Following in Their Footsteps
This walkway traces the route that the men of Confederate Gen. Thomas Scott's brigade took in the Battle of Franklin. Read below to see what it was like then and to follow in their footsteps
Distance to Union Main Line: 1,000 yards (314m)
Local Time: 4:25 pm, November 30, 1864
Within 1,000 yards of the Federal defenses, casualty rates climbed considerably, as the rank and file came in range of infantry rifles and canister shot. The Federal regiments, directly in front of you, were the 63rd and 120th Indiana Infantry, with the 128th Indiana to your left, and all were protected by earthworks.
Scott's brigade eventually crossed the Lewisburg Pike to your right and headed for the Union flank on the Harpeth River. Along the way, they crossed the Nashville and Decatur Railraod, within range of Fort Granger, where Union guns fired almost lengthways down the tracks. Long stacks of jagged abates—sharpened Osage orange trees felled—obstructed their path.
As the brigade neared the earthworks, gun crews behind the Indiana regiments poured double and triple canister into them. An Alabama soldier called it "the most destructive fire" he had ever witnessed. Blocked by the river on its right, abates on its left and front, and relentless waves of rifle and cannon
blasts, the brigade fell back. The 35th Alabama Infantry was among the worst hit. It lost 150 killed and wounded, about half of the regiment.
Brigade commander Scott never reached the Union lines. An exploding artillery shell damaged his spine and internal organs. A wagon transported him back to the temporary field hospital at Carnton. He survived but never fully recovered from his wounds.