mortified at the inglorious result.
We lost confidence in General Hood
,, not that we doubted his courage, but we clearly saw that his capacities better suited him to command a division.
This whole thing was a wretched affair, let the fault be wherever it may.
It reminded me more of the death of General Albert Sidney Johnston
on the battle-field at Shiloh
than any other event of the war. No one doubts but that his death prevented the destruction of Grant
's army, and a victory such as his life guaranteed on that eventful April day would have produced results such as imagination can hardly picture.
So, if we had captured Schofield
, as could easily have been done at a trifling loss, we would have taken Nashville
without a battle and pushed on into Kentucky
, and, while I do not claim that it would have changed the result, yet it would certainly have prolonged the war and thrown an uncertain factor into the great problem.
It seemed then, as it looks now as we glance back over the scene, that a hand stronger than armies had decreed our overthrow.
On the following morning, at the dawn of day, we were in our saddles, and pushed on after Schofield
's command, which was rapidly hastening to Franklin
Our division crossed over to the extreme left and approached Franklin
over the Carter
's creek pike, and about 3 o'clock P. M. we were on the high range of hills just south of Franklin
and overlooking the town.
The Federal army was in line of battle in front of the town, and we had a fine view of the situation.
The soldiers were in fine fighting trim, as they felt chagrined and mortified at the occurrence of the preceding day, and each man felt a pride in wiping out the stain caused by a superior's fault.
I will not undertake to picture or in any way describe the battle that was fought in the old field near a gin-house in front of Franklin
, that memorable afternoon and evening.
No man who took part in it or witnessed it can help being proud of American soldiery.
The battle lasted until long after dark, and the two armies at some points came to hand-to-hand contest.
Our artillery was not much used, but the enemy used one battery, situated in a locust grove, with great effect.
I do not believe there was any battle of the war to compare to it in severity, considering the number engaged and the time it lasted.
The principal destruction was about sun-down and a little later.
Soon after night the Federals
commenced retreating, and about one o'clock in the morning I went with the advance into town.
As soon as it was discovered that the enemy were gone, I made a torch and went over the battle-field.
To those unaccustomed to such things, no description