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Battle of Franklin.

by two divisions of his own and all three of the 4th (Stanley's) corps — the whole reported at 17,000, and certainly not much exceeding that number. As the ground rises from the stream, the position was of little worth, save as its flanks were protected by the river.1

Hood's army, arriving later, was not ready for the onset till 4 P. M.; when, at the word of command, the charging lines swept on.

Hood had delayed the attack till all his force could be brought up; intending to crush in our front at the first onset by the sheer weight of his assault. Stewart's corps was on his right, next the Harpeth; Cheatham's on his left, reaching westward to the angle of our defenses; Lee in reserve behind them; though Johnson's division of Lee's corps was thrown to the left during the engagement; the cavalry was on both flanks; Forrest, with most of it, on the right. “Break those lines,” shouted Hood to his men, “and there is nothing more to withstand you this side of the Ohio river!” Many Tennesseeans were now for the first time in weary months within sight of their homes; one General (Carter) fell mortally wounded within a few rods of his own house. Gen. Schofield watched the progress of the battle from Fort Granger, across the Harpeth.

Though Schofield's command numbered nearly if not quite 20,000 men, a good part of it was already across the river, guarding the trains and our left flank, while two divisions held the lines guarding our right; so that all the force directly confronting the Rebel advance hardly numbered 10,000. Of these, two brigades of the 2d (Wagner's) division of the 4th (Stanley's) corps were thrown out in our front, holding some slight works a few hundred yards in advance of our general line; the key of which was Carter's hill, a gentle eminence, across which ran the Columbia pike through Franklin to Nashville. Behind that hill stood the 1st (Opdycke's) brigade of Wood's 2d division in reserve.

The Rebel charge was so impetuous,

1 Gen. Hood, in a personal reminiscence of this conflict, fairly said:

The works of the enemy were so hastily constructed that, while he had a slight abatis in front of a part of his line, there was none on his extreme right.

Yet, slight as they were, these defenses were of incalculable value. A veteran who fought behind them said, “Such a line at the Chickamauga would have given us a victory.” ‘T is sad that, after all we have spent on West Point, we should have had to learn this simple lesson at a cost of 200,000 lives and Two Billions of money. The Turks had mastered it when they last defended Silistria against the Russians, years ago.

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J. B. Hood (4)
D. S. Stanley (2)
John M. Schofield (2)
S. D. Lee (2)
T. J. Wood (1)
A. P. Stewart (1)
Opdycke (1)
E. Johnson (1)
N. B. Forrest (1)
B. F. Cheatham (1)
H. Carter (1)
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