Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Union Headquarters — Hood's Campaign —

Marker ID:  
Location: 209 Main Street, Franklin, TN
County: Williamson
Coordinates: N 35° 55.534    W 086° 52.071
  35.92556666    -86.86785
Waymark: None


Union Headquarters
Planning for Battle
— Hood's Campaign —

In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood led 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.

This small building (constructed in 1817) by Dr. Daniel McPhail) was the medical office of Dr. Daniel Cliffe, who lived nearby, in 1864. Cliffe, a former Confederate surgeon, had switched his allegiance to the Union early in the war. After dawn on November 30, 1864 Federal Gen. John M. Schofield arrived in Franklin and established his headquarters in Cliffe's house and office. Throughout the early and midmorning hours, courier and telegraphic activity was brisk here as Schofield directed the construction of defensive positions on the south side of town and made plans for the army to withdraw to Nashville at 6 P.M.

By 2 P.M., Schofield had transferred his headquarters to the Alpheus Truett home, just north of the Harpeth River about a mile away. Schofield did not intend to fight a battle at Franklin, but instead intended to delay the Confederates until the bridge spanning the Harpeth River was repaired, then cross them with his army after dark and march north. But at 4 P.M., Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood launched his attack.

At that time Schofield and Gen. David S. Stanley were riding from the Truett House toward downtown Franklin. A courier galloped up and told them that the Southern arm was commencing a frontal assault. Stanley spurred his horse toward the front, and Schofield rode to Fort Granger. From there he watched Hood's army crash into the Federal works south of town.

Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.


More information:
Wikipedia: Battle of Franklin (1864)