The Civil War, Day by Day

Bringing Cleburne In

Bringing Cleburne In

On November 30, 1864, he valiantly led his troops into a devastating firestorm at the battle of Franklin. The next day, his body was found among the dead and the South mourned a favored son.

The Battle of Franklin was the finale of John Bell Hood’s vain hope to crush the Northern hold on Nashville. The results were disastrous: unsupported, uncoordinated attacks against a strongly entrenched Union line shattered the last Confederate hopes in Tennessee. Among the five generals to fall that day, Patrick Cleburne, the Irish immigrant lawyer from Arkansas who had risen to division command, was shot down as he led his men forward. His division, broken and battered, was now only a shadow of what it had once been - the finest in the Confederate army in the west. “If we are to die,” Cleburne said that fateful day, “let us die like men.” The following day, December 1, 1864, Cleburne’s soldiers bore the body of their commander from the area on the Carter Plantation where he fell.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.