n late November 1864, the last Southern army east of the Mississippi that was still free to maneuver started out from northern Alabama
on the Confederacy
’s last offensive. John Bell Hood and his Army of Tennessee had dreams of capturing Nashville
and marching on to the Ohio River, but a small Union force under Hood’s old West Point
roommate stood between him and the state capital. In a desperate attempt to smash John Schofield’s line at Franklin, Hood threw most of his men against the Union works, centered on the house of a family named Carter, and lost 30 percent of his attacking force in one afternoon, crippling his army and setting it up for a knockout blow at Nashville two weeks later. With firsthand accounts, letters and diary entries from the Carter House Archives, local historian James R. Knight paints a vivid picture of this gruesome conflict.
Alabama was part of the territory of the Old Southwest, to which American migration brought increased settlement leading to statehood in 1819. The Confederate States of America was formed by the states that seceded from the Union in 1861 and was dissolved in 1865. The United States Military Academy has been established at West Point on the Hudson River to train officers for the U.S. Army for more than two centuries. The Battles of Franklin and Nashville were part of the Tennessee campaign in 1864.