Franklin’s Charge Moves One Step Closer to Battlefield Park

Franklin’s Charge Moves One Step Closer to Battlefield Park

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – June 19, 2008 – Franklin’s Charge, Inc. is one significant puzzle piece closer to creating a Civil War battlefield park with its acquisition of historic property recognized as the epicenter of the Battle of Franklin. The coalition of Middle Tennessee organizations and individuals dedicated to the preservation of historic open space announced today that it is purchasing a one-acre site at 1219 Columbia Ave. for $950,000 with private funds. “This property was the epicenter of the five bloodiest hours of the Civil War on Nov. 30, 1864,” said Robert Hicks, Franklin’s Charge board member and author of Widow of the South, an historical fiction novel about the Battle of Franklin. “This is where we stopped being Ohioans, New Yorkers, Tennesseans and became Americans.” According to Hicks, more than 7,000 men from Confederate and Union troops were engaged in battle on the Columbia Avenue property. Six Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to men who fought there and two generals died on the land. The Columbia Avenue property, formerly home of the Kenneth Holt Construction Company, is across the street from the historic Carter House and adjacent to the Carter Cotton Gin property, now owned by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. “These properties, plus the 108-acre Eastern Flank purchased in the Fall of 2007 with city and private funds, are pieces of the puzzle that will eventually make up the battlefield park with replicated earthworks, cotton gin and other elements of 1864,” said Ernie Bacon, president of Franklin’s Charge. According to Bacon, the coalition has raised more than $5 million, including a dollar-for-dollar match of $2.5 million from the City of Franklin. These funds were raised for the purchase of the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park. Franklin’s Charge will continue to raise funds to purchase additional Civil War properties with the intention of creating parks. Jim Lighthizer, CEO of the Civil War Preservation Trust, has called Franklin’s Charge fundraising achievements “the largest and most successful public/private partnership in the history of Civil War battlefield preservation efforts.” The land-acquisition announcement kicked off a weekend Civil War symposium presented by Franklin’s Charge and other groups. The symposium, “Fighting for the Middle Tennessee Heartland,” features workshops and tours by historians and scholars in Franklin, Thompson’s Station, Murfreesboro and Stones River National Battlefield. This is the second year for the symposium. Franklin’s Charge is a coalition of organizations dedicated to preserving Williamson County’s Civil War heritage. Member organizations include The African –American Heritage Society, the Carter House, Carnton Plantation, Harpeth River Watershed Association, Historic Carnton Plantation, Land Trust for Tennessee, Tennessee Preservation Trust, Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, Franklin/Williamson Country Heritage Foundation, Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, Williamson County Historical Society, Civil War Preservation Trust and Save the Franklin Battlefield. Posted 6.19.08

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