James R. Knight is a graduate of Harding University, 1967. He spent five years as a pilot in the United States Air Force and thirty-one years as a pilot for Federal Express, the last twenty years as a DC-10 captain. In the early '90s, he began researching a historical incident in his hometown and wrote an article that was published in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. In 2003, Eakin Press published his biography of Bonnie and Clyde titled Bonnie and Clyde: A 21st Century Update. In 2007, he published the story and correspondence of a Confederate cavalryman titled Letters to Anna. He retired from Federal Express in 2004 and lives in Franklin, Tennessee, where he works part time as a guide at the Carter House, a local Civil War historic site. He and his wife Judy have three children and six grandchildren.
The Battle of Franklin: When the Devil Had Full Possession of the Earthby James Knight
In late November 1864, the last Southern army east of the Mississippi that was still free to maneuver started out from northern Alabama on the Confederacy's last offensive. John Bell Hood and his Army of Tennessee had dreams of capturing Nashville and marching on to the Ohio River, but a small Union force under Hood's old West Point roommate stood between him and
In late November 1864, the last Southern army east of the Mississippi that was still free to maneuver started out from northern Alabama on the Confederacy's last offensive. John Bell Hood and his Army of Tennessee had dreams of capturing Nashville and marching on to the Ohio River, but a small Union force under Hood's old West Point roommate stood between him and the state capital. In a desperate attempt to smash John Schofield's line at Franklin, Hood threw most of his men against the Union works, centered on the house of a family named Carter, and lost 30 percent of his attacking force in one afternoon, crippling his army and setting it up for a knockout blow at Nashville two weeks later. With firsthand accounts, letters and diary entries from the Carter House Archives, local historian James R. Knight paints a vivid picture of this gruesome conflict.
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The History Press well serves the local, regional and state book markets. In the publisher's Civil War Sesquicentennial Series each book is a concise, illustrated history of an epic battle, a critical turning point, a pivotal campaign or an important city. The authors are respected Civil War scholars and regional historians who offer their research in crisply written, well illustrated and suitably mapped volumes. James R. Knight has offered two in this series; one on Fort Donelson and one on the Battle of Franklin. Both are fine examples of clear and complete within the series that has a 200 page, or there about, limit. A few weeks ago, CWL reviewed Fort Donelson: No Terms But Unconditional Surrender. Franklin's battlefield is in the process of recovery from development. The Carter House is now a National Historic Landmark located on the field of the 1864 Battle of Franklin. The house serves as the interpretive center for the battle and features a museum and guided tours. Following the bloody battle on November 30, 1864, wounded soldiers were treated at the Carnton Plantation with its antebellum mansion. Probably four or more Confederate generals were laid out on its back porch. Nearby is the McGavock cemetery, one of the largest Confederate graveyards in the nation. Both of these sites were featured in Robert Hicks' bestselling novel The Widow of the South. The Lotz House Museum features artifacts and antiques from the Battle of Franklin, the Civil War, and frontier Tennessee. Organized in 2005, Franklin's Charge is an organization dedicated to preserving Civil War battlefields in Williamson County, Tennessee, and to educating the public about Civil War events occurring in Middle Tennessee. One of its goals is to bring together all preservation groups operating in Williamson County. James Knight's The Battle of Franklin is in part evidence that the citizens of Franklin and their neighbors have been successful their preservation efforts. With reports from the Official Records, letters and diary entries from the Carter House Archives, middle Tennessee historian James R. Knight paints a vivid portrait of leaders and enlisted men. Knight addresses what can be known of the battle and the questions are left unanswered. The questions of Hood punishing the army for its failure at Spring Hill, the likelyhood of Hood of being over medicated for wounds, and just how many dead Rebel generals were on the Carnton house front porch are reasonably answered by the author. Knight recovers the story of the civilians during the battle and their attempt to live after a battle which heavily damaged their property and filled their yards and fields with the dead and dying. He handles Hood's campaign strategy well and the army's path to middle Tennessee, the event at Spring Hill and John Schofield's mistakes and achievements during the retreat to Nashville. Federal and Confederate rank and filetroops' testimony of the campaign is present in every chapter. Knight nicely concludes the book with a brief description of the demise of the Confederate army during and after the Battle of Nashville. Also, in an epilogue, Knight offers brief summaries of the commanders careers and lives after the battle and war. Knight's Fort Donelson and The Battle of Franklin are essential for visitors to the sites and for those are looking for accessible books on the turning points of the Civil War