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[266] Federal works. Touching his action in this, his last charge, his last battle, I speak as a messenger from the field where he fell. This battle-ground lies in a beautiful valley and immediately south of the town of Franklin. About noon of November 30, 1864, the Confederate army under command of General Hood, appeared on the heights of an elevated range of hills that overlooked the valley and the village, and distant about one and a half miles from the main line of the Federal works, which were immediately south of the town and inclosing the same. Some hours after our arrival on these heights, and after examining the enemy's fortified positions, General Hood determined to assault the place. Troops were promptly moved from the central and main road, upon which they had arrived, to the right and left under the cover of these hills, until they were opposite the positions they were directed to take in the line of battle, and were then moved over the hills to the front, and to their proper posts, preparatory to the assault. When these dispositions were made the advance was ordered—not in battle array, however, for we were too far off to begin the charge—but in a regimental movement we called ‘double columns at half distance,’ in order that we might move with more system and facility, and also more easily pass obstacles, such as fences and small groves of trees which here and there interspersed the otherwise open plain upon which the great struggle was soon to take place. In the battle disposition General Cleburne's corps was immediately on the right of the main highway or pike leading into Franklin from the south, and Cheatham's corps was immediately on the left of it. This road was Cleburne's left guide, and Cheatham's right guide in moving to the attack. And as General Granberry's brigade constituted the extreme left flank of General Cleburne's command, and my brigade the extreme right flank of Cheatham's, we were therefore contiguous in the order of battle, and both in the front line. As the array of columns which I have mentioned, with a front of two miles or more in length, moved steadily down the heights and into the valley below with flying banners, beating drums and bristling guns, it presented a scene of the most imposing grandeur and magnificence. When we had arrived within about four hundred paces of the enemy's advanced line of entrenchments our columns were halted and deployed into two lines of battle preparatory to the charge. This advanced position of the enemy was not a continuous but a detached line, manned by two brigades, and situated about six hundred paces in front of his main line of formidable works. This

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Patrick Ronayne Cleburne (3)
Cheatham (3)
J. B. Hood (2)
John C. Granberry (1)
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November 30th, 1864 AD (1)
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