until nine o'clock in the evening. Against, it is said, thirteen separate assaults, all delivered with exceptional fury, Schofield managed to hold his position, and shortly before midnight he withdrew across the river in good order. The engagement was indecisive in its results, but the Union commander's purpose, to hold Hood momentarily in check, was gained, and Hood's effort to crush Schofield was unavailing. The losses were very heavy; Hood's effective forces in the engagement numbered about 27,000, Schofield's about 28,000; the Confederate losses (excluding cavalry) were about 650o, excluding the slightly wounded; six general officers were killed (including Major-General P. R. Cleburne, a brave Irishman who had been a corporal in the British army), six wounded, and one captured; the Union losses (excluding cavalry) were 2326. In two of the Confederate brigades all the general and field officers were killed or wounded. See J. D. Cox, The Battle of Franklin (New York, 1897).

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