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Franklin, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Franklin

“Jumping out of bed”

 
 
Battle of Franklin CWT Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, April 18, 2009
1. Battle of Franklin CWT Marker
Inscription. The war seemed far from Franklin when Union forces captured Roanoke Island and the North Carolina Sounds in February 1862. In May, however, when they occupied Norfolk and Suffolk to control both coastal Virginia and North Carolina, suddenly the war was only twenty miles away. Soon recognizing Franklin as “one of the great thoroughfares [of] the army of General Lee, as regards provision,” the Federals were determined to disrupt the supply line.

Union gunboats ranged up the Blackwater River in May and August in search of Confederates and military supplies but returned downstream empty-handed. Confederate authorities dispatched a brigade under Col. James K. Marshall of the 52nd North Carolina Infantry to defend Franklin. When Union Gen. John J. Peck, commanding the occupation of Suffolk, learned that Confederate troops were massing along the Blackwater River, he organized a joint army-navy expedition to converge on Franklin. Col. Samuel P. Spear marched from Suffolk with 1,300 infantrymen while Lt. Cmdr. Charles W. Flusser’s three-gunboat flotilla (USS Commodore Perry, Hunchback, and Whitehead - ferryboats reinforced with sandbags and armed with artillery) steamed from Edenton up the Chowan and Blackwater Rivers.

At dawn on October 3, as Flusser’s squadron approached Franklin at Crumpler’s
Upper Center Photo Photo, Click for full size
Battle of Franklin Marker – Courtesy Library of Congress, `
2. Upper Center Photo
“USS Commodore Perry and a monitor, photographed on the James River.”
Bluff downstream behind you, it encountered Confederate sharpshooters including civilians and African Americans. The gunboats shelled the riverbanks as they steamed past, but stopped beyond the bluff, where felled trees obstructed the narrow river. Meanwhile, Confederate infantrymen countered Spear’s advance. When Spear did not arrive as scheduled, Flusser shelled the town and then retreated downstream amid a hail of rifle fire. Franklin had experienced its first taste of warfare.

(sidebar)
“The first time the Federal gunboats came up the river and bombarded our tittle town. …the shells [fell] all around our house. Your grandmother and four of the brothers were in bed with the measles. …If you ever had measles, you know how bad it makes you feel. You think that you are going to die right away, but when those shells began to fall around the house, there was some jumping out of bed and running. …That was one of the most disagreeable happenings.”
- Jenny Camp Norfleet
 
Erected by Virgina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 40.458′ N, 76° 55.163′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection
upper right photo - Jenny Camp Norfleet Photo, Click for full size
By Battle of Franklin Marker
3. upper right photo - Jenny Camp Norfleet
* see sidebar, above
of South Main Street and South Street, on the left when traveling south on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Franklin VA 23851, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Blackwater Line (here, next to this marker); Confederate Commissary Center (a few steps from this marker); The Barretts: A Franklin Pioneer Family (a few steps from this marker); The Age of Steam (a few steps from this marker); War Comes to the Blackwater (a few steps from this marker); "Can't Is Not in the Camp's Vocabulary" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Age of Gasoline (within shouting distance of this marker); Recovery and Progress (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Franklin.
 
More about this marker. On the upper center is a period photo of the “USS Commodore Perry and a monitor, photographed on the James River.” – Courtesy Library of Congress

On the upper right is a portrait of Jenny Camp Norfleet
 
Also see . . .  Civil War Traveler - Tidewater Virginia - More Sites. Franklin area. Battle of Franklin and Franklin During the War. (Submitted on May 18, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Franklin Virginia Civil War Trails Markers Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, April 18, 2009
4. Franklin Virginia Civil War Trails Markers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,724 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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