Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Carter's Cotton Gin
—Hood's Campaign —
(Preface): In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood let the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman's supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman's "March to the Sea," Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman's army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin.The bloodbath here on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas's strong defenses. Hood's campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16.
Close by stood Fountain B. Carter's cotton gin, near which the 104th Ohio Infantry and other Federal units entrenched early on the morning of November 30, 1864. At 4:00 that afternoon, across the open fields behind you, about 19,000 Confederate soldiers deployed and advanced. This spot, in the heart of the defensive line, was the target of Confederate Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne's division, which included battle-hardened veterans from Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
Cleburne's division hurled itself repeatedly against this position, which formed a crucial salient in the Federal line near the Columbia Turnpike, a few dozen yards to your left.
The Federal defense at the cotton gin was ferocious. "It seemed to me that hell itself had exploded in our faces," Confederate Gen. George W. Gordon wrote. An Illinois soldier observed, "I never saw men put in such a hellish position. The wonder is that any of them escaped death or capture." Seven Union soldiers later received the Medal of Honor for acts of courage here: Capt. John H. Brown, 12th Kentucky Infantry, and Corp. Joseph Davis, Pvt. John Gaunt, Pvt. Abraham Greenawalt, Pvt. Newton H. Hall, Capt. George Van Stavoren Kelley, and Pvt. John H. Ricksecker, 104th Ohio Infantry.
(Sidebar): Harvey the War Dog
Many Union regiments went into battle with mascots. The 104th Ohio Infantry's Harvey left the state with the regiment late in the summer of 1862. He was wounded and captured near Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, in June 1864, but was returned to the "Barking Dog Regiment," as it was known, under a flag of truce. During the Battle of Franklin, he was with Co. F near the cotton gin. Harvey survived the war, and his collar is on display at the Carter House.
(Sidebar Two): Patrick R. Cleburne (1828-1864), a native of Ireland,
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 54.927′ N, 86° 52.356′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker is on Cleburne Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Franklin TN 37064, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Carter Gin House (here, next to this marker); The Cotton Gin Assault (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Entrenchment Federal Battle Line (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carter House (about 600 feet away); Battle Ground Academy Opdycke's Bridgade (about 800 feet away); Cleburne’s Division (about 800 feet away); Bate's Division (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Also see . . . Patrick Cleburne. Patrick Ronayne Cleburne (/ˈkleɪbɜrn/ klay-burn; March 16 or March 17, 1828 – November 30, 1864) was an Irish American soldier, best known for his service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, where he rose to the rank of major general. (Submitted on June 16, 2014, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa.)
Categories. • Animals • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 3, 2013, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 469 times since then and 54 times this year. Last updated on May 12, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 3, 2013, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.