|from a contemporary print: the two-mile route from Winstead Hill to Franklin|
Soon we noticed the right of Stewart’s command wrapping around Conrad’s left, and then our men rose up and the break commenced. It was a grand sight! For the moment we were spellbound with admiration, although they were our hated foes. . . . the afternoon sun, like a ball of fire, was settling in all its southern splendor in a molten sea of bronze, over the distant hills, and in the hazy golden light. . . .
|Bullet holes that remain in the buildings at the Carter House|
|The climax of the Confederate attack, with Opdyke's counterattack|
As the Rebels are pressed back, hundreds are caught on the Union side of the fortifications, and surrender. At this point, the Rebels cannot retreat, but are trapped on the outside of the earthworks, while Federal rifle fire is too dense to allow a retreat. In addition, the structure of the Union earthworks allow enfilade fire on any Rebels sheltering on the outside of the walls. So, both sides fight each other from each side of the same earthen wall. Many of the Southerners have it tougher: as they tried to approach the Federal lines, heavy clumps of cheval-de-frise (sharpened stakes) impeded their advance, and along a large portion of the line, dense hedges of thornsome Osage Orange bushes grow, nearly impenetrable. The deep ditch in front of the earthworks becomes filled with dead and wounded Confederates; their comrades stand on top of them, loading and firing, or handing up rifles to those at the top.
|Detail of the fighting in the Union center, around the Carter House|
D.H. Patterson remembers that “two lines of men fought with but a pile of dirt between them. In firing, the muzzles of the guns would pass each other, and nine times out of ten, when a man rose to fire he fell back dead.” Another soldier noted that many men had both hands shot off. The fighting goes on until long after dark, and finally stops around 9:00PM.