Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Confederate General Patrick Cleburne

Franklin, Bloody Franklin...
At 4PM on November 30th 1864, twenty thousand Confederates under the command of General John Bell Hood charged two miles of open field against heavily entrenched federals in Franklin Tennessee. In five hours of fighting the south lost six Confederate Generals. Patrick Cleburne, John Carter, John Adams, Hiram Granbury, States Rights Gist, and Otho Strahl were all killed leading their men in the assault on the Union breastworks at Franklin.
Adams was found upright in his saddle, riddled with bullets, with his horse’s legs on either side of the works. Cleburne vanished in a cloud of gun smoke and was found with a bullet in his heart. In comparison, five Confederate generals were killed at Gettysburg, three were killed at Sharpsburg, three at Chickamauga, and two at Spotsylvania. No other engagement of the war saw as much devastation in the Confederate general officer corps as did the Battle of Franklin. 
As a side note, General Cleburne was found in his socks, and some conclude that his boots were stolen. However, there is a story among Southerners told from one who witnessed it, that he gave his boots to one of his troops who needed them before the battle. Regardless, his loss was devastating to the South. We end with a fitting quote of the General's which is still as valid as when he uttered it:
"I am with the South in life or death, in victory or defeat. I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principles of government. They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed. They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and murder our men and dishonor our women. We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone."

Southern Historical Society

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