Franklin Quiz Answers

1. The Confederate offensive into Tennessee that eventually led to the Battle of Franklin was initiated by John Bell Hood after the loss of what major Southern city?

  • Petersburg
  • Vicksburg
  • Atlanta
  • Savannah
  • New Orleans

Answer: Atlanta.  Rather than continue the near-endless move/countermove operations against Sherman in Georgia, Hood decided to lunge for Tennessee, hoping to catch the Union forces there unaware.

2. John Bell Hood’s November 1864 invasion of Tennessee was focused on taking this important city under Union control

  • Memphis
  • Nashville
  • Spring Hill
  • Cincinnati
  • Vicksburg
John Bell Hood
Lieutenant General John Bell Hood (Library of Congress)

Answer: Nashville.  While Hood harbored grand illusions about the strategic possibilities of his offensive, his primary objective was to capture the Union-held city of Nashville.

3. Just the day before the Battle of Franklin, John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee engaged Union forces in the Battle of Spring Hill. What made this battle so important to the Battle of Franklin?

  • Hood would learn that Schofield’s forces were numerically weaker than his own.
  • That the Union army would remain vulnerable to flanking attacks by quicker Confederate forces.
  • Schofield’s vulnerable force would narrowly escape destruction and would become a formidable foe behind the trenches at Franklin.
  • Union prisoners would inform Hood of a safer, more direct route to Nashville.
  • Wounds to Patrick Cleburne and Ben Cheatham would force Hood to utilize less experienced division commanders at Franklin.

Answer: Schofield’s vulnerable force would narrowly escape destruction and would become a formidable foe behind the trenches at Franklin.  In one of the more remarkable events of the Civil War, John Schofield’s vulnerable Union force marched, at night, right by the campfires of Hood’s soldiers. This failure to cut off Schofield would cost Hood’s army the very next day.

4. The Confederate assault at Franklin on November 30, 1864 first struck an advanced position held by roughly 3,500 Union soldiers under the command of George Wagner. Describe the impact that this advanced line had on the battle?

  • It slowed the Confederate advance which allowed the Union army to bring up reinforcements.
  • Continued sniping from this line prevented the Confederates from bringing up their artillery.
  • It split the Confederate assault thus limiting its offensive power at the center of the Union line.
  • A captured George Wagner would provide important intelligence on the Union positions.
  • Wagner’s shattered troops, retreating towards the main line, would act as a human shield for approaching Confederates.

Answer: Wagner’s shattered troops, retreating towards the main line, would act as a human shield for approaching Confederates.  Wagner’s advanced line proved to be a key vulnerability that almost led to the defeat of the Union army at Franklin. Ironically, Col. Emerson Opdycke of Wagner’s Second Division refused to follow his commander into the Advanced Line and took up positions behind the main Union line. It was Opdycke’s troops that would play a critical role in blunting the Confederate breakthrough.

5. The Battle of Franklin would swirl through and around many natural and man-made landmarks. Which of these was not one of those landmarks?

  • Shy's Hill
  • The Cotton Gin
  • Carnton Plantation
  • The Carter House
  • The Collins Farm

Answer: Shy's Hill.  Shy’s Hill is one of the prominent landmarks associated with the Battle of Nashville.


To view more photos, visit our Battle of Franklin Photo Gallery.


6. The fierce close-quarter fight at the Battle of Franklin led to the death of 6 Confederate generals. Which of these generals survived the Battle of Franklin?

  • States Rights Gist
  • Patrick Cleburne
  • John Adams
  • Benjamin Cheatham
  • Hiram Granbury

Answer: Benjamin Cheatham.  Maj. Gen. Frank Cheatham would survive the Battle of Franklin and the Civil War. John Bell Hood would accuse Cheatham of dereliction of duty and a growing hatred would linger between the two men for the rest of their lives.

H. B. Granbury
Hiram B. Granbury

7. Brig. General Hiram Granbury, part of Cleburne’s Division, urged his men forward: “Forward, men; never let it be said that ________ lag in the fight.” Fill in the blank.

  • Arkansans
  • Georgians
  • Mississippians
  • Tennesseans
  • Texans

Answer: Texans.  Granbury’s Brigade was comprised of the 7th Texas, 10th Texas, 6th Texas Infantry/15th Texas Cavalry (dismounted), 17th & 18th Texas Cavalry (dismounted), 24th & 25th Texas Cavalry (dismounted), and the 5th Confederate Infantry. Patrick Cleburne, Granbury’s Division Commander, would call this Brigade of Texans his “band of heroes.”

8. The Confederate assault against the eastern flank of the Union position faced an additional impediment – abatis made of this material:

  • Osage orange branches
  • Prickly Pear cactus
  • Sharpened willow trees
  • Wild rose bushes
  • Intertwined Hawthorn branches

Answer: Osage orange branches.  Union troops along the eastern flank of their position placed a tangle of thick, thorn laden Osage orange branches in front of their trenches. This natural obstacle did much to slow attacking Confederate forces who had trouble making their way through the entanglements.

E. Opdycke
Emerson Opdycke (Library of Congress)

9. Despite great odds, the Confederate forces nearest the Columbia Pike were able to breach the Union main line and threatened the entire Union position. What enterprising Union colonel led a counter-charge that helped to stop this breakthrough?

  • John Schofield
  • George Thomas
  • Emerson Opdycke
  • Nathan Kimbell
  • Tod Carter

Answer: Colonel Emerson Opdycke.  Opdycke’s brigade of Midwesterners was well situated to attack the Confederate forces that had breached the main line near the Columbia Pike gap. When he wasn’t firing his pistol into nearby Confederate forces, Opdycke was seen driving retreating Union soldier back into the fight. Opdycke’s brigade helped save the day for the Union army at Franklin.

10. The Union counter-attack included 350 men of the 12th Kentucky and 65th Illinois who were equipped with 1860 Henry repeating rifles. Which of the following statements is not attributable to the Henry rifle?

  • The Henry rifle could hold 15 rounds.
  • The Henry had a rate of fire of roughly 28 rounds per minute.
  • In 1864 the Union army created special veteran units trained to use the Henry rifle.
  • The 1860 Henry would be the progenitor of the famous Winchester lever-action rifle of Wild West fame.
  • The Henry fired .44 caliber rimfire cartridges at a relatively low muzzle velocity.

Answer: In 1864 the Union army created special veteran units trained to use the Henry rifle.  Despite the remarkable firepower of the Henry rifle, the Union army refused to officially adopt this repeater. All units equipped with the Henry were done so out of private funds.

11. After its signal victory at Franklin on November 30, 1864, the Union army under Schofield would conduct the following operations on December 1, 1864.

  • They would launch a counterattack that would drive Hood’s forces from Tennessee.
  • They would conduct a reconnaissance in force, but remain largely in their trenches.
  • They would evacuate Franklin and continue their retreat northwards.
  • They would launch a hasty assault that was repulsed by Hood’s forces near Winstead Hill.
  • They would do almost nothing, sitting in their trenches awaiting another attack.

Answer: They would evacuate Franklin and continue their retreat northwards.  Despite delivering the Confederate Army of Tennessee a crippling blow, Union Maj. Gen. John Schofield would continue his command’s march towards Nashville and its reunion with the rest of George Thomas’s Union army. Many have wondered what might have happened had Schofield chosen to counterattack the shattered Confederate forces outside of Franklin on December 1, 1864.

12. Despite losing much of the Franklin battlefield to urban sprawl, there have been a number of signal battlefield preservation victories at Franklin. Which of these is not one of those recent victories?

  • 110 acres of the Eastern Flank battlefield
  • Carter House Gardens
  • Pizza Hut Restaurant Site near the breakthrough site
  • The Cotton Gin location
  • Dominos Pizza near the breakthrough site

Answer: Dominos Pizza near the breakthrough site.  Various preservation forces, including Franklin’s Charge, Save the Franklin Battlefield, and the Civil War Preservation Trust have diligently worked to reclaim key sections of this important battlefield.


  • In 2005 CWPT worked to preserve 110 acres of the Eastern Flank battlefield
  • In 2005, the Pizza Hut location was purchased, torn down, and converted into a battlefield park
  • In 2007, CWPT worked to preserve the Carter House Gardens – scene of some of the most brutal fighting at Franklin.

Now CWPT is working with Franklin’s Charge to help protect the Holt House property, where a key section of the Union main line passed through. Join us as we work to save this land and the Franklin Battlefield.

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