Union troops fought at Fort Granger during the Battle of Franklin of November 30, 1864. As the sun set that afternoon, Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood's army engaged Union Gen. John M. Schofield's troops in a vicious battle. Five horrific hours of terrible fighting, which included extensive hand-to-hand combat and artillery fire, resulted in roughly 10,000 casualties.
Situated at this vantage point during the battle, Schofield had a commanding view of the battlefield. Simultaneously, he monitored the building of pontoon bridges across the Harpeth River that allowed him to move troops and supply wagons to Nashville once the battle was over.
Secure behind the fort's walls, Capt. Glen J. Cockrill's three-inch rifled guns of Battery D, 1st Ohio Light Artillery, delivered crippling blows to the advancing Confederates. German immigrant and Union Lt. Frederick W. Fout later wrote, "From our post at Fort Granger, we could see every troop and every gun in our line, as long as it was day and the cloud of gun smoke allowed it. After sundown, the sparks of rifle fire and the lightning, thunder and groaning of the heavy cannons was splendid and awe-inspiring for the eye and ear."
As the guns inside Fort Granger rained heavy fire on Confederate Gen. A.P. Stewart's advancing line, his right flank was pinned
by the Harpeth River. Confederate infantry regiments including the 35th Alabama and 12th Louisiana, Gen. Thomas Scott's Brigade, and the 43rd Mississippi, Gen. John Adams's brigade, suffered particularly heavy losses. Altogether Stewart's Corps suffered nearly 3,000 casualties during the battle, many of which were inflicted by the fire from Fort Granger.
"The enemy made a heavy and persistent attack with about two corps, commencing at 4 P.M. and lasting until after dark. He was repulsed ... with very heavy loss, probably 5000 or 6000 men ... We have captured about 1,000 men, including one brigadier general."
—Gen. John Schofield, November 30, 1864