67: Ending 1864: The Battles of the Crater, Mobile Bay, Centralia, and Franklin


Listener Advisory This episode includes stories of a racially motivated murder and other instances of extreme violence while not explicit listener discretion is advised. History that doesn't suck is a by weekly podcast delivering legit seriously researched hard hitting survey of American, history through entertaining stories. If you'd like to support HDD S or enjoy some perks like ad free early releases or patron exclusive mini episodes, please consider giving at patriotic dot com forward slash history that doesn't suck to keep up with HDD news follow us on facebook twitter or instagram. Leaky eighteen sixty four in the forty eighth Pennsylvania's making military history. No armies ever dug a tunnel longer than four hundred feet in length. It's impossible to many ventilation challenges. The men digging would I More so said General George Snapping Turtle Mead, and army of the Potomac. Chief Engineer Major Dwayne. When Colonel Henry pleasants proposed timeline under confederate lines, placing explosives and blowing the wraps the hell they dismissed the idea as quote unquote clap trap and nonsense. Only General Ambrose burnside put stock in it and with his approval, the forty eighth began to dig. And now as they finish their well past four, hundred feet, try five, hundred, eighty, six. A five hundred eleven foot main shaft, and two lateral branches. One going three seven feet to the left the other going thirty, eight feet to the right. Dan Sounds like the army of the Potomac engineers could learn a thing or two from the quaker states coal miners turn soldiers. General Ambrose, burnside is particularly excited about this. Remember the famously sideburns general commanded this very army eighteen, sixty two. Then, he botched at Fredericksburg, he's never quite shaken that failure but as the visionary who proved this tunnel, he sees redemption here he could be the hero who ends the war. Ambrose leaving nothing to chance. As the Pennsylvanians have been digging, he's had to fresh eager to fight brigades of black troops training specifically to lead the attack after the explosion the plan is perfect and now the last week of July the tunnels ready these troops are ready. Let's do this. But wait. A last minute change. Citing their lack of experience a hero of Gettysburg, General George Meade says, he doesn't want black troops leading. Ambrose, has to accommodate this a mere twelve hours before the attack begins his brigade general's draw straws to see who's battle-weary not trained for this white troops will take the lead. It falls to James Ledley who's left to survey the terrain in the dark of night hours before the attack. Okay. Again. Let's do this. It's now three thirty. Am July thirtieth. Eight thousand pounds of black powder in three hundred twenty kegs are in the tunnels to lateral branches literally running under the confederates feet. The boys in Blue Light, the fuse and Nothing Sergeant Harry recently tenant Jacob duty have crawl back in to check on the potentially live explosives. Talk about terrifying. But they find the problem splicing issue. They fit crawl, backout, light it again and this time. At four forty five am the Earth under confederate regiments swells that explodes like a volcano. Fire sheets out of the ground while cannons tents breast works chunks of dirt, the size of houses, horses, and roughly three hundred great clad men summoned one piece others not. Source, sixty feet in the air. This part of the confederate line is now a massive crater one, hundred, seventy feet long. Thirty feet deep and sixty feet wide. Looking at the aftermath, you tent Curl Stephen Weld, or the fifty sixth Massachusetts describes the scene as quote. Horrible men half buried some dead some alive. Somewhat they're kicking in the air some with their arms only exposed in some with every bone in their bodies apparently broken. Close quote. Good God blast the rebels to hell indeed. Yet. This is the opportunity attack. But General. James Lead. Men Aren't ready for this BA I stare into this crater this embodiment of hell on earth. Then it gets worse rather than moving quickly along the crater's edges and hitting the confederates with infiltrating fire down there now exposed trenches many federal's go into the crater itself. It's not all their fault. They've never experienced this and they're leaderless James is hanging in back trench getting drunk on. Rum. After hours of this chaos, the black troops are finally allowed to go in major. William H Powell tells us their training paid off. To, quote him. Their drill for this object had been unquestionably of great benefit. Have they led the attack fifteen or twenty minutes would have found them at Cemetery Hill before the enemy could have brought a gun to bear in the sharp little action. The colored troops captured some two hundred prisoners. Close quote. If, only they could have led. Instead their successes short-lived. Confederates have ample time to regroup. He trained their cannon on the boys in blue in the bowl below and opened fire. Then come the bayonets in hand to hand combat. In the end the union suffers four thousand casualties. The confederates only fifteen hundred. Ambrose is great. redemptive victory is lost. General Ulysses s grant later calls the battle of the crater saddest affair I have witnessed in the war such opportunity for carrying fortifications. I have never seen and do not expect again to have. It's an awful loss for Ambrose burnside and the union cause, but the black soldiers suffer most. In a letter home confederate soldier William Bagaram openly acknowledges that in line with the confederate policies we learned about an episode sixty one, his fellow soldiers aren't taking blacks captive. Their quote. Murdering down in cold-blood. Quote. Come out of there. You Yanks a rebel soldier yells at Lieutenant Colonel, Steven Wealth, and an unnamed black soldier hiding at the battles and. They leave the shelter ready to be taken prisoners by the confederates standing eight feet from. The. A man in grey gives the order. Shoot the. Don't kill the white man. Welcome a history that doesn't suck. I'm your Professor Greg. Jackson and I'd like to tell you this story. The Battle of the crater is yet another chapter in the siege of Petersburg which we got a small taste of an episode sixty four. But this siege or campaign really last nearly a year. So sticking with a more chronological approach, we're going to leave. Virginia. At this point and jump around the nation bit as we start to wrap up the year eighteen, sixty four to start we'll head down to mobile Alabama and find out what happens when Union Admiral David. Farragut means a confederate fleet to well armed forts and obey full of torpedoes. After, that action I'll take you farther west too factions called Jay. Hawkers and bush-whackers are carrying out some of the most horrific violence of the whole war and setting the stage for the wild west. Finally we'll head back East Tennessee confederate General John Bell Hood is leading a daring campaign. Can he break through union lines and make it to Kentucky will union break him. So no further ado, let's get going on our tour of the late eighteen, sixty four divided states. We start on Alabama's Gulf coast. David Farragut. We met him in episode fifty and I've mentioned him a few times since then in passing but seventeen episodes is a while. Let me jog your memory. To say David was born US navy man is barely hyperbole. Finish immigrant Father Georgy sailed as a patriot and fought the British during the American revolution. So did his namesake foster father David Porter whom David Farragut joined. It's only nine years old making the lad a teenage vet of the war of eighteen twelve. David stayed in the navy in the half a century since then and never once did this son of the south consider sailing for the confederacy. In fact, he led the naval campaign that resulted in the capture of his old haunt of New Orleans in eighteen, sixty two. Yeah. That had to be a little awkward. What can I say David Farragut is union a Navy through and through. And now in the summer of sixty four, the sharp-eyed straight mouth chiseled jot mid sixties. Admiral has sight set on the confederacies last major Gulf coast port. Alabama's mobile bay. In truth David's wanted to go after it for a while east, Texas mobiles the only port city in the Gulf War confederate vessels can get past the union blockade taking it out would deliver yet another significant blow to the CSA's economy and the southern sailor means to do just that. So here's the lay of the land or water as the case may be. Mobile Bay. itself is very wide, but it has to highly effective natural barriers protecting it. On the eastern side is thin, Sandy fifteen. Mile Long Peninsula It cuts west dramatically reducing access to the estuary. The other barrier is just below the bay's western shore. This is the fifteen mile long dolphin island. That leaves David Farragut with two options. Attack the small four PAL protected gap between South Island and the mainland or the larger approximately three mile gap between South Island in the peninsula? He's opting for the latter. This will be no small task. There are two forts to contend with over here. Dolphin Islands Fort Gaines and on the Peninsula's point for Morgan. While both are brick built and well-armed for Morgan's eighty, six cannons make particularly deadly. And we're still the confederates have filled the waters between these two citadels with water mines or torpedoes as they're called in the nineteenth century. Each of Mobile Bay's almost two hundred torpedoes pack enough punch to sink a ship. The only safe passage for his eighteen ship fleet that is four monitor style ironclad in fourteen would in vessels is two hundred yard opening directly under four Morgan's guns. They'll have to sail through in a line. Oh and if they make it this far, they'll be met by four confederate ships. In other words, they'll run a deadly gauntlet between two fords torpedo ridden waters then have to fight off a flotilla. Sounds almost recital. and. Yet. Here we go. It's early morning August fifth eighteen, sixty, four, the union loyal southern steams toward mobile. Bay. Better Handle Fort Morgan is wooden ships are lashed together and seven pairs larger ships are starboard they'll be absorbing the fortresses punishing blasts The action starts with the ironclad USS, tecumseh opening fire on Ford mortgage. Citadel answers and kind but as the fleet fort dual gets underway, the tecumseh connect with torpedo. The waters of mobile base swallow the powerful crucial ironclad. And less than a minute. Screens at explosions, Renne, the air as nearly all of the Tacoma's one, hundred, fourteen sailors go to their watery graves. Nothing short of a nightmare. Unsure terrified the USS Brooklyn's captain halts his ship. It's a devastatingly bad choice. Leading the line of Union vessels, his decision forces the Union Fleet of eighteen ships. Make that seventeen now to stop. And slaughter ensues. As Lieutenant as signal officer John Kinney describes quote. The whole fleet became a stationary point blank target for the guns. Afford. Morgan. Close quote. Aboard the second ship in the attack line, the fleet's flagship, the US Hartford John Watches in horror as cannonball sever heads and appendages including one man he loses both legs to one ball only lose both arms to another as he's falling. David Farragut will be damned though if he'll at one scared cat and destroy his fleet. The season battle-hardened Admiral Barks out in order for the. Hartford. To go around the Brooklyn Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead he screams at least according to legend. Hearing, deport the Hartford soon takes the lead and its crew cringes at the sound of their whole scrapes against torpedoes. Will share the comes his fate. Now. Looks like their dads how lucky for the Hartford. By this point thick smoke from cannon fire obscures the Hartford's field of vision. But if David won't let a captain's fear, stop his attack sure as hell won't let a physical impairment do so either. In. An Act as legendary as his damn the torpedoes line, the brave admiral climbs the main masts rigging mid battle. Here high above the bill is of smoke he haulers orders to the crew below. David's only protection is a bit of rope. The boatswain uses to lash the admiral to the very rigging itself. The commander remains an easy target, but at least he won't follow his death. It. Confederate flotilla attacks as the union fleet enters mobile bay the ironclad CSS Tennessee charges toward the Hartford. One of its rifleman's spots. David. Lashed to the rigging and fired repeatedly at the exposed admiral. The union commanders. Colts. Every shot misses. The Tennessee turns away but the federal flagships woes aren't over three confederate gunboats into the fray. The Hartford Fire starboard broadsides at two of them. While another, the CSS Selma opens raking fire on the Union vessel. The Hartford, responds by cutting loose, it's accompanying for excite ship the medication. She swiftly steams ahead and his joined by others from the Federal Fleet as they emerged from the torpedo Fort Gauntlet. It made quick work of the Selma forcing the rebel vessel surrender. The other two confederate gunboats are soon. Now the picture as well. The gains runs aground while the Morgan flees the fight. Yet, the Tennessee still menaces a powerful ironclad designed to ram other ships she steams toward the Union. Fleet. To Union screw sloops the Mananga Sheila and the Lackawanna try to beat the Tennessee at its own game dashing themselves against her iron whole but only end up damaging themselves. Then comes an ominous moment. The rebel ironclad in a Yankee flagship face each other down bow-to-bow. Perhaps fearing go down with her intended victim the Tennessee turns slightly off course. So she and the Hartford only graze pass each other. As they do the wooden union ship unleashes up broadside on the confederates, but it's utterly ineffective. Let God. The Tennessee seems invincible. Shortly after this that the damage Lackawanna, nearly collides with the Hartford. Frustrated David calls out to his flag officer John Kinney. Can you say for God's sake by signal? Yes. Sir. John Answers then say to the Lackawanna for God's sake get out of the way and anchor. With those orders from his intrepid commander John Takes his flags and literally signals just that. The fight rages beyond the fort's range several David's ships, Ram, and fire on the confederate. Then to union ironclad monitors the chickasaw in the Manhattan get the Tennessee within their range. As they blast their foe with eleven and fifteen inch guns. One of the chickasaw shots strikes Tennessee's rudder chain. That skillful or lucky shot disabled the ship. Cheers. Erupt from the Union sailors but there sobered by the carnage that greets them upon boarding the silence iron behemoth. The Manhattan's new tenant will later recall that the Tennessee's decks quote looks like a butcher shop. One man had been struck by the fragments of one of our fifteen inch shot and was cut into pieces. So small that the largest would not have weighed two pounds. Close quote. Sitting, twenty miles or more north and secure at the head of the bay. The actual city of mobile will remain in confederate hands until the effective end of the war. But that doesn't really matter. The confederates have lost the battle. The smaller fortification at the base soul other entry point for Powell falls that afternoon. Journal, Gordon. GRANGER's men than support the Union Fleet in taking out the other two forts. For gains will fall a few days later on August. Eighth of Fort Morgan Hangs in there until the twenty third. Two forts in a flotilla of torpedo laden water should have been a death sentence. Instead David Farragut closed a significant hole in the Union blockade took high profile confederate prisoner, the Tennessee's injured commander Admiral Franklin Buchanan, and of course, as we know from the last episode provided a victory that along with General William to come to Sherman's Atlanta on September I will help give new energy to Lincoln's reelection campaign. Tam David is not one to mess around with. Considering his equally brave eighteen, sixty, two victory at New Orleans. It's hard to disagree with signal officer John. Kenny. Who calls his lashed to the rigging torpedo damning admiral quotes. One of the greatest naval commanders, the world has ever seen. Flows quote. That wraps up our time visiting with David Farragut. It's time to get back on land and head up to Missouri where guerrilla warfare massacre await us. History that doesn't sake sponsored by Babas. Baba's makes most comfortable socks in history of feet. They've literally rethought every little detail of the socks we wear to make them away more comfortable. I wear them every day and I love how they never slide off my heel or bunch up on my toes. Doesn't matter if I'm in the classroom or going for run they keep me comfortable all day long. But the socks do more than keep my feet cozy. They help give back to the most vulnerable members of our community because for every pair of socks you purchase bombed donates a pair to someone in need. The generosity of Bomba's customers has allowed them to donate over thirty four million pairs of socks and county through their nationwide network of three thousand plus giving partners. Go to bombast dot com slash HDD s today and get twenty percent off your first purchase. That's B. O. M. B. A. S. dot com slash HDD s for twenty percent off. bombast dot com slash ht DS. And now back to the story. Missouri might not be home to Gettysburg Vicksburg Fredericksburg okay. Any of the famously bloodied Burg's but don't be fooled the show me state isn't a bastion of tranquillity. In the absence of epic battles between Mighty Armies Zuri of eighteen, sixty four is experiencing gruesome guerrilla warfare. Let me give you a little context. Missouri has been at the center of the fight over slavery since its birth as a state, you may recall from episode twenty seven that went into play for statehood. There was a big row over whether it should be free or slave. It ended with a compromise that brought Missouri into the Union as a slave state and set the free slave boundary of future Louisiana purchase territory at parallel thirty, six thirty. This held until Missouri's next door neighbor Kansas apply for statehood in eighteen, fifty four. The old compromise died as did a number of people amid pro versus anti slavery. Violence. On the one side Surrey's border ruffians used voter fraud and bullets to try to make slavery viable in their neighboring state. Kansas abolitionists responded in kind forming their own vigilante groups that came to be known as Jay. Hawkers. Things got so bad. is both sides robbed and murdered each other the term bleeding Kansas came into use as I told you about back in episode forty one. Yet the vigilantism only heated up when war broke out. Given. Their anti slavery sentiment mini Jay Hawkers Aligned with the union and became federal units. Meanwhile. Many Ruffians became bushwacker. Think banned its use guerrilla tactics to ambush union troops. They are officially in the confederate army, but they fight for the PSA when it fits their purposes. But whether Jay Hawkers Bushwacker Don blue or gray make no mistake these men who've cut their teeth in this conflict by murdering robbing and plundering their foe aren't letting go of their wild west habits or grudges. Frankly for some of these men, the wars just licensed to indulge their thirst for such unsavory acts. As historian James McPherson puts it quote. The guerrilla fighting in Missouri produced a form of terrorism that exceeded anything else in the war. Close quote. There are numerous examples of such brutality among Missouri's more than one thousand civil war battles and skirmishes but perhaps, the most famous or infamous rather happens in September eighteen, sixty four under the leadership of the. bushwacker. Called William Bloody. Bill Anderson. William is not a man you want cross. If there was any doubt about that. He settled the question last year during a particularly rage raid on the abolitionists stronghold of Lawrence Kansas. See you need commander. Thomas Ewing had previously arrested a number of bushwacker wives and sisters for providing support Intel but the jail holding them in Kansas City Missouri inexplicably collapsed. Some. died in this tragic accident including one of William's three detained teenage sisters and these deaths inspired the bush-whackers hit lawrence with an unparalleled fury. Kill every male and burn every house, their leader William Clarke quantrill instructed and on August twenty first eighteen, sixty, three, they did their best to live up to that. Is Four hundred fifty raiders raised one hundred, eighty five buildings and killed the hundred, eighty, two males, men and boys alike. As they butchered citizens and plundered William Anderson made a name for himself. Literally, that's where he picked up the moniker bloody bill. It's now September twenty, seventh eighteen, sixty, four in a bearded long-haired William. Bloody Bill Anderson is in a foul mood. Not only has his sizeable posse suffered some setbacks in recent days. Six of his men were killed and scalped by federal troops likely Jayhawker. But he's tired of waiting on confederate general sterling price. He decides to move on the small rail station town a Centralia. It won't necessarily help the confederate cause, but he might get news of the general and he wouldn't mind plundering the hundred or so people who live there. They arrive in Centralia at ten am the homes and stores provide little value. The one box car on the railroad proves nice find it contains boots half of these bush-whackers wear stolen union blue coats already so they'll happily wear union boots as well. Better, still whiskey. Barrel of it. Buddy bill and his men drink deeply. Some of the inebriated bush-whackers hold up a carriage with guns drawn they loudly demand. Out with your pocketbooks, we are southern men and confederate sympathizers you ought not rob us. The Soon Wallace passengers protests why do we care hells full of all such southern men? why Ain't you in the army or out fame? Yeah. Don't mistake bloody bills policy for ideologues. If anything they're, opportunists. Speaking of opportunity. Comes a train. It's about twelve noon when the conductor sees, the bush-whackers ahead is probably eighty or so at the train station, some are stacking railroad ties on the track to force to stop train others are riding around the slow train in their stolen blue coats, shouting firing off their handguns and otherwise instilling fear in the trains horrified one, hundred, twenty, five passengers. They're aggressive. War cries blend with the terrified screams and sobs of women children looking at the gun toting bandits through the train cars windows. bush-whackers board the train. They grow from car to car taking jewelry watches, pocketbooks for anything evaluate. If, fire their guns into the ceilings yell and swear the passengers while the Scared Children's Saab. Bloody Bill opens the safe in relieves it of the three thousand dollars inside while the future famous outlaw brothers frank and Jesse James are among those who find a suitcase filled with cash good God here's thousands of greenbacks frank exclaims? Right, it's about ten thousand bucks. Are they're soldiers on the train? One of bush-whackers calls out. The passengers admit yes, there are but they're all unarmed. And that's true. The twenty-three soldiers on the train had been discharged or they're on leave from General William Tecumseh Sherman's Army, which is currently fighting in Georgia. These men are simply headed home. The bush-whackers charge the union soldiers coach surrender surrender surrender quietly, and you shall be treated as prisoners of war one of the bandits haulers. We can only surrender as we are totally unarmed a soldier replies. Bloody bill presses all the passengers onto the train platform force in soldiers to exit onto the. Flat Open Plain. bushwacker surround the Union. Take off your uniforms strip. Obeying the order, the soldiers begin removing their blue uniforms and their boots. One soldier Bill Barnum requires help. It's not easy being stripped of your clothes while on crutches. And other unfortunate is a to integrate. Poor English and had the great misfortune of wearing a blue shirt that passes for union blue. As this plays out bushwacker take another pass at robbing the passengers shooting one well dressed man. Amid the screams cries of his mother and all the children in the crowd. His dead body drops on the tracks. Soldiers are now told the lineup. This it. Are they going to be killed. Some pray others plead for their lives. What are we going to do with these fellows? Little Archie clements asks. Parole, then of course. Bloody Bill Answers. Thoughts. You might pick out two or three though exchange for cave. Yet maybe they could trade back that fellow bushwacker. Cave Wyatt. Blood bill agrees and haulers. Boys have you a sergeant in your ranks. No response. Have you a sergeant in your ranks the twenty four year old commanding bushwacker forcefully repeats. If there be one, let him step aside Sergeant Thomas Goodman is sure whoever steps forward as good as dead. Maybe. Lucky at that. Frankly. What will happen torture then death You won't let it happen one of the other sergeants. Wearing nothing but his underwear he steps forward as quickly whisked away by tube routes. You federal's have just killed six soldiers scalp Tom and left them on the prairie. I will show you that I can kill men with as much skill in repeatedly as anybody. You all to be killed and sent the hell that is the way every damn soldier shall be served with falls into my hands. Amid cries God sobs and others you choose stoic silence roughly twenty five bush-whackers fired their revolvers. Successful a dozen men stagger and try to flee. Except Val Peters that is the massive powerfully built naked soldier charges at his executioners blood gushes from his wounds as he pushes past them. He hides in the train depot. The bush-whackers burn him out of hiding it light up the depot and simply wait. Valley merges wielding a flaming pieces of wood is a club. He beats to bush-whackers to the ground but then. The executioners finish the job. They, get a clear shot, an empty twenty rounds into him. Twenty two union soldiers and one unfortunate German lay dead. The bushwacker scout the corpses Lee fire burning at the depot. Enforce the engineer to send his lit up flaming train steaming down the track with the whistle sounding. Not, a soul on board. Bushwacker may canteens of the new boots to haul the whiskey and he put the almost bare sergeant Thomas Goodman, on a Mule Hellfire too good for you. You son of a bitch. Big taunt while pointing their guns. Adam. Bloody Bill, and his men stop another approaching train. The force it to run over a dead soldier severing the corpses lags. After setting this train on fire to. The bush-whackers right off with their captive sergeant. Drawn by the building smoke over the town union major eight Johnston and his thirty ninth Missouri. Mounted. Infantry ride into Centralia they right around three PM and are overwhelmed at the site and smells of a dead scout soldiers. Now. The major has some green men letty bill and his boys or season soldiers. The Majors Union force is just over one hundred, fifty strong. In full force, the BUSHWACKER number three to four hundred. In other words, a federal offensive is not the logical choice right now. But the strong headed major won't let this stand. He leaves a few dozen troops and Centralia and takes one hundred twenty or so out to fight bloody bill and his game. The Rookie Cavalry seen spot ten riders. An easy target they pursue until they've written about two miles outside of Centralia. Then across an open field. The thirty ninth Missouri. Sees. Bushwacker Eline Young's creek. They number eighty. The union men still have the numbers to one. Yet to major age Johnson surprise, they appear not to be fleeing, but to be preparing to charge him. The major orders, his men dismount in prepared received them with bayonets. Mahogany God, the Lord have mercy on them they're dismounting defy. A bushwacker exclaims. It seems they disagree with their union adversaries approach. All Sit in silence for several minutes. Frustrated the major yells at his Co. we are ready come on. And they do. Bloody Bill twirls his hat and at that. Is Eighty men back the hammer on the revolvers in unison. Then slowly be advanced. But as they draw close the Union soldiers realized more Bushwacker Zoom. They hadn't seen earlier emerging on their flanks. Charge bloody bill yells. Union. Soldiers in the back flee while the inexperienced ones in the front fire irregularly and with little thought for aim. They hardly hit a man as the far more numerous in mounted bushwacker swiftly close in on them from three sides. Some federal cry for mercy others fight with the bayonet winnable INS, their commanders life. Bow Fall silent for a moment. The bush-whackers dismounted advance on the surrendered federal's was swords bayonets in is hand. Here again, the bush-whackers kill and mutilate their foe severing heads to place on fence posts and removing ears is. Nearly the entire three ninth Missouri is wiped out. Added to the unarmed soldiers on the train. That's death count well over one hundred. Bloody Bill Loses three men. Small numbers for civil war we both know that but the massacre in the battle of Centralia not only demonstrates how. The fight is in Missouri. This fateful September day also numbers among the most lopsided engagements of the whole war. Bloody. Bill get shot in the next month. He dies a villain in the north in a hero to some in the south. Bloody Bill and other bushwacker will be romanticized as we'll. They're equally violent. Jay Hawkers. Indeed let's remember that while I've elected to tell you this one of the most incredible tales of Missouri's violence don't mistake the union slash Jayhawker as saints the shoe can be an is found on the other foot. Future generations will re imagine bushwacker Jaywalkers alike as Robin Hood, type heroes. And to be fair, they aren't without a code of honor notice that amid the extreme violence I never once mentioned an instance of sexual assault, against women. Furthermore. The bush-whackers come to respect prisoner sergeant, Thomas Goodman, and has such. They let him go ten days later. Just, how virtuous these men are will vary from figure to figure. But either way they'll make excellent fodder for twentieth century Hollywood. I mean, who doesn't enjoy listening to Clint Eastwood ask are you GonNa pull those pistols or whistle Dixie? But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Plenty of time to explore the lives of the wild west. Civil war trained outlaws and see where facts me apart from silver screen legend. Once mighty conflict is over. For. Now, we need to visit one last crucial, eighteen, sixty, four campaign, and that means heading back east of bit. An entire army is about to me is effective in and the state of Tennessee. It's November, eighteen, sixty four and things aren't looking good for the confederacy. Abraham Lincoln is winning reelection. Ulysses s grant's campaign slash siege in Virginia, which we guide taste of today's opening continues and Union General William Tecumseh Sherman is just beginning a famous or infamous depending on your view March through Georgia. No question. Then the CSI needs serious win. But since the damage General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee is doing to rail union supply lines can't lure comp out of Georgia the confederate commanders come up with a Hail Mary play. Here's the plan one legged John Hood and his massive gloriously flowing beard will take his forty thousand man army, which is currently in Florence Alabama and headed Tennessee. They're the aggressive commander intends to fight his way through the state sixty thousand federals. Now. That sounds nuts in frankly likely is but there is some logic here. The boys in blue are divided into two fairly equal sized armies in two different middle Tennessee town's one is Nashville. The other is Pulaski and yes, it is named after the Polish revolutionary war hero we met in episode eleven Kashmir Polaski. Nashville is roughly seventy five miles north of Polaski. If John Hood can somehow keep these forces from uniting that, he'll have the numbers on his side in each engagement he can beat them then push north into neighboring. Kentucky. Once there he believes he can find another twenty thousand recruits. Then take his enlarged victorious Army East to help Robert Lee defeat US grant. It's a bowl play but to continue with sports analogies, they do say the best defense is a good offense sprite. Let's see how this campaign turns out. Joined by the Feared Cavalry Commander Nathan Bedford Forrest General John Hood and his army of Tennessee depart north from Florence Alabama on November twenty. First. The march furiously John Wants to get between the two union forces to make sure he can take them on one at a time. But Tennessee's federal general see this both by the way are men we've met previously up in Nashville we have the southerner whose family disowned him for his union loyalty General George Thomas He commands the army of the Cumberland. You might also recall his awesome nickname, the rock of chicken Maga, which he picked up back in episode sixty two. Dan Polaski we have General John. Scofield. He commands the Army of the Ohio in answers to George. Thomas both men led armies during episode sixty, five Atlanta camping. Both men are savvy enough to surmise that their confederate opponents will try to divide and conquer them and acting with such foresight John. Scofield moves his force forty miles north to the duck river near Columbia. It's a full on a race between the two opposing armies the boys in blue. March. Day and night. To their breakneck pace, be managed to reach the small town that was once home to James K Polk I the whole. Alas. Without time to visit his house turned museum. I'm kidding, of course, it is a museum yet. John Scofield's federal's take defensive position on the northern side of the duck river, which means the confederates still haven't managed to get between the Union army's. From November twenty fourth to twenty seventh there are small skirmishes but things heat up on the twenty ninth. In stonewall Jackson style John Hudson's Cavalry Commander Nathan Bedford Forrest on an eastern flank movement, a strike union troops farther up the turnpike that leads north to Franklin. If they can take this small village or more importantly the road they will effectively prevent these union forces from falling back farther north in reconnecting with George Thomas Zeman. The fight rages through the afternoon. Some. Federal. Lose Hope. At one point an officer sees one soldier retreating in a full sprint. Stop my man what are you running for? He yells out because I have no wings to fly with the still running soldier haulers right back. Thankfully for such terrified federal troops, John Scofield becomes aware of the flanking movement and since two divisions to help them hold the all important road. Doesn't sure an easy win though the battle springhill rages on as the autumn daylight gives way to the dark of night. John Hood has full confidence of a morning victory as he retires to his headquarters. But John Scofield has some tricks of his own. He takes his entire army marches north that very night. Moving along the turnpike the pass within sight of confederate camps. A few confederates notice them and make reports. But nothing is done. The whole. Union army passes them by as campfires crackle. When daybreak the next morning November thirtieth John Hood learns of what happened. Why slapped the flanking at Spring Hill was completely for not the union armies are only that much closer to uniting. Enraged at frustrated the one legged confederate general immediately his forces after John Scofield's. It's now early afternoon John Hood's men have spent the whole morning marching only to find their northern Fo- dug in Franklin twenty thousand Yankees wrap around the town's Western and southern sides below the harbour th-. River. They're all tucked in their earthworks, their artillery's prepped and ready to go. Considering. The Blue Coats high tailed it out of Columbia Spring. Hill just last night they couldn't be in a better defensive position. Generals Nathan Bedford Forrest and Benjamin Cheetham both tell John Hood in attack here is folly. But always he determined he sure that half his problem in this campaign has been the weakness of his men. They're soft. They need to toughen up and be real man and with that line of thinking John Hood insists that his army will attack. The men prepare for Battle Irish immigrant turn confederate General Patrick Clever whose fierce fighting we heard about an episode, sixty two reports these ready to the confederate commander. General I am ready and I have more hope in the final successive are caused than I have had at any time since the first gun was fired. God granted. John Hood Answers. With precious little daylight remaining the Graham butternut troops form lines around fourteen. The military band strikes up and they advance. Rifles cracked the fighting gets hot. The federals fall back they dash the half a mile to the next union line as the confederates yell shots and fire. Patrick. Cleverness Division is among those in the heat of his fight. He. Knows that if they don't break the Union line now thought a hell the time during the later. As he leads his men forward, his horses shot from underneath them. No. He another. Two is soon shot. Patrick now, advances on foot in the front sword held high encouraging his men and then. A bullet rips through the irish-born confederate generals chest. He falls dead than there. Patrick's death is heavy loss with say, but it's far from the only such loss here. Today rebels managed to overrun some Yankee entrenchments. That first retreating federal line is out of the way union artillery and rifles unload on their enemy. The fighting ends in the dark of night at nine o'clock. John Hood has stained almost seven thousand casualties. Six confederate generals are dead including just Patrick, but also general states rights gist. Yes. You heard that correctly first name states, Middle Name Rights States rights gist. How's that for an aptly named confederate? Fifty four regimental commanders or casualties as well. Meanwhile, the unions losses are just over two thousand or about one third of John Hoods. I don't think this was the lesson in manliness contended tended to give his men. Were still for the confederate commander John Scofield gives him the slip. Again. The. Boys in Blue March the last fifteen miles north to Nashville through the night. By the next day generals John Scofield and George Thomas have a united four strong in numbers while John Hoods greatcoats have suffered a huge loss to there's. Many of his men are truly bidder. A Texan in the confederate army of Tennessee Sanyal t foster writes this in his journal. The whales and cries of widows and orphans made it Franklin Tennessee. November thirtieth eighteen, sixty four will heat up the fires of the bottomless pit to burn the soul of General J. B. Hood for murdering their husbands and fathers at that place that day. Can't be called anything else but cold blooded murder he sacrificed those men make the name of hood famous. When if the history of it is ever written, it will make him infamous. John Hood is the only thing he can at this point. He pursues he takes his army up to Nashville where his former West Point Professor General George Thomas Now commands a combined army of all seventy thousand men. Confederate offensive would be insane and it seems that even John Hood understands that after what just happened to Franklin? and. So he sits outside the union held state capital in a waits for the Yankees come to him. To surprise though the days pass. No attack comes. And why not? Ulysses grant and the bigwigs in Washington start to get nervous. On December sixth euless wires the following order to George Thomas Attack Hood at once in wait no longer for remount over cavalry, there is great danger of delay. But still he doesn't. attack. War Secretary Edwin Stanton fumes that this is like having George Little Mac McClellan back while you list considers relieving George Thomas of his command. After two weeks of waiting though the Old West Point professor completes his preparations. He's ready to school his old pupil once more. In this time John Hoods failing the course. On December Fifteenth Fifty Thousand Yanks Fain then charge on the twenty five thousand ribs to Black Brigades participate in the opening movements there. Colonel will know after the battle that quote colored soldiers had fought side by side with white troops they had assisted each other from the field when wounded and they lay side by side and death a new chapter in the history of liberty has been written. Close quote. Continuing with the same tactics the next day the Union army prevails. John. Hood gets the remaining twenty thousand or so of his very depleted army to the safety of Tupelo Mississippi in January eighteen sixty five. Understandably. He then resigns. The momentum has shifted several times in this year's long war. But as is the case here in Tennessee is decidedly with the Union as we end eighteen, sixty four. Were almost ready to charge into the last few months of battle in the year eighteen, sixty five. But one chapter remains before we do so. Union General William to come to March to the sea. It's not a story to rush though. So join me next time as follow comp on scorched earth campaign that will smolder in the hearts of some. For decades. History. That doesn't suck is created and hosted by me Greg Jackson, researching and writing by Greg Jackson C. L. Salazar production by airship. Designed by Derek Barons theme music composed by Greg Gas arrangement and additional composition by Lindsey Graham of airship for Bibliography all primary secondary sources consultant writing this episode visit HDD. Past Dot Com. HDTV supported by fans at Patriotair Dot com forward slash history that doesn't suck. Seattle and beyond grateful kind souls providing funding to help us keep. Thank you and a special links to our patrons whose monthly gift puts them producer status we'll call. Well Jason. Parsons John. Frugal Dougal Michael in Rachel. Bob Draza Vich feet Downer drew hill and fortunately bright and. Rap Bernie DAX. Jones. Sir John Reach Jeffrey Needs. andbranch shop. Join me in two. Weeks. where I'd like to tell you.

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