Thursday, April 10, 2014

It Wasn't A Mire Diversion

The First Battle of Franklin was fought in Williamson County, Tennessee on April 10th 1863, taking place near where the more famous battle of the same name would happen in 1864.

On April 10th 1863 Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn advanced his cavalry, about 6,000 strong, north from Spring Hill, Tennessee, towards Franklin, Tennessee.  His force would run into skirmishers of Union Major General Gordon Granger.  Granger had received a report of an attack to his north in Brentwood, Tennessee, and thought Van Dorn’s attack was a mire diversion.  When Granger learned that there was no threat to Brentwood, he decided to drive Van Dorn.  When the Union commander sent orders, he found that one of his subordinates had already initiated an attack.

The 4th United States Cavalry under the command of the Brigadier General David S Stanley came in behind Van Dorn’s troopers by crossing the Harpeth River at Hughes’ Ford.  The Union troopers captured Freeman’s Tennessee Battery, but loose it when Confederate Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest made a counterattack.  Finding Union cavalry in his rear, Van Dorn withdrew back to Spring Hill, leaving the Union in control of the area.  This battle cost the Confederates 137 and the Union 100 casualties.

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