|General Forrest at Carnton|
the latter part of the cold days of November, 1864, General John Bell
Hood's Confederate Army of the Tennessee was challenging two retreating
Federal Army corps under the command of General John M. Schofield.
With support from General Nathan Bedford Forrest in command of the
Southern cavalry, General Hood's army outmaneuvered General Schofield, and
at Spring Hill had a chance to cut off the Federals from their retreat to
As was his practice to make a thorough personal reconnaissance of the enemy's position, General Forrest arrived on the morning of November 30 at the Carnton plantation. Forrest was greeted by the lady of the house Mrs. Caroline McGavock. Bounding up the stairs of the beautiful home, the General went to the balcony to glass the enemy fortifications. It was clear from this observation post that the enemy was far too strong for an assault at this position.
Mounting his horse, King Phillip, General Forrest left the home in haste with his Adjutant General J. P. Strange. General Forrest turned south to find General Hood and report what he had found. At one o'clock in the afternoon Forrest informed Hood that the Federal position could not be taken by a direct assault.
At four o'clock the gray lines got the given sign to move forward in a frontal attack. The rank and file of 18,000 men swept like a wave across the battlefield. The attack was as spectacular and as hopeless as Pickett's charge. For 5 hours General Hood sent wave after wave of southern boys to their deaths. The Carnton home served as field hospital for hundreds of dying and wounded soldiers. An officer wrote, "the wounded, in the hundreds were brought to the house during the battle, and all the night after. And when the noble old house could hold no more, the yard was appropriated..." The next morning the bodies of four great Confederate Generals killed during the battle were brought to the home. Generals Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl were placed in a row on the back porch. When General Forrest returned to the home and viewed the bodies of his friends and fellow officers, it was said he galloped back to General Hood's headquarters with fire in his eyes.
Many a brave man's spirit departed that autumn day at Carnton. And many say their spirits have never left.
This is the first print in The Battle of Franklin Series.
|$200 on Paper - Limited Edition Size 19-1/2 x 26-3/4||$300 on Paper - A/P Size 19-1/2 x 28-3/4|
|Return to the Gallery||Return to the Civil War||Return to Strain's Page|