|73rd Illinois Private Stuart Hoskinson was wounded near the Carter house, perhaps by friendly fire.|
(CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE.)
Five days later, Riley and his son escaped -- "God's will," the father called their plan. Eluding scores of Confederates during a journey through woods, up and over Lookout Mountain and down a stream on a makeshift raft, the Hoskinsons remarkably found their way back to Federal lines near Chattanooga. Neither man suffered a serious injury.
At the Battle of Franklin on Nov. 30, 1864, Stuart wasn't as fortunate.
About 5:30 p.m., Confederates threatened to smash through both lines of Union works near Fountain Carter's house. Urged on by Major Thomas Motherspaw, the 73rd Illinois, one of seven regiments in Emerson Opdycke 1st Brigade, rushed to help fill the gap. Stuart recalled firing nearly 60 rounds during the desperate fighting on Carter's Hill, wounding at least one Confederate. The 21-year-old private suffered severe wounds himself, perhaps from friendly fire, when a bullet crashed into his collarbone. "Sergeant," a captain told 45-year-old Riley M. Hoskinson, "your son is killed; he is shot through the lungs and is bleeding from his mouth and nose.' "
Taken to a makeshift hospital at a church in Franklin, Stuart became a prisoner again when the Confederates retook the town. But Hoskinson survived his grievous wounds thanks, in part, to the care of a local mother and daughter. "... They waited on us," he remembered, "just as well as they could have done if we had belonged to the other side."
Nearly 20 years after the battle, Stuart Hoskinson recalled his harrowing experience at Franklin in a report published in The National Tribune, a newspaper for Civil War veterans. The physical toll from that late-fall day in 1864 was still evident: "I am suffering more or less all the time from it," he wrote of his war wound.
Let's follow in Stuart's footsteps at Franklin:
An Illinois Soldier's Experience
Died in 1884 after
|"When we got to the inside line of works," Stuart Hoskinson recalled, "the rebels had full possession of |
the outer line," about 20 yards in front of Fountain Carter's smokehouse (left).
|"I managed to get to the rear, behind Carter's house, where I lay down ...," Stuart Hoskinson recalled.|
|"As brave an officer as we ever had|
in the regiment," Stuart Hoskinson wrote of
Major Thomas Motherspaw, who was
mortally wounded at Franklin.
(Find A Grave)
I received my discharge Feb. 10, 1865. from "gunshot wound of left shoulder" but after reaching home it proved to be an injury to the left lung also, and for nearly 30 months the wound in my back remained open, so I could blow by breath through the opening. I am suffering more or less all the time from it, and am at present drawing $12 per month pension. The loss of the rebels at Franklin must have been greatly understated in their official report, for more than one of their men told me while prisoners that their loss was 6,000 killed, and I know when our men recaptured the town there were 1,500 or more rebel wounded there.
-- Stuart F. Hoskinson, Co. G, 73d Ill., Seattle, King Co.. W. T.
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-- A History of the Seventy-Third Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers, Regimental Reunion Association, Springfield, Ill., 1890.
-- The National Tribune, Aug. 7, 1884.