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Written by Michael Fones   
Tuesday, 06 October 2009 09:58
Hello from Old Hickory, TN, where I am in the midst of a four-day parish mission at St. Stephen Catholic Church. It's a wonderful community, and I have felt very welcomed. Yesterday I was given a tour of Carnton Plantation, the site of a major battle in the Civil War.
Beginning at 4 p.m. on November 30, 1864, Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. The Confederate Army of Tennessee furiously assaulted the Federal army entrenched along the southern edge of Franklin, TN. The resulting battle, believed to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War, involved a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers.
The floors of the plantation house are still stained with their blood. Many of the wounded were left on the battlefield overnight, and when the temperatures dropped into the 20s, died of exposure. One Yankee soldier wrote later he had stuffed his ears with cotton to block out the heartbreaking cries of the wounded and dying.

I am catching up on e-mails and other things this morning, plus working on a retreat for priests I'll give later this month. Prayers would be appreciated!
 

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