Saturday, December 01, 2018

November 30, 1864: Confederates Lose 14 Generals and 1/3 of Troops at the Battle of Franklin

via History and Headlines.
On November 30, 1864, Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood set what has to be a record for an American general for getting his subordinate generals killed and wounded after ordering an epic fail charge against Union forces led by Major General John M. Schofield at the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee during the American Civil War.


The opposing forces started out virtually dead even, with 27,000 troops on each side.  Hood planned to attack the Union forces with a frontal assault even though his cavalry commander, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, counseled instead for an envelopment of the dug-in Union troops and a cut-off their escape route.

The attack was brave, but ill considered.  The slaughter totaled tremendous losses among the Confederate officers not seen in any other battle in U.S. history.  Besides the 6 generals killed, another 7 generals were wounded, and 1 was captured.  Going down the line of command, 55 regimental commanders were killed or wounded!  Although the Union Army suffered over 2,300 casualties, less than 200 of those were deaths.  An additional 1,100 Union troops were captured or missing, bringing the number of casualties up to 9%.

In contrast, 1,750 Confederate soldiers were killed and another 3,8000 wounded.  Adding in 702 for those captured or missing brings the number up to 6,252, a third of the total number of troops used in the attack (several thousand Confederate troops were not yet in position to participate in the attack).  The action became known as “The Pickett’s Charge of the West,” a comparison to the futile assault on Union lines at Gettysburg a year earlier.
Story here. 

The civil war isn't on my list of things I'm interested in but a battle of this magnitude along with the losses should have been on my radar screen.

It wasn't.

It makes me wonder.

Did the South lose the war (besides fighting for a morally bankrupt cause) because they were recklessly aggressive?

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