had sent General Schofield
southward to confront Hood
's invasion of Tennessee
in 1864, and he took post south of Duck River
, hoping to fight the invaders there.
But two divisions under A. J. Smith
, coming from Missouri
, had not arrived, and Schofield
fell back, first to Columbia
, and then to Franklin
, not far below Nashville
, General Stanley
saving his train from seizure by Forrest
after a sharp fight with the guerilla chief.
disposed his troops in a curved line south and west of the town, his flanks resting on the Harpeth River
He cast up a line of light intrenchments along his entire front.
His cavalry, with Wood
's division, were posted on the north bank of the river, and Fort Granger, on a bluff, commanded the gently rolling plain over which Hood
must advance in a direct attack.
had about 18,000 men. At four
o'clock on the afternoon of Nov. 30, 1864, Hood
advanced to the attack with all his force.
A greater part of his cavalry, under Forrest
, was on his right, and the remainder were on his left.
The Confederates fell fiercely upon Schofield
's centre, composed of the divisions of Ruger
, about 10,000 strong.
Their sudden appearance was almost a surprise.
was at Fort Granger, and the battle, on the part of the Nationals, was conducted by General Stanley
By a furious charge Hood
hurled back the Union
advance in utter confusion upon the main line, when that, too, began to crumble.
A strong position on a hill was carried by the Confederates
, where they seized eight guns.
They forced their way within the second line and planted a Confederate flag upon the intrenchments.
All now seemed lost to the Nationals, who, as their antagonists were preparing to follow up their victory, seemed about to break and fly, when Stanley
rode forward and ordered Opdyke
to advance with his brigade.
Swiftly they charged the Confederate
columns and drove them back.
, close by, gave assistance.
The works and the guns were recovered; 300 prisoners and ten battleflags were captured; and the Union
line was restored, and not again broken, though Hood
hurled strong bodies of men against it. The struggle continued until long after dark; it was almost midnight when the last shot was fired.
The advantage was with the Naitionals.
The result was disastrous to Hood
His men were dispirited, and he lost 6,253 soldiers, of whom 1,750 were killed and 702 made prisoners.
's loss was 2,326, of whom 180 were killed and 1,104 missing. The Nationals
withdrew from Franklin
a little after midnight, and fell back to Nashville