Battle of Franklin, Virginia

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    The Fight at Franklin, Virginia
    3rd October, 1862
    North Carolina Standard
    October 15, 1862
    Camp Franklin
    6th October, 1862
    Mr. Editor:
    The regiments of Colonels Marshall and Ferebee were awakened from their slumbers Friday 
    morning by the booming cannon heralded from three mortar gun boats.  The bugle sounded 
    and soon we were in our saddles.  A few minutes more and we were within a few paces of 
    their guns, pouring a most destructive fire into the windows, doors, port holes, and every 
    other place where a Yankee dared to show his face.  We fought them hard and stubbornly for 
    four hours amid the rain of shot, shell and grape—when they were forced to retire after having 
    lost according to their own acknowledgement, 200 in killed and wounded.  Our loss was three 
    men slightly wounded.
    Scarcely had the echo of their cannon died away before we were again summoned to the field 
    of conflict along with Col. Ferebee’s regiment when Captain Edward Graham with is battery, 
    aided by Captain Wright’s Rocket Battery opened upon the advancing foe.  After two hours 
    brave fighting with artillery they were driven back in confusion leaving behind them their arms, 
    ammunition, clothing and one piece of artillery carrying their killed and wounded supposed to 
    be some 60 to 80.  We lost only one man slightly wounded.
    The force of the enemy in the evening fight was about 3,500 men with six pieces of artillery.  
    We had only about 900 men engaged.
    Yours Truly,
    Headquarters, District N.C., Petersburg, Va., 10-8
    I, the general commanding, beg to express my high sense of gratification of the gallant bearing 
    of the forces under my command, Col. J.K. Marshall, 52nd Regiment N.C.T. consisting of his 
    own regiment; Col. D.D. Ferebee’s Regiment N.C. Partisan Rangers; Capt. Norfleet’s 
    unattached company; Captain Edward Graham’s Battery of Light Artillery; and a segment of 
    Captain S.T. Wright’s Rockey Battery—in the engagement at Franklin, Va., on Friday, 3rd inst., 
    where, without loss to themselves, they repulsed with much damage an attack from the enemy 
    gunboats and from land forces greatly superior in numbers to their own.
    By Order Of
    Brigadier General S.G. French
    Graham Daves, Assistant Adjutant General
    We were enabled yesterday, through the courtesy of a gentleman who had conversed with an 
    officer present at the fight to gain a few additional particulars concerning the fight of Friday last.  
    The first approach of the enemy was heralded by a loud report from one of the Yankee gun 
    boats and upon examination it was discovered that three others followed in the wake of the 
    first.  A large number of Col. Ferebee’s Partisan Rangers N.C., were quickly posted in the 
    dense underbrush on the side of the river.  No sooner had the gun boat gotten within range 
    then the sharp shooters opened on them quickly clearing the decks.  For several hours the 
    gun boats tried to move forward but as fast as they could supply the places of their wounded 
    and killed the new comers were picked off.  When the enemy at last became disheartened the 
    retrograde movement of their steamers commenced.  Our sharp shooters followed them for 
    several hours down the river, blazing away.  Every crevice and aperture was hit where it was 
    thought a bullet would likely find its way to a Yankee body.  It is estimated that at least 100 
    of the enemy were killed and wounded in the affair.  The fight on our side was conducted 
    solely by the sharp shooters, not a piece of cannon being brought into the action.  Our 
    casualties were very trifling.  Two men were wounded and neither of them mortally.
    During the afternoon on Friday, the enemy was seen approaching in considerable force 
    across the country coming from the direction of Suffolk.  This new demonstration was made 
    by about 2,500 infantry, six pieces of artillery and from 300 to 500 cavalry.  Captain Graham’s 
    Petersburg Battery and two sections of Captain Wright’s Rocket Battery were ordered into 
    position and when the enemy got within range our gunners opened on the vandals with fine effect.  
    The fight continued for two hours when our shot and shell fell so fast among the enemy that 
    they fled in great confusion.  Our men behaved admirably throughout the engagement.  
    Captain Graham’s battery fired one shell which exploded in the very midst of a body of 
    Yankee infantry.  It was stated by a farmer living nearby, it killed six men.  The enemy carried 
    three wagon loads of killed and wounded off.  The Confederates had one man wounded, none 
    Captain Wright’s Rocket Battery guns are said to have played havoc with the enemy cavalry.  
    The fierce whizzing of the rockets and its fiery train as it fell among the northern horsemen 
    produced great terror among the horses resulting in the unhorsing of many Yankees.
    Our forces were in high spirits as a result of this first formidable demonstration and anxious 
    to get another chance at the dastardly invaders.

    Transcribed by Christine Spencer July 2007

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