Patrick Ronayne Cleburne

Jim Hadac from Chicago pointed my attention yesterday to the fact that it was excatly 141 years ago that Gen. Patrick Cleburne died at the Battle Of Franklin.

Gen. Cleburne was a gallant and outstanding General in the CSA during the American Civil War (1861-1865). He excelled in battles like Chickamauga, the Chattanooga Campaign, his defense of Tunnel Hill on Missionary Ridge in Tennessee and at the Battle of Ringgold Gap in North Georgia. To help the cause of independence he proposed emancipating the slaves and enlisting them in the Confederate army. This was rejected by President Jefferson Davis and didn't prosper his military career.

Here's what This Day In History said on the Battle of Franklin :

November 30,1864--The Death of General Patrick Cleburne

1864 : Battle of Franklin, Tennessee

The once proud Confederate Army of Tennessee suffers a devastating defeat when its commander, General John Bell Hood, orders a frontal assault on strong Union positions around Franklin, Tennessee. The loss cost Hood six of his finest generals and nearly a third of his force. Hood assumed command in late July 1864 while the Confederates were pinned inside Atlanta by the armies of Union General William T. Sherman. Hood made a series of desperate attacks against Sherman but finally elinquished the city in early September. No longer able to wage an offensive against the massive Yankee force, Hood retreated into Alabama to regroup. In early ovember, he moved north into Tennessee to draw Sherman out of the Deep South. By now, Sherman had enough troops to split his army. He dispatched General George Thomas to the Nashville area to deal with Hood's threat while he took the rest of the force on his infamous March to the Sea, during which his men destroyed most of central Georgia.

Hood approached Franklin, just south of Nashville, on November 29. Thomas waited in Nashville, while another Union force under John Schofield was moving from the south to join Thomas. Schofield was aware of Hood's position and was attempting to move past the Confederates on his way to rejoining the rest of the Federal army. Hood tried to flank Schofield, but Schofield marched right past Hood's army and planted his Yankees in existing defenses at Franklin. Furious, Hood blamed his subordinates for failing to block Schofield's route, and then prepared for a frontal assault on the formidable Union trenches. Hood was handicapped by the fact that one of his three divisions was still marching toward Franklin and much of his artillery had not yet arrived. Under these circumstances, Hood's decision to attack may seem foolish, but he was probably motivated by an attempt to discipline his army and rebuild his men's lost confidence. On the afternoon of November 30, the Confederates charged into the Union defenses. The Rebel lines moved forward in nearly perfect unison, the last great charge of the war. Parts of the Union's outer trenches fell to Hood's men, but a Yankee counterattack spelled disaster for the Confederates. They did not penetrate any further and suffered frightful casualties.

The fighting continued until after dark before Schofield resumed his march northward. Of 15,000 Union troops engaged, 200 were killed and slightly more than 2,000 were wounded. The Confederates had 23,000 men at Franklin; 1,750 died and 5,500 were wounded or captured. The losses among the Confederate leadership were horrifying. Six generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, one of the Confederate army's finest division commanders. Another five were wounded, one more captured, and 60 of Hood's 100 regimental commanders were killed or wounded. Despite the defeat, Hood continued to move against Thomas. Just two weeks later, Hood hurled the remnants of his army against the Yankees at Nashville with equally disastrous results.



The following book is a real good read :

Pat Cleburne, Confederate General by Howell and Elizabeth Purdue
(Hill Jr. College Press, 1973; Old Soldier Books reprint, 1987)

Hm, I think I start reading some America's Civil War Magazine this evening…


12:05 Gepost door Lexman | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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