Monday, March 1, 2010

Franklin - Carter House

Looking south along the Columbia Pike. You can see a post for General Adams. There are posts like these for all of the Confederate generals who were killed at Franklin. They are not in the spots were the men died, although in some cases they are probably pretty close. But Adams' brigade was farther east so he did not die here. On each post is a box that holds info sheets for the general killed. I don't think I've ever seen them all full but I'm sure the inventory constantly varies.

The front of the Carter House. It faced the Columbia Pike, in fact my ankles are probably within inches of the pike when I took this picture.

The back porch and the Columbia Pike can be clearly seen.

This area saw heavy combat in part because there was a gap in the Union entrenchments where the Columbia Pike was. Back from the main line they made a retrenched line to counteract the gap but this was still a weak point in the line. When Wagner's two brigades were routed from their forward line they rushed thru here. The men in the entrenchments had to hold their fire until their comrades cleared away. This also led to the breaking of the line at this point.
As the next several pictures will show the battle raged among the Carter house and its out buildings. Bullet damage was never repaired so it is very easy to see today. You may need to click on the pictures to see the full extent of the damage.

This picture is just so you can see the layout of the buildings that were part of the estate.

Our tour guide said that this tree dated to the battle. I think this tree will not last too much longer, in fact it may have fallen since I was last there.

A modern reproduction of the earthworks, just to show how it was not just a ditch but was braced with wood sides.
And a view towards the museum, and also showing the remains of the original entrenchments.

There are a ton of plaques on the Carter House grounds as there are few other areas on the battlefield that groups could place plaques. For many years this (and Carnton) was the only preserved ground. Since then the country club next to Carnton has been bought and a few other small parcels.

One of the sad stories of the battle is that young Tod Carter was mortally wounded during the attack near his house. His family found him and brought him back into his home where he died a few days later.
This is the room he died in.

As was talked about in the post on the forward line, Emerson Opdycke refused to leave his brigade at the forward position. He could see it was a horrible position but also his brigade had been the rear guard for most of the past day. His men were tired and hungry. They needed a quick meal and as much rest as possible. So he kept marching, finally resting his men just north of the Carter House. When all hell broke loose his men quickly formed up and charged into the mess at the Carter House. I had a relative in the 24th Wisconsin, of Opdycke's Brigade, and while he was dead before this battle I am quite proud that his old regiment helped check the Confederate tide here.

1 comment:

Chris Evans said...

Thanks for these wonderful Franklin posts. I have always been fascinated by this battle. I guess the tragedy of the death of the legendary but luckless Army of Tennessee draw me to this battle. The 3rd Mississippi who fought there contained several ancestors who served in their ranks.

I know your 24th Wisconsin and MacArthur were heavily engaged there and helped plug the Union line.

The Howard Bahr novels covering the battle from the Confederate side are some of my favorite works ever written on the Civil War. I have also enjoyed Sword's and Jacobson's histories of the battle. It is a fascinating but very tragic battle to study.