Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Confederate General Hiram B. Granbury

I recently finished the book, The Widow of the South, about Carrie McGavock, which is set at Carnton plantation during and after the Battle of Franklin [Tennessee] on November 30, 1864.  Carnton served as a field hospital for the Confederate Army, and after the battle, four dead generals lay on the back porch.

I was surprised to learn that one of those generals was Hiram Bronson Granbury, for whom my town is named.  Here is his grave in the Granbury Cemetery, which is about one mile from my home:

Granbury was born in Copiah County, Mississippi, on March 1, 1831, but moved to Waco, Texas, in the early 1850s.  He was admitted to the Bar and served as chief justice of McLennan County from 1856 to 1858.  Also in 1858, he married Fannie Sims (1838-1863) of Waco.

When Texas seceded, Granbury organized the Waco Guards, which became part of the Seventh Texas Infantry Regiment. He was captured after the fall of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, in February 1862, but freed later that year in a prisoner exchange.  He served with distinction in a number of other battles and campaigns of the Civil War. At the Battle of Franklin, Granbury’s brigade charged the center of the Union breastworks.  He was killed in action outside them, along with Major General Patrick R. Cleburne, for whom a nearby town is named (and who was another dead general on the Carnton porch).

Granbury was first buried near the battlefield, and later in St. John's Church Cemetery in Ashwood, south of Columbia, Tennessee.  On November 30, 1893, his body was moved to the Granbury Cemetery, as the town in Texas had been named in his honor.

There's a statue of Granbury next to the Hood County Courthouse.  Here's a photo I took during the Texas Independence Day evening celebration in March 2013:

Granbury Statue at Hood County Courthouse, March 2, 2013 / Amanda Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Hood County is named for John Bell Hood, who commanded the Confederate Army at Franklin, and who had also adopted Texas as his home.

Here's a close-up of the statue of Granbury and its inscription:
Confederate General Hiram B. Granbury StatueJ. Stephen ConnCC BY-NC 2.0
(cropped from photo taken March 1, 2009, in Granbury, Texas)

There is also a monument to Granbury and his Texas Brigade at Winstead Hill Park, which is a part of the Franklin Battlefield National Historic Landmark on the south side of Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee, along US Highway 31 (the Columbia Pike).
Winstead Hill Monument: Hiram Granbury side 1Brent Moore / CC BY-NC 2.0
(cropped from photo taken November 27, 2009, in Franklin, Tennessee)

Winstead Hill Monument Hiram Granbury side 2Brent MooreCC BY-NC 2.0
(cropped from photo taken November 27, 2009, in Franklin, Tennessee)

"H. B Granbury, Major 7th Reg. of Texas Vols." ca. 1862, Baltimore, Maryland by Bendann Bros. [attributed].
Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

The photograph of Hiram Granbury above is the only known photograph taken of him during the Civil War, at the time he was only a major. While in Union custody in Boston, he had been allowed to meet his ill wife in Baltimore, Maryland, where this photograph was taken.

Fannie had been diagnosed with inoperable ovarian cancer, and Granbury took her to her home state of Alabama to be with friends and family.  She died in Mobile on March 20, 1863, and was buried in a (no longer) unmarked grave there.  In the Granbury Cemetery, there is a memorial for her, pictured at left, next to the grave of her husband.

Ironically, Granbury had met Carrie McGavock's nephew Randall McGavock while both were imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston in 1862.  They were both in the Battle of Raymond in May 1863, where McGavock was killed in action.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. Wow, interesting post and great photos! Thanks for taking part in the Challenge, Amanda!

    1. Thank you for hosting it, Bill! I enjoyed learning more about my town's namesake!