A Letter to the Editor from a Veteran of the Battle of Franklin, 1907

“It has been said that the battle of Franklin was bad generalship, and a mistake.  It was neither the one nor the other.  It was the inevitable.  Had Hood failed to attack Thomas here, the Confederate soldier could never have been made to believe that he had not lost his supreme opportunity, and that a beaten, demoralized and routed foe had been let slip from his grasp.  It was the crowning wave of Southern valor, endurance and vengeance sweeping northward, that dashed its crest into bloody foam on the breastworks at Franklin; and sixteen days later it was the undertow of defeat that drove it south again, beaten, vanquished and discomfited forever.”

After visiting the McGavock Confederate Cemetery where so many of his comrades lay he wrote:

“We were met and taken from the railroad depot in carriages out to and around about the battlefield, and from there to the Confederate cemetery, a beautiful spot on a tree-crowned ridge.  To this peaceful, lovely spot these great-hearted people have removed, at their own expense, our dead from their graves on the field, and marked each soldier’s resting place with a neat head-stone.  Standing here under the trees and amid the graves, Major Aken, a gallant Tennessee soldier, said, ‘We could almost wish that we, too, had been killed in battle, so that we might be buried here.’”