Schofield’s forces stopped about thirteen miles north of Spring Hill at the town of Franklin. They filed into the entrenchments around the town and began digging and improving the works in preparation fo a possible Confederate attack. Artillery was placed to enfilade attackers, as well as pound them from the front. The Union line presented a defense far more formidable than the one faced by Confederate General Pickett’s formations on the third day at Gettysburg a year and a half earlier.
The 2017 Civil War in the West Tour on the porch of Carnton Plantation, Franklin, Tennessee
As Hood’s Confederates arrived near Winsted Hill, two miles from the Union lines, he ordered a grand assault across a two-mile front cleared of trees and obstacles against the entrenched enemy. The heroic and futile attack would be forever etched on the minds of the men who witnessed it and survived the slaughter of that day. Fourteen Confederate generals fell, six of them killed, along with an astounding fifty-five regimental commanders who became casualties — killed, wounded or captured.
The Battle of Nashville, as depicted by Kurz and Allison, c. 1888
The Federal forces marched away that night and filed into the impregnable defenses of Nashville to await General Hood’s inevitable arrival, where he would be outnumbered about 55,000 to 26,000. The faithful remnant of Confederate troops was smashed there to rise no more in Tennessee. In Franklin, the job of burying the dead and helping the wounded fell to the few Confederate surgeons and the women of the town, from which came the astounding story of “the widow of the South”, Carrie McGavock.