Highway 31 South
Franklin, TN 37064
John Bell Hood, pursuing Federal forces into Franklin, gained the top of Winstead Hill. The hill offered no cover, but Hood determined to fight. The ensuing battle was among the bloodiest in Tennessee and nearly destroyed the Army of Tennessee.
Located due south of Franklin, Winstead Hill is bisected by the Columbia Pike (highway 31) and was the last major geographical hurdle for Federal forces, roughly 20,000 strong, entering the town on November 30, 1864. Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood and his Army of Tennessee were in hot pursuit of the Federal force, hoping to cut them off before they could reach Nashville and be reinforced. As the Confederate column came into view, the Federal rear guard positioned at Winstead Hill fell back towards Franklin. The Confederates travelled to the top of Winstead Hill. A member of the 41st Tennessee Infrantry Regiment wrote: “There was hardly any undergrowth, much less rock on the surface than now, and a good stand of blue grass made the area very pleasing.” Having pushed the Federals from Winstead Hill and the adjacent Breezy Hill, Gen. John Bell Hood stood on the northern slope of Winstead Hill and stared down at the expanse below him. Two miles of open valley separated the base of Winstead Hill from the town, offering no cover for the Confederates wishing to attack their foe. But Hood would not be stopped. Returning to the hill’s crest, Hood turned to one of his officers and said determinedly “We will make the fight.” The ensuing five-hour battle was among the bloodiest fought in Tennessee and resulted in the near destruction of the Army of Tennessee. Park visitors can take in the same view that stretched out before Gen. John Bell Hood, though much of the valley has since been commercially developed. Admission to the park is free, and interpretive signs provide many details on the Battle of Franklin and the role of Winstead Hill. The 61-acre park also boasts a walking trail, picnic tables, restrooms, and ample parking and is open from dawn until dusk.
- The Army of Tennessee hoped to prevent the Federals from reaching Nashville, pushed them from Winstead and Breezy Hills.
- Two miles of open valley separated Winstead Hill from the town, offering no cover
- The 61-acre park also boasts a walking trail