In addition, Symonds unravels the "mystery" of Spring Hill and recounts Cleburne's dramatic and untimely death (at the age of 36) at Franklin, Tennessee, where he charged the enemy line on foot after having had two horses shot from under him. Symonds also explores Cleburne's role in the complicated personal politics of the Army of Tennessee, as well as his astonishing proposal that the decimated Confederate ranks be filled by ending a slavery and arming blacks against the Union.
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The Battle of Shiloh, fought in Tennessee in 1862, was the bloodiest engagement in American history to that time. The Battle of Chickamauga, fought in southeastern Tennessee in September 1863, produced the second highest number of casualties of any Civil War battle. The Battles of Franklin and Nashville were part of the Tennessee campaign in 1864.