Battle of Franklin (November 30th, 1864)

At approximately 4:00 p.m. as the sun was begining to set, 20,000 Confederate troops attacked 23,000 Union troops (the Confederate general did not use all his troops in the attack) across a line about two miles wide. The Union troops had built trenches and ramparts to protect against an attack while Union engineers repaired bridges across the Harpeth River to open the way to Nashville. The Union plan was to be out of Franklin by mid-night. While they didn't think the Confederates would attack they were prepared. The Battle of Franklin was one of the few battles in the war where all the soldiers could see each other. The Union soldiers wrote in letters home what an glorious and scary site it was to see the Confederate battle lines marching toward them. In the center of the Union troops the Confederate soldiers broke throught the front line and the combination of retreating Union soldiers and Confederates running beside them made it difficult for the second line to shoot without killing their own men, thus the Confederate broke that line and some of the bloodiest fighting of the war occurred around the Carter House and the Carter families Cotton Gin. Confederate Captain Tod Carter grew up in the Carter House as it was home to his family - his Father and sisters hid in the basement of the home during the battle. Carter was mortally wounded in the battle near his home. Two days later he would die in his own home.
Cannons fired into the charing men, with an artillery soldier later telling people he would hear the cannon fire followed immediately by the sound of bones breaking as the shot hit soldiers. A Confederate corps attacking near the Cotton Gin lost 420 of 630 men. Unlike most battles the Battle of Franklin continued after dark, with soldier firing at men feet away from them, even thought they often did not know if they were Union or Confederate. At about 9:00 in the evening the fighting stopped.
The next morning it was reported that bodies in the trenches held dead six and seven soldiers deep. Many were blown apart by cannon fire or were hit so often by bullets they were torn apart. One soldier reported the blood in the trenches was 5 to 6 inches deep. After losing 30 percent of his soldiers at Franklin, Hood was easily defeated at Nashville two weeks later.