After the November 1864 Battle of Franklin had ended, several federal commanders including Gens. John Schofield, David Stanley, Jacob Cox and Emerson Opdycke claimed credit for their “victory.”
Opdycke and Cox especially conducted a post war debate that ultimately ended their friendship.
This relationship will be explored further at February’s Franklin Civil War Round Table, where noted author and historian Gene Schmiel will present “Jacob Cox, Emerson Opdycke, and Competing Memories of the Battle of Franklin.”
Schmiel is a student of the Civil War whose book, Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era, was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press and presented in Franklin in 2014. This work, a History Book Club selection, was deemed "best biography of the year" by Civil War Books and Authors.
Schmiel's second book, Lincoln, Antietam, and a Northern Lost Cause, was published in April 2019. It is a speculative history about the Battle of Antietam and how an overwhelming Union victory there ironically could have resulted in the preservation of slavery. Also in 2019 he released Ohio Heroes of the Battle of Franklin.
Schmiel holds a Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University and was an assistant professor of History at St. Francis University (Pa.) before becoming a Foreign Service officer with the Department of State, which included service as a US Ambassador. He lives in Gainesville, Va., with his wife, Bonnie Kathryn.
This Franklin Civil War Round Table presentation will be Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. at Carnton’s Fleming Center in Franklin. The public is invited.
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