For Immediate Release: 07/11/01
Williamson County Residents Overwhelmingly Oppose Construction on Franklin Battlefield
Recent poll reveals that three quarters of county residents reject the proposed school planned for historic Harrison House property
(Franklin, Tenn.) - A recent poll commissioned by the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) reveals that Williamson County, Tenn. residents overwhelmingly oppose construction of an elementary school on a key portion of Franklin Battlefield. According to the poll, three quarters of those surveyed indicated that an alternative site for the school should be found.
"Clearly, Williamson County residents are well aware of this unique historic treasure in their midst," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Such an overwhelming number of local citizens oppose the plan that the school board should seriously reconsider its decision to build on the site."
The proposed elementary school is planned for property adjacent to the historic Harrison House, which served as a military headquarters during the Battle of Franklin. The first casualties of the bloody battle occurred on the site. In April, the county school board seized the property for use by the school district despite objections by the landowner.
In the telephone survey, county residents were asked whether they supported or opposed relocating the proposed elementary school to an alternative site. Seventy-eight percent indicated support for relocating the school.
The Harrison House served as Gen. John Bell Hood's headquarters during the November 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin. In this house Hood devised a disastrous plan that all but ruined the Confederate Army. He ordered his men to charge heavily entrenched Union forces under Maj. Gen. John Schofield. The Confederates lost more than 7,300 men in the resulting fiasco.
The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, Inc. from July 6-9, 2001. A total of 502 registered voters were interviewed countywide by telephone. For verification or questions concerning methodology, contact Brad Coker at (410) 995-0929. Margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points.
With 35,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.