For Immediate Release: 03/05/02
Franklin Battlefield Among the Most Endangered Civil War Sites in America
(Franklin, Tenn.) - At a news conference today at the historic Carter House Museum, the Save the Franklin Battlefield (STFB) group and the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) announced their support for preservation of the Battle Ground Academy site as a battlefield park. Franklin Battlefield was recently identified as one of the ten most endangered battlefields in the nation by CWPT.
"Franklin needs to stop paving over its history," remarked CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Putting up a few historical markers is not enough. We must preserve the hallowed ground where the dead of Franklin fought and bled."
Last week, Franklin appeared in America's Most Endangered Battlefields, a CWPT report that lists the most endangered battlefields in the nation and what can be done to save them. The battlefields identified in the report were chosen based on location, military significance, and the immediacy of current threats.
Joining Lighthizer at the news conference was STFB spokesman Sam Huffman and Carter House Museum Executive Director Thomas Cartwright. According to Huffman, "The Confederate Army never recovered from the Battle of Franklin. Six Southern generals were killed or mortally wounded in the attack."
The Battle of Franklin, fought on November 30, 1864, was one of the most agonizing defeats suffered by the South during the Civil War. Rebel forces were ordered to make a frontal assault against a nearly impregnable line of earthworks manned by Federal troops. The result was a bloody conflagration that cost nearly 10,000 casualties
Today, Franklin battlefield is all but gone. Only a few opportunities remain to save portions of the battlefield. Last year, STFB did purchase an important 3.2 acre parcel near the east end of the main trench line. However, a chance to save land adjacent to the Harrison House was lost despite substantial public support for protection of the property. An uphill battle is now underway to keep the Battle Ground Academy as a battlefield park.
STFB is a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and promoting Civil War sites in Williamson County, Tenn. CWPT is a 38,000 member nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting endangered Civil War battlefields throughout the United States. STFB's website is located at www.franklin-stfb.org; CWPT is available online at www.civilwar.org.