Battle Of Franklin Overview and (Ohio) Order of Battle

Battle of Franklin Overview and

Ohio’s Regimental Organization

November 30, 1864

Major General John McAllister Schofield, Commanding

The Order of Battle at Franklin comprised the 4th Army Corps commanded by Brig. Gen. David Stanley, the 23rd Army Corps commanded by Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield (on Nov. 30,1864 by Jacob J. Cox). Ohio’s regiments are charted here with a very brief description of their involvement that day.

As discussed elsewhere on these pages the Battle of Franklin was a significant event in our history. Not to take away from the battles elsewhere and the casualties they caused, of all the events that took place in November and December of 1864 in middle-Tennessee it was by far the most important. Earlier conflicts were minor by comparison and the Battle of Nashville in mid-December was far less the event that it would have been if Hood’s Army had not been so severely defeated at Franklin. The organizational charts at other events would only be slightly different so I’ve focused here on Franklin.

Looking at a map of the battlefield at Franklin you would see a mile-wide Union front extending from Carter’s Creek Pike to the west and the Harpeth River to the east. Coming directly up the center is Columbia Pike. Artillery was posted on top of a large hill a couple miles to the north at Fort Granger. and at various place along the front and to the rear.

A simplistic summary of events might say that for the most part action to the east of the center was a bloody massacre of Confederate troops caught in the trees and Union works and who therefore would be unable to cause great damage upon their enemy. To the far west, where the 45th and 51st Ohio regiments were assigned, the Union controlled late arriving Confederate troops. However, along that western front, toward the center, a break-through occurred where Moore’s Second Brigade was assigned, promoting heavy fighting, some hand to hand, with heavy casualties on both sides. Ohio’s 111th , 118th , and two companies from the 183rd  were assigned in this area. It was also at this location that the rest of the 183rd Ohio came forward from their reserve position and assisted the units there to retake the lines.

Two companies of the 101st Ohio were also assigned to the main works near Moore. The other eight were in reserve and on orders came forward into the fight there. As far as I can ascertain the 90th Ohio remained in reserve.

The summary would go on to say that overall the worst fighting took place at the center. Artillery and Union troops at the main line’s works were unable to fire upon the charging Confederate Army because their own, Wagner’s second and third brigades, were retreating from the fields in front directly into their line of fire. As Wagner’s men crossed the line, so did the enemy. The most ferocious fighting of the battle was in this area. Troops in reserve from Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio’s 175th, were able to come forward and help the 50th Ohio, 100th Ohio, 104th Ohio and others retake their collapsed line. Coming forward into the fray with the reserve units was Opdyke’s Brigade with the 125th Ohio. They had been resting beyond the reserve line and were brought forward by their commander when retreating Union troops passed by them thus alerting them to the bad situation at hand.

The following regiments were among Wagner’s retreating troops and certainly after reaching the safety of their line joined in the melee at the center; 26th, 64th, 65th and 97th Ohio. The 13th and 19th Ohio were sent north to the crossing of the Harpeth River to guard against and enemy crossing at the ford.

My battle sources make no reference to the 41st, 49th, 71st, and 124th Ohio, so I must assume they were held in reserve and assigned duties somewhere nearby. For instance, the 15th Ohio was held in reserve at Fort Granger and after the battle moved down to the Harpeth River to cover the Army’s withdrawal.

 The 93rd Ohio and the 103rd Ohio had been ordered to the rear to serve as guard for the 23rd Army Corps headquarters train and to assist with the ordinance trains.

The 23rd Army Artillery units were in the following areas; Two guns of the 1st Battery A were in the rear on Columbia Pike. The 1st Battery D was at Fort Granger. 1st Battery G was on the far left near the Harpeth River. The 6th Battery Ohio Light was split; on the main works east of center and on the far left near the river. The 20th Battery was just to the west of center with two guns of the 1st Battery A at the break-through and they were instrumental in the recovery of the lines there.

Twenty-Third Army Corps

Brigadier General JACOB D. COX

SECOND DIVISION

Brigadier General THOMAS H. RUGER

Second Brigade

Col. ORLANDO H. MOORE.

111th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Isaac R. Sherwood

118th Ohio, Maj. Edgar Sowers

Third Brigade

Col. SILAS A. STRICKLAND

50th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Hamilton S. Gillespie

183d Ohio, Col. George W. Hoge

THIRD DIVISION

Brig. Gen. JACOB D. COX

Brig. Gen. James William Reilly (on Nov. 30, 1864) 

First Brigade

Brig. Gen. JAMES WILLIAM REILLY

100th Ohio, Lt. Col. Edwin L. Hayes

104th Ohio, Col. Oscar W. Sterl

175th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Daniel McCoy

Second Brigade.

Col. JOHN S. CASEMENT

103rd Ohio, Capt. Henry S. Pickands

Artillery

Ohio Light, 6th Battery

Ohio Light, 20th Battery

Ohio Light, 1st Battery A

Ohio Light, 1st Battery D

Ohio Light, 1st Battery G

Fourth Army Corps

Major General DAVID S. STANLEY

FIRST DIVISION

Brigadier Gen. NATHAN KIMBALL

First Brigade

Col. ISSAC M. KIRBY

90th Ohio Lt. Col. Isaac Kirby

101st Ohio Lt. Col. Bedan McDonald

Second Brigade

40th Ohio (6 companies) Lt. Col. JAMES WATSON

45th Ohio   Lt. Col. John Humphrey

51st Ohio Lt. Col. Charles Watson

SECOND DIVISION

Brigadier General GEORGE DAY WAGNER

First Brigade

Col. EMERSON OPDYKE

125th Ohio Cpt. Edward Bates

Second Brigade

Col. JOHN LANE

26th Ohio Cpt. William Clark

97th Ohio Lt. Col. Milton Barnes

Third Brigade

Col. JOSEPH CONRAD

64th Ohio Lt. Col. Robert Brown

65th Ohio Maj. Orlow Smith

THIRD DIVISION

Brigadier General THOMAS J. WOOD

First Brigade

Col. ABEL STREIGHT

15th Ohio Col. Frank Askew

49th Ohio Maj. Luther Strong

Second Brigade

Col. PHILLIP POST

41st Ohio Lt. Col. Robert Kimberly

71st Ohio Col. Henry McConnell

93rd Ohio Lt. Col. Daniel Bowen

124th Ohio Lt. Col. James Pickands

Third Brigade

Brigadier General SAMUEL BEATTY

13th Ohio Maj. Joseph Snider

19th Ohio Henry Stratton

Sources:

“for Cause for Country” and “Baptism of Fire” written by Eric Jacobson and Richard Rupp

Placement of the 93rd Ohio from “Ohio in the Civil War”, posted by William G. Schmidt

PLacement of the 15th Ohio from “Ohio in the Civil War” posted by Bob Bundy.2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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