Franklin – Take 2 (November 30, 1864)

Having marched eighteen miles in just over six hours to reach the Franklin community on the 30th, Cleburne’s Division was given an assignment by Hood to break through the strongly fortified Union center along the Pike.  Granbury’s and Govan’s constituted the first line, Lowery’s a second, advancing in a double-line of battle; with no reserve at their rear.  To save men’s lives, Cleburne initially advanced in a column of regiments, right in front, to protect them from a battery of long-range rifled guns that began to shell them at a distance of over a mile.  Arrived in front of an advanced line of the same brigades they had fought the previous evening, they deployed “into line as if on a parade field,” overwhelming the Federals there and following them post-haste towards to the main works a quarter of a mile further.  Unwilling to wait further in allowing their own men to get in, suddenly a stabbing sheet of flame erupted in the faces of the Texas and Arkansas soldiers.  At the pike entrance into the village several of the Texas battalions broke through, but at a cost that literally destroyed they and their companions from Arkansas:  Cleburne, Granbury, and every field officer of the Texas Brigade were either killed, wounded or captured; with only a single surviving Capt., Edward T. Broughton, Jr. (though himself wounded) taking command of the survivors.

On the following day, as the rest of the army moved towards Nashville, both Granbury’s and Govan’s had to be left at Franklin to be reorganized, some officers “having no men, and some companies having no officers!”  I annually celebrate these two events, but especially this year for I’ve just completed Volume II of my treatise: “A Force to be Reckoned With: A History of Granbury’s Texas Infantry Brigade.”  If interested, I encourage the reader to go out to www.dannysessums.com for further information.  And my hearty thanks to all those that purchased the initial volume this past year!

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