November 30, 1864: Battle of Franklin

Gen. J.M. Schofield

Schofield was fortified in the town of Franklin, TN, about 16 miles south of Nashville, when Hood attacked with two corps. While the opposing forces were of about equal strength, approximately 25,000, Hood suffered three times as many casualties as Schofield. Worse for Hood, he had little chance to replace losses, while Thomas was already sending reinforcements the next day to Schofield.

Official Records 93:1170

FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864-3 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS,
Nashville:

I have just received your dispatch asking whether I can hold Hood here three days. I do not believe I can.

I can doubtless hold him one day, but will hazard something in doing that. He now has a large force, probably two corps, in my front, and seems prepared* to cross the river above and below. I think he can effect a crossing to-morrow, in spite of all my efforts, and probably to-night, if he attempts it. A worse position than this for an inferior force could hardly be found. I will refer your question to General Wilson this evening; I think he can do very little. I have no doubt Forrest will be in my rear to-morrow, or doing some greater mischief. If A. J. Smith’s division and the Murfreesborough garrison join me there, I ought to be able to hold Hood in check for some time. I have just learned that the enemy’s cavalry is already crossing three miles below.* I will lively times with my trains again.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Major-General.

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FRANKLIN, November 30, 1864-7.10 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS,
Nashville:

The enemy made a heavy and persistent attack with about two corps, commencing at 4 p.m. and lasting until after dark. He was repulsed at all points, with very heavy loss, probably 5,000 or 6,000 men. Our loss is probably not more than one-tenth that number. We have captured about 1,000 prisoners, including one brigadier-general. Your dispatch of this p.m. is received. I have already given the orders you direct, and am now executing them.

J. M. SCHOFIELD,
Major-General.

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NASHVILLE, November 30, 1864.
Major-General SCHOFIELD,
Franklin:

Your telegram is just received. It is glorious news, and I congratulate you and the brave men of your command; but you must look out that the enemy does not still persist. The courier you sent to General Cooper, at Widow Dean’s, could not reach there, and reports that he was chased by rebel cavalry on the whole route, and finally came into this place. Major-General Steedman, with 5,000 men, should be here in the morning. When he arrives I will start General A. J. Smith’s command and General Steedman’s troops to your assistance at Brentwood.

GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

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