Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Fort Granger

From Slaves to Soldiers

 
 
Fort Granger Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2019
1. Fort Granger Marker
Inscription.  On March 24, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln told Tennessee Military Governor Andrew Johnson, “The colored population is the great available, and yet unavailed of, force for restoring the Union.” In September 1863, Johnson gave permission to Maj. George Stearns to recruit free blacks and contrabands as soldiers. As part of securing emancipation, enslaved recruits were freed on enlistment.

From late 1863 to the war’s end, Tennessee’s 20,133 United States Colored Troops (USCT) served in almost every military engagement across the state. Dozens of men from Williamson and Maury Counties mustered in at Franklin, and several became part of Co. A, 13th USCT. Before being mustered out in 1866, at least 5,107 USCT casualties suffered death, disease, and capture in Tennessee. At least 290 of these men were born in Franklin and Williamson County with most serving in the infantry, a few in the cavalry, and roughly fifty artillery units.

Former slave owners grappled with the reality of slaves as soldiers. Moscow Carter, of the Carter House, wrote to his younger brother Tod in March 1864, “ We have for the first time
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2019
2. Inset
Contraband man
during the Federal occupancy, of this town, a corps of n---- soldiers, or as I heard a soldier call them the other day, ‘smoked Yankees’ quartered in this vicinity. I think there is a company—though I understand it will be increased to a regiment.”

The 17th USCT, organized in Nashville in December 1863, also had Williamson County recruits. It performed guard duty at various posts, including Franklin, until November 1864. On December 17-19, this unit, along with other USCT regiments, fought the remnants of Confederate Gen. John B. Hood’s army as it moved southward after the Battle of Nashville. As U.S. quartermasters searched for Federal dead following the war, two unknown soldiers identified as member of Co. K, 17th USCT, were buried at Carter’s Hill in December 1864.
 
Erected by Historic Franklin Parks.
 
Location. 35° 55.555′ N, 86° 51.656′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker can be reached from Eddy Lane south of Fort Granger Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Fort Granger Park, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Granger (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fort Granger (within shouting distance
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2019
3. Inset
Two USCTs
of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Granger (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Granger (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Granger (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Granger (about 600 feet away); Franklin Cotton Factory and Foundry / Lillie Mills (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Fort Granger (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
 
Categories. African AmericansForts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Fort Granger Interior image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 18, 2019
4. Fort Granger Interior
The marker is visible in the right distance.
 

More. Search the internet for Fort Granger.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 18, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 47 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 18, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement