Book Chat
For Cause & For Country
A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill and the Battle of Franklin
By
Eric A. Jacobson and Richard A. Rupp

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 03/04/07 and covered Chapters 7 and 8.  This discussion was participated in by "Eric A. Jacobson", one of the authors of the book.

3/4/2007 7:56 pm (et) Basecat: Welcome to the Sunday Night Book Chat. Tonight we will be discussing Chapters 7 & 8 of For Cause & For Country: A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill and the Battle of Franklin by Eric A. Jacobson and Richard A. Rupp. REMINDER to all please do not use the Private message feature during the chat. Thanks.

3/4/2007 7:57 pm (et) Basecat: Any thoughts, comments and questions on Chapter 7?

3/4/2007 7:57 pm (et) Babs: Widow, It is a good read. It took me awhile to get into it, but I like it now.

3/4/2007 7:57 pm (et) Widow: I hope Eric will join us, and Richard. Is he called Richard, Rick, Dick Rich?

3/4/2007 7:58 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Not sure...Have not seen him in the room.

3/4/2007 7:58 pm (et) Widow: I was fascinated by what went on in Hood's mind. Guy must have been nuts.

3/4/2007 7:59 pm (et) Widow: Many of his subordinates must have wondered too.

3/4/2007 7:59 pm (et) Babs: I wonder if he was always nuts or got progressively so as he lost body parts.

3/4/2007 7:59 pm (et) ole: Why would you conclude that?

3/4/2007 8:00 pm (et) Widow: Well, Babs, Lee described Hood as "all lion and no fox." Aggressive but not shrewd.

3/4/2007 8:01 pm (et) Widow: Ewell's personality changed after losing his leg. So did Sickles.

3/4/2007 8:01 pm (et) ole: A genius he was not.

3/4/2007 8:01 pm (et) ole: Let's stick with Hood.

3/4/2007 8:01 pm (et) Basecat: Widow, I don't think he was nuts. I do think he was angry at the opportunity lost the night before. As is stated in the book, he learned a lot of his soldiering from Lee, and had used frontal assaults as well. Not saying it was the right thing to do, but does not show he was nuts, IMHO. Stupid is a better word, and this from hindsight of course.

3/4/2007 8:02 pm (et) ole: By Franklin, he had two choices: attack where he did or go home.

3/4/2007 8:02 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The Hood of 1864, was not the Hood of 1863. By 1864 Hood was lacking in many of the qualities of a good commander.

3/4/2007 8:02 pm (et) ole: I'd say going home would not have been in Hood's vocabulary.

3/4/2007 8:02 pm (et) mobile_96: Anyone go along with the idea that Hood figured Franklin was the last best chance at breaking the forces in front of him?

3/4/2007 8:03 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Ole, Forrest gave Hood other options that Hood chose not to pursue.

3/4/2007 8:03 pm (et) Basecat: I agree ole...he had to do something. Union forces showed no inkling in attacking him.

3/4/2007 8:03 pm (et) ole: I'll go with that mobile.

3/4/2007 8:03 pm (et) Widow: I sure do, mobile.

3/4/2007 8:04 pm (et) ole: However, smashing up Schofield at Franklin would have cost him almost as much as not smashing up Schofield at Franklin.

3/4/2007 8:04 pm (et) Babs: Got to give him credit for being tough. Many would have gone home after his injuries. Quite an image of him commanding while propped up leaning on a saddle.

3/4/2007 8:04 pm (et) mobile_96: But with the wide open fields flanking moves could be met.

3/4/2007 8:04 pm (et) Widow: And, I might add, his last best chance to redeem his reputation.

3/4/2007 8:04 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...It's funny, as it reminded me that Bragg did not listen to Forrest either after Chickamauga either.

3/4/2007 8:04 pm (et) amhistoryguy: IMO, Hood failed to assess what was to be gained vs. what was to be risked.

3/4/2007 8:05 pm (et) Widow: AHG, he just plunged in. Like a horse with blinders, just shoot straight ahead. And blame the soldiers if the frontal assault fails.

3/4/2007 8:05 pm (et) Basecat: Babs, and is an example of the Confederacy losses in officers that a guy like Hood, in his condition commanded an army.

3/4/2007 8:05 pm (et) ole: Hatch was waiting across the Harpeth for Hood's flanking move. And a successful crossing would have gotten him in better range of the Fed guns.

3/4/2007 8:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: No, he didn't "plunge in" he had his troops plunge in for him.

3/4/2007 8:06 pm (et) Widow: AHG, you're right.

3/4/2007 8:07 pm (et) ole: Basecat, I think it is more an example of the failure to develop new officers.

3/4/2007 8:07 pm (et) amhistoryguy: He chose to attack late in the day, with a large part of his infantry and almost all his artillery still en route. What did he really think was to be lost by waiting until a.m.?

3/4/2007 8:07 pm (et) Widow: Ole, there wasn't much of an officer pool to draw on by late 1865.

3/4/2007 8:07 pm (et) Widow: I mean 1864.

3/4/2007 8:07 pm (et) ole: Did anyone ever consider how close that attack came to succeeding?

3/4/2007 8:07 pm (et) mobile_96: Seems like they were killed off faster than they could be promoted, or developed.

3/4/2007 8:08 pm (et) Basecat: Ole...In a way, but they lost so many on both fronts of the war, I just don't think they could be replaced in a timely manner.

3/4/2007 8:08 pm (et) Widow: AHG, he was afraid the enemy might escape to Nashville.

3/4/2007 8:08 pm (et) ole: There were a great many brigadiers and major generals who, had they been given the opportunity, might have made good officers.

3/4/2007 8:08 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...That's the thing that sticks out with me...how the artillery was used in the fight.

3/4/2007 8:09 pm (et) ole: How so, BC?

3/4/2007 8:09 pm (et) Widow: As I read it, the guns all were Federal, right?

3/4/2007 8:09 pm (et) amhistoryguy: He hoped that the Federals at Franklin would break and head for Nashville. There was still a Federal army at Nashville that he would have to address.

3/4/2007 8:09 pm (et) ole: No CSA artillery, Widow, you are correct.

3/4/2007 8:10 pm (et) ole: Cigar on the way.

3/4/2007 8:10 pm (et) Widow: The way the guns were positioned, they could enfilade the assaulting troops.

3/4/2007 8:10 pm (et) Widow: :=)) Thx.

3/4/2007 8:10 pm (et) Basecat: Ole. as amhg mentioned...Most of it was still enroute to the field. How do you make an attack like that without sufficient amount of arty. support.

3/4/2007 8:11 pm (et) Widow: Hood didn't want just to push them out of Franklin. He wanted to destroy them.

3/4/2007 8:11 pm (et) Basecat: Now that's NUTS..;)

3/4/2007 8:11 pm (et) ole: Actually, no. The guns were quite remote and firing over the heads of the defenders. They had to stop when the attack got close.

3/4/2007 8:11 pm (et) Widow: Hood's subordinates wondered the same thing, Basecat.

3/4/2007 8:12 pm (et) ole: Lee and the artillery wouldn't arrive until after the fight was over.

3/4/2007 8:12 pm (et) ole: All of it was nuts,

3/4/2007 8:13 pm (et) EricJacobson: enters the chatroom.

3/4/2007 8:13 pm (et) Widow: A third of the infantry and all of the guns. Even I know better than to attack strong fortifications.

3/4/2007 8:13 pm (et) Basecat: Ole...That's the point I am trying to make...huge gamble, and turned out to be a huge mistake...IMHO.

3/4/2007 8:13 pm (et) ole: First an attack that late had a slim chance of succeeding. Second, the cost of the attack would certainly affect his intentions toward Nashville. Nuts.

3/4/2007 8:14 pm (et) Widow: Eric, we're wondering about Hood's decision to "make the fight."

3/4/2007 8:14 pm (et) Babs: Too bad none of his subordinates thought to mention to Hood it might be a bad idea.

3/4/2007 8:14 pm (et) Basecat: Evening Eric. Hope all is well.

3/4/2007 8:14 pm (et) ole: Base: And the point I'm trying to make is that even if he whupped Schofield. What did he expect to do tomorrow?

3/4/2007 8:14 pm (et) Widow: Some did, I think. Cleburne, Forrest?

3/4/2007 8:15 pm (et) mobile_96: Think you're right Widow.

3/4/2007 8:15 pm (et) Basecat: Oh I agree Ole...and its a good question...

3/4/2007 8:15 pm (et) Babs: Widow, should have indicate I was being sarcastic.

3/4/2007 8:15 pm (et) ole: Was there a little fear factor in there? That is Cheatham and Stewart didn't dare object too strongly.

3/4/2007 8:16 pm (et) Widow: You're right, ole. He just couldn't see past the first Federal skirmish line, figuratively speaking.

3/4/2007 8:16 pm (et) ole: We gotta see about scrolling back, this window is too small to keep up.

3/4/2007 8:16 pm (et) mobile_96: How far apart were the 2 main battle lines , before Hood pushed off. It was a 15 min. walk to Privet Knob, 1/2 mile from there to the apex of Wagner's position=3/4 to 1 mile, then how far to the main Union position at the Columbia Pike

3/4/2007 8:17 pm (et) ole: No time to go on a beer run.

3/4/2007 8:17 pm (et) Widow: Best time, ole.

3/4/2007 8:17 pm (et) EricJacobson: The apex of Wagner's is 1/2 mile in front of the main Union line. Thus the flanks of Wagner's were closer to the works, but you get my point.

3/4/2007 8:18 pm (et) Widow: The Yankees had clear fields of fire, even on the flanks. It was getting dark, but still...they could see the grays coming.

3/4/2007 8:18 pm (et) EricJacobson: Moscow Carter measured the distance as 160 rods and a rod is 16.5 feet

3/4/2007 8:19 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Was Hood on Winstead Hill the whole time? Did he send any directives to the field during the assault?

3/4/2007 8:19 pm (et) mobile_96: Thats good enough Eric, with the lines curved exact would be kinda tough

3/4/2007 8:19 pm (et) ole: Where's my calculator.

3/4/2007 8:19 pm (et) mobile_96: So it was a little over 1 1/4 mile

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) Widow: Eric, you cited his measurements and descriptions several times. Was he there at the time? A child?

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, just by looking at the map...it really was a fine defensive position especially having roads on both flanks, and covering them as well, in case they had to retreat.

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) Widow: I meant, Moscow Carter.

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) mobile_96: Unless they walked 1 mile in that initial 15 mins you mentioned

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) EricJacobson: Hood moved down from Winstead Hill and apparently used the Neely House as his headquarters. It was right down off the northern base of the hill. Few orders seem to have been given after the assault began, other than to send Johnson's Division in around 7 p.m.

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) SteveCone: Evening Eric, chuck & ken, Steve

3/4/2007 8:20 pm (et) Babs: That Carter family had some interesting names- Moscow, Fountain, etc.

3/4/2007 8:21 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I "lost" Hood during the carnage. Sort of like reading the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan !!

3/4/2007 8:21 pm (et) EricJacobson: Moscow was F. B. Carter's oldest son - he was a paroled Rebel officer. He was an engineer by trade.

3/4/2007 8:21 pm (et) Basecat: Evening Steve. Welcome.

3/4/2007 8:21 pm (et) SteveCone: Thank you fell asleep after work lol just happen to wake up

3/4/2007 8:21 pm (et) EricJacobson: Basecat - the Federals had a great position, no doubt about that.

3/4/2007 8:22 pm (et) Widow: Oh, OK, so Moscow knew what to observe and remember at the time, and later made the measurements and descriptions.

3/4/2007 8:24 pm (et) SteveCone: Eric wonderful book my friend . was a pleasure having you at the roundatable meeting weekend before last h

3/4/2007 8:24 pm (et) Basecat: It's a hard line to try and even attempt a flank attack as well, especially seeing how late in the day the battle started.

3/4/2007 8:25 pm (et) EricJacobson: Thanks Steve

3/4/2007 8:25 pm (et) Widow: Eric, I'm still puzzled by Wagner's decision to move out so far from the main line, then he waited too long to recall. Yet, you said, he had been a sensible and solid officer before that.

3/4/2007 8:26 pm (et) Widow: *recall = withdraw.

3/4/2007 8:26 pm (et) EricJacobson: Basecat - allow me to be frank. Hood was screwed for the most part at Franklin. No way he can move west because of the hills blocking him out, couldn't go east because he had 5,000 Yankee cavalry and 5,000 infantry to deal with, and he couldn't just do nothing. Daylight is running out, he missed a great chance at Spring Hill, and his army has marched about 900 miles. He's in a box and knows it.

3/4/2007 8:27 pm (et) SteveCone: It was all or nothing.

3/4/2007 8:27 pm (et) Widow: Turned out to be all his men, for nothing.

3/4/2007 8:28 pm (et) EricJacobson: Widow - Wagner was top notch. I'd take him any day of the week, except the Wednesday Nov 30, 1864. I don't know what was wrong with him that day, but he blew it. There is no doubt Wagner had been hurt in a fall from his horse, he was exhausted, and maybe hungry. If whiskey got mixed in, like David Stanley said, it could have been trouble brewing.

3/4/2007 8:28 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, it will be most helpful to me to see the ground when we are out there in June. Most definitely in a bad situation, and retreat was no option either.

3/4/2007 8:28 pm (et) EricJacobson: Widow - I think you miss an important point. Let me elaborate....

3/4/2007 8:29 pm (et) Widow: Please do.

3/4/2007 8:29 pm (et) mobile_96: Or he had a concussion from the fall and not recovered yet.

3/4/2007 8:30 pm (et) ole: He had the presence of mind to direct placement of his two brigades and to argue with Opdyke.

3/4/2007 8:31 pm (et) SteveCone: Steve is an amazing view from Winstead

3/4/2007 8:31 pm (et) Basecat: Steve, You had ancestors who fought at the battle. Am sure folks would like to know who they were etc.

3/4/2007 8:32 pm (et) EricJacobson: By Nov '64 about 2/3 of the Army of Tennessee was AWOL. The men who were left were the hard core, the heart of the army. They believed in the cause, whatever it was to each man individually. When many had run away, these men had not. Bad food, tattered clothes, drill, drill, drill, march endlessly, etc. Many preferred death to Yankee subjugation. By not quitting they were willing to sacrifice their lives. I'm sure many didn't think dying on Nov 30 was a good idea, but by staying they ended up there. I think it is impossible to understand their sacrifice in today's terms. But I warn everyone, don't think that Hood didn't understand this.

3/4/2007 8:34 pm (et) EricJacobson: Wagner's mistake wasn't in placing the brigades out front, which was a loose interpretation of orders he had received. The problem was he waited too long to pull them back. When he finally did the Rebels were nearly on top of them.

3/4/2007 8:34 pm (et) SteveCone: My 3rd great grand father Daniel Marion Craft was in the 22nd Alabama - Deas Brigade of of Edward Johnson Division of Stephan D. Lees Corp

3/4/2007 8:34 pm (et) ole: Yankee subjugation?

3/4/2007 8:34 pm (et) Widow: Eric, there's a bizarre variant nowadays. During WWII it was "kamikaze" and now we have "suicide bombers." Different targets, but willing to die for the cause.

3/4/2007 8:35 pm (et) Widow: I don't understand that kind of thinking, or lack thereof.

3/4/2007 8:36 pm (et) Widow: Eric, I am so impressed by your descriptive powers, they match the intensity of the fight.

3/4/2007 8:36 pm (et) EricJacobson: I'll give one other example. When the Tennesseans crested Winstead Hill they let out a mighty roar. They were happy to be home, back in Middle Tennessee, driving the Yankees north. There are definite stories of men being despondent before the attack (as with any), but many of the Confederate troops, at least at 4 p.m., were ready to give the Yankees everything they possibly could.

3/4/2007 8:37 pm (et) Widow: Chapter 8, p. 318: I use quotes because I don't know how to use italics or bold.

3/4/2007 8:38 pm (et) Widow: Chapter 8, p. 318. semblance of order "shattered." "wretched" position. "dreadful" loss of life. two "ragged" Southern units. "ravaged" front line. "devilish" job with the "snarly" orange.

3/4/2007 8:38 pm (et) ole: That, I'll buy. Not "Yankee Subjugation."

3/4/2007 8:39 pm (et) Widow: That was terrific writing. I can visualize the scene with your descriptions.

3/4/2007 8:39 pm (et) EricJacobson: Hate to disagree Ole, but many Southerners would rather have died than live under what they termed Yankee subjugation. Patrick Cleburne was among those.

3/4/2007 8:39 pm (et) EricJacobson: He said if the cause was doomed to fail, he hoped to fall with it.

3/4/2007 8:39 pm (et) EricJacobson: And I'm a Yankee by the way, so no Southern bias here.

3/4/2007 8:39 pm (et) ole: Patrick Cleburne was an officer and an idealist -- unlike the private who was just to danged stubborn to quit.

3/4/2007 8:40 pm (et) EricJacobson: We'll have to agree to disagree, because I have primary sources from the average soldiers who used that exact term.

3/4/2007 8:41 pm (et) Babs: Eric, I have been trying during my reading to figure out which side you were on. To your credit, I could not.

3/4/2007 8:41 pm (et) SteveCone: Widow these Men Did there duty as soldiers.. Tod Carter who had not been home since 1861,. Eric I don't recall if this story was in your book but who was the Guy who went in with crutches ordered to get out of line but refused to.

3/4/2007 8:41 pm (et) EricJacobson: I tried to be balanced, at the very least.

3/4/2007 8:42 pm (et) Basecat: The intensity of the battle reminds me of the same kind of fury that occurred at the Mule Shoe in Spotsylvania Court House. That's the only comparison I can come up when dealing with the intensity of the battle.

3/4/2007 8:42 pm (et) EricJacobson: Steve, that man was from the 49th Tennessee I believe. I did not include that particular account.

3/4/2007 8:42 pm (et) ole: After all the speeches by all the officers, it's little wonder that they didn't pick up some of the jargon.

3/4/2007 8:42 pm (et) SteveCone: Ok to many book on Franklin running through my mind.

3/4/2007 8:43 pm (et) EricJacobson: Basecat - agreed. I think the fighting at the Mule Shoe is the only battle which can compare to Franklin, as far as brutality.

3/4/2007 8:43 pm (et) Widow: I've never been in combat or the military or even a slapping match. I wonder if men in such a fight lose their ability to think rationally. Is it all instinct and experience?

3/4/2007 8:45 pm (et) Widow: A rational man would have cleared out. So they weren't thinking rationally, just kill or be killed.

3/4/2007 8:45 pm (et) ole: Tune out. Turn on.

3/4/2007 8:46 pm (et) amhistoryguy: When you lose your ability to rationally use your instincts and experience, you die.

3/4/2007 8:46 pm (et) SteveCone: Very much so Steve and Edward Hoihson was at both of them

3/4/2007 8:46 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, as I was reading this today, that's what it reminded me of. Your point of those who stuck it out until the end echoes here, and in some way explains why the fighting got even more deadly in 1864 on both fronts.

3/4/2007 8:46 pm (et) SteveCone: sorry edward Johsom

3/4/2007 8:48 pm (et) SteveCone: Steve these very men have fought each other most of the war over and over.

3/4/2007 8:49 pm (et) EricJacobson: Basecat - there is a savage aspect to the fighting in 1864 that does not seem to have been present earlier. One thing that some people forget is how badly these two sides hated each other. There was respect, but there was also a bitterness which ran very, very deep. It mellowed in later years, but you don't just kill each other by the tens of thousands because you have simple disagreement. It was far more.

3/4/2007 8:50 pm (et) EricJacobson: Steve makes a good point. The two armies at Franklin had been pounding on one another for 2 years. Many of Wagner's men had charged up Kennesaw Mountain near the Dead Angle just months earlier. God they must have been sick of seeing Cleburne's battle flags.

3/4/2007 8:50 pm (et) SteveCone: Not just federal and confederate but units facing the very same units.

3/4/2007 8:51 pm (et) ole: I'd suspect that even the pvts could recognize the battle flags and name the regiments on the other side.

3/4/2007 8:52 pm (et) Basecat: Good points both, and makes a lot of sense as well. Am more in tune with the war here in the East, and am sure the Iron Brigade and the Stonewall brigade were sick of seeing each other on a battlefield, as much as they did.

3/4/2007 8:52 pm (et) Widow: Yet, Eric, you quoted several Union men as saying how impressed they were by the bravery of those Rebels advancing in their battle formations.

3/4/2007 8:53 pm (et) ole: You can be impressed by the beauty of a tiger stalking you.

3/4/2007 8:54 pm (et) Widow: Ole, and the Yankees said "Come on," taunting them, so they could be killed that much quicker.

3/4/2007 8:54 pm (et) Widow: I wouldn't say come on to a tiger.

3/4/2007 8:55 pm (et) ole: You would if you wanted to kill it.

3/4/2007 8:55 pm (et) Widow: I'd say, I'm outta here.

3/4/2007 8:55 pm (et) Babs: I'd be admiring it in my rearview mirror.

3/4/2007 8:55 pm (et) SteveCone: We hit on this earlier .. Every man did his duty to the last. The Man I asked Eric about was in the 49th Tn he had been wounded and was on crutches but refused to leave the battle line.
3/4/2007 8:55 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...It depends on what type of ground you are defending...and Schofield chose well. And his soldiers knew it, IMHO.

3/4/2007 8:56 pm (et) Widow: SteveC, the man who had a pass to visit his family stayed too. They found it on his body afterward.

3/4/2007 8:56 pm (et) ole: Schofield didn't really choose it. Most of it was already there.

3/4/2007 8:57 pm (et) EricJacobson: Duty and honor are strange things. It's hard to run when you buddy is right next to you. Most men ran when the bullets WEREN'T flying. They snuck away when they could. In battle duty and honor held them men together, on both sides.

3/4/2007 8:57 pm (et) Basecat: The thing I find amazing after reading about combat such as this, that any survived at all.

3/4/2007 8:57 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, except for the penetration of the main works. Opdycke, wasn't it, who quickly sealed the break at the reserve line?

3/4/2007 8:57 pm (et) SteveCone: Even after being ordered out of line. he went into fight with the guys he fought the whole war with

3/4/2007 8:58 pm (et) Basecat: Ole...I meant he could see the advantages of making a stand there.

3/4/2007 8:58 pm (et) SteveCone: Widow Tod Carter had a chance to go home as well but only made it after being shot full of lead.

3/4/2007 8:59 pm (et) EricJacobson: Opdycke with help from several other regiments, namely the 12th KY, 16th KY, and 175th OH

3/4/2007 8:59 pm (et) EricJacobson: No no no no.....most of the Federal works were not there on Nov 30

3/4/2007 9:00 pm (et) Basecat: And in position to deal with a break if it occurred, IMHO.

3/4/2007 9:00 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, Schofield knew he couldn't get all his men across the Harpeth, so he did the next best thing: find a place to stand and fight.

3/4/2007 9:00 pm (et) EricJacobson: There was a section of the Union left which remained from 1863, but everything in the center near the Carter House and all the way to the right was built on Nov 30th.

3/4/2007 9:01 pm (et) EricJacobson: Even the works on the Union left were only meager, and were greatly improved on Nov 30.

3/4/2007 9:02 pm (et) ole: Then I have been misled or misinterpreted what I read about what was there.

3/4/2007 9:02 pm (et) Widow: Eric, that enormous ditch and earthwork, must have been terrifying to the assaulting troops.

3/4/2007 9:03 pm (et) Widow: Plus the "snarly" orange. Nightmarish.

3/4/2007 9:03 pm (et) EricJacobson: Ole - I can absolutely assure you there were no works south of the Carter House and on the right until the Yankees arrived on Nov 30th.

3/4/2007 9:03 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Not to mention triple canister

3/4/2007 9:04 pm (et) ole: Could the guns have been firing canister at all?

3/4/2007 9:04 pm (et) Basecat: Was talking about the ground...Not the works...Sorry for the misinterpretation. Point I was making it was good ground to place an army there for defense...and Schofield would have recognized it.

3/4/2007 9:04 pm (et) EricJacobson: And again, the works on the left were only slight. Stiles and Casement's guys worked their arms stiff that morning building up the works and cutting Osage.

3/4/2007 9:05 pm (et) Widow: Yes, but triple canister is only for short range.

3/4/2007 9:05 pm (et) EricJacobson: The guns were firing canister like crazy.

3/4/2007 9:05 pm (et) SteveCone: There was was a ditch though that was built upon to to form the works

3/4/2007 9:05 pm (et) EricJacobson: Basecat - Schofield and Cox picked the best place south of Franklin to make a stand. That position was meant to protect the Yankee army and kill as many Rebels as possible.

3/4/2007 9:06 pm (et) SteveCone: Widow canister is deadly past 100yrds

3/4/2007 9:07 pm (et) Widow: Triple-shotted? I thought that the more loads, the shorter the range.

3/4/2007 9:08 pm (et) Widow: Something to do with the amount of powder, maybe?

3/4/2007 9:08 pm (et) Basecat: Eric...That's what I meant...and should have been more descriptive in what I posted. :)

3/4/2007 9:08 pm (et) SteveCone: I'm not sure perhaps .

3/4/2007 9:09 pm (et) SteveCone: A terrible thing to face regardless.

3/4/2007 9:09 pm (et) EricJacobson: Engineers like Levi Scofield, with their keen eyes, were also surely utilized in picking the best locations for various areas of the line. Even looking at it carefully today is amazing.

3/4/2007 9:09 pm (et) Widow: Amen to that, SteveC.

3/4/2007 9:09 pm (et) amhistoryguy: page 314 Widow, "...Baldwin ordered the guns loaded with triple canister."

3/4/2007 9:09 pm (et) mobile_96: Widow, there were cannon between the reg. on the front line, plus more just behind the main line on a slight rise, able to shoot over the heads of their own troops

3/4/2007 9:10 pm (et) ole: I see where I've been screwed up. In my head, batteries were too far back. On the maps, they're right up there. I take it back about canister.

3/4/2007 9:11 pm (et) Basecat: Not an arty. expert, but I would think loading triple canister rounds would make those firing the gun in a bad way as well, especially if the tube of the cannon exploded when fired.

3/4/2007 9:11 pm (et) Widow: Thanks, AHG. Triple rounds, but only one bag of powder. Can't blow up the gun. So, as I understand it, the little canister balls don't go as far as a single load.

3/4/2007 9:11 pm (et) mobile_96: then we had the move to the left of several that could fire down along the left of the line

3/4/2007 9:11 pm (et) EricJacobson: In fact just last week I was driving to work and stopped to look at a section of the battlefield about 200-250 yards in front of the Yankee left-center. There is a slight ridge which falls into a shallow swale, and from there you gently go up about 8-12 feet in elevation toward where the Federal line was. Awful.

3/4/2007 9:12 pm (et) ole: Could the guns there "see" into the swale?

3/4/2007 9:12 pm (et) Widow: Eric, like Basecat, I'm so eager to see it with my own eyes.

3/4/2007 9:13 pm (et) EricJacobson: Page 322, the 10 guns behind the Federal left flank fired over 1,100 rounds in about 4 hours.

3/4/2007 9:13 pm (et) Babs: wow

3/4/2007 9:14 pm (et) EricJacobson: Ole - absolutely. Baldwin's two pieces near the Carter cotton gin had that area blanketed. It's about where Cockrell's Missourians where. No wonder they suffered so terribly.

3/4/2007 9:14 pm (et) mobile_96: Bet the canister could.

3/4/2007 9:14 pm (et) Widow: That's a lot of hard shooting. The poor guys on the receiving end.

3/4/2007 9:14 pm (et) Basecat: Am surprised that there has been no mention of the Generals the Confederacy lost that day. Think it would be safe to say that it added to the demoralization felt in Hood's army after the battle was over.

3/4/2007 9:14 pm (et) EricJacobson: In fact, from the Federal line you look down into this little low lying area. So you can blast the enemy all the way down the ridge, into the swale, and all the way out of it until they are right on top of you.

3/4/2007 9:15 pm (et) ole: If any got far enough to be right on top of you.

3/4/2007 9:15 pm (et) EricJacobson: No doubt the loss of the general officers ripped much of the army's heart out.

3/4/2007 9:16 pm (et) EricJacobson: Well Baldwin said some of his artillerists were using picks and axes to beat the Confederates back.

3/4/2007 9:16 pm (et) Widow: Some did, ole.

3/4/2007 9:16 pm (et) ole: Unfortunately, not enough.

3/4/2007 9:16 pm (et) Basecat: Eric, and guys like Cleburne, Gist were held with deep respect by those in the lines...

3/4/2007 9:17 pm (et) mobile_96: The artillerists suffered pretty badly with losses also I'd suspect.

3/4/2007 9:17 pm (et) Widow: Eric, did the AOT ever feel like Hood was "their" man, the loyalty that Cleburne had?

3/4/2007 9:18 pm (et) EricJacobson: Widow - that would be a no. Cleburne is really one of a kind.

3/4/2007 9:18 pm (et) ole: Good question, Widow. When Hood was placed in Johnston's place, the ranks didn't appreciate it. Was also wondering if this feeling softened some.

3/4/2007 9:18 pm (et) EricJacobson: Mobile - yes, the artillerists did suffer very serious losses all along the Federal line

3/4/2007 9:18 pm (et) ole: That is, was the AoT every really Hood's army?

3/4/2007 9:19 pm (et) Widow: Figures. A man who thinks soldiers are cowards for fighting from behind breastworks, or for being reluctant to frontal assault. Well, maybe the lack of trust went both ways.

3/4/2007 9:19 pm (et) SteveCone: Steve., Cleburne wouldn't send his man where he himself would go and many of the other officers where the same way

3/4/2007 9:19 pm (et) ole: Which accounts for the number of officer casualties.

3/4/2007 9:20 pm (et) EricJacobson: Well of course it was his army. As much as it was Bragg's or Johnston's.

3/4/2007 9:20 pm (et) SteveCone: Correct.

3/4/2007 9:20 pm (et) Widow: Can't lead from the rear. Quote unquote.

3/4/2007 9:20 pm (et) Basecat: Not wishing to stop the chat, but know folks have to work in the morning, and should post the homework. Next week, we will be doing the final 4 chapters of the book. 9, 10, 11, and 12. Less than 100 pages, and having looked at the chapters, it sums up the aftermath of the battle, and what was still on the horizon for those who found themselves fighting the war in TN in late 1864.

3/4/2007 9:21 pm (et) ole: Officially, yes. But did the troops consider themselves Hood's boys anywhere near as much as they considered themselves Johnston's.

3/4/2007 9:21 pm (et) SteveCone: And the men respected them for it and would storm hell itself if asked to

3/4/2007 9:21 pm (et) Widow: OK, Base. Hard to believe we've been at this for 1.5 hours.

3/4/2007 9:22 pm (et) EricJacobson: There is no doubt the men adored Johnston. But I will say many of them were not happy about Johnston's constant retreating in mid-64. Everyone should read Larry Daniel's book Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee. Hood was never adored, but he was respected.

3/4/2007 9:24 pm (et) Widow: Thanks, Eric. It's so rewarding to chat with you directly.

GO TO BOOK CHAT FOR CHAPTERS 9, 10, 11, AND 12

RETURN TO INTRO PAGE