Fort Granger

Fort Granger (HM2N11)

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N 35° 55.555', W 86° 51.656'

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From Slaves to Soldiers

On March 24, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln told Tennessee Military Governor Andrew Johnson, "The colored population is the great available, and yet unavailed of, force for restoring the Union." In September 1863, Johnson gave permission to Maj. George Stearns to recruit free blacks and contrabands as soldiers. As part of securing emancipation, enslaved recruits were freed on enlistment.

From late 1863 to the war's end, Tennessee's 20,133 United States Colored Troops (USCT) served in almost every military engagement across the state. Dozens of men from Williamson and Maury Counties mustered in at Franklin, and several became part of Co. A, 13th USCT. Before being mustered out in 1866, at least 5,107 USCT casualties suffered death, disease, and capture in Tennessee. At least 290 of these men were born in Franklin and Williamson County with most serving in the infantry, a few in the cavalry, and roughly fifty artillery units.

Former slave owners grappled with the reality of slaves as soldiers. Moscow Carter, of the Carter House, wrote to his younger brother Tod in March 1864, " We have for the first time during the Federal occupancy, of this town, a corps of n—— soldiers, or as I heard a soldier call them the other day, 'smoked Yankees' quartered in this vicinity. I think there is a company—though

I understand it will be increased to a regiment."

The 17th USCT, organized in Nashville in December 1863, also had Williamson County recruits. It performed guard duty at various posts, including Franklin, until November 1864. On December 17-19, this unit, along with other USCT regiments, fought the remnants of Confederate Gen. John B. Hood's army as it moved southward after the Battle of Nashville. As U.S. quartermasters searched for Federal dead following the war, two unknown soldiers identified as member of Co. K, 17th USCT, were buried at Carter's Hill in December 1864.
HM NumberHM2N11
Placed ByHistoric Franklin Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 18th, 2019 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 512545 N 3975740
Decimal Degrees35.92591667, -86.86093333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 55.555', W 86° 51.656'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 55' 33.3" N, 86° 51' 39.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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