Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Lotz House — Hood's Campaign —

Marker ID:  
Location: 1111 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN
County: Williamson
Coordinates: N 35° 55.072    W 086° 52.375
  35.91786666    -86.87291666
Waymark: None


Lotz House
Union Counterattack
— Hood's Campaign —

In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood let the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman's supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman's "March to the Sea," Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman's army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin.The bloodbath here on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas's strong defenses. Hood's campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16.

Some of the fiercest fighting during the Battle of Franklin occurred near this house, which German immigrant Johann A. Lotz built in 1858. Concerned that his wood-framed dwelling might be destroyed in the impending battle, Lotz, his wife, Margaret, and their three children took refuge in the cellar of the nearby Carter House.

When the battle erupted just before sundown on November 30, 1864, Federal troops were all around the house. The 175th Ohio Infantry, a newly recruited regiment, took up a position east of Columbia Pike just south of here near the 12th and 16th Kentucky Infantry.

Col. Emerson Opycke' brigade soon arrived immediately north of the Carter House and stopped in reserve just across the road from the Lotz House. The force of the Confederate assault tore a hole in the center of the Union defenses south of here. Large number of Southern troops poured through the Federal line, but the reserve units stationed here quickly moved into action. The 73rd Illinois Infantry of Opdycke's command, as well as the 175th Ohio and the Kentucky regiments, all rushed forward and repulsed the Confederates who had broken trough the earthworks. The Union regiments then reoccupied the line there and held it despite repeated attacks. South of Lotz House and east toward the Carter cotton gin, savage fighting also unfolded, and the Confederates were driven back. Following the battle, the Lotz House was used as a hospital. Lotz and his family moved to California shortly after the war.

"The cannon thundered, the shell shrieked, the smoke rolled, the earth seemed to tremble, and the heroic, reckless, desperate enemy surged, and surged, and SURGED again and again, right up to our line, and recoiled as often, recoiling last before the merciless tempest of death." A History of the Seventy-Third Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers (1890)

Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.


More information:
Wikipedia: Battle of Franklin (1864)