A Concentrated Roar of Musketry
Onward they came. After smashing the forward Union line under George Wagner, the Confederate soldiers within Cleburne’s famed division poured forth towards the Union main line ahead. For those just to the east of the Columbia Pike, the Cotton Gin could be clearly seen behind the stout Union lines. Onward through rifle fire and cannon shot they came… and down they fell in droves.
With Patrick Cleburne, their famous commander, now lying dead on the field, what remained of Cleburne's Division crawled towards the earthen and log line which jutted out in front of the Gin. The Ohioans who manned this section of the line devastated their assailants. Union Captain Aaron Baldwin of the 6th Ohio Artillery stated that the Confederates were “swept out of existence with every discharge from his deadly guns." The fight in front of the Cotton Gin turned into a charnel house for the attacking Confederates, the practical end of a fabled division.
Today, the Civil War Trust is proud to announce that it is working to save another critical piece of the once-lost Franklin Battlefield. This new preservation campaign will allow us to save some of the very land where the Federal main line passed next to the Cotton Gin.
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