For Immediate Release: 03/10/05
Preservation Trust Praises Franklin Officials for Approving $2 Million Battlefield Grant
Unprecedented grant puts preservationists one step closer to goal.
(Franklin, Tenn.) - On Tuesday, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) joined local Franklin preservationists in praising Mayor Tom Miller and city's board of aldermen for approving a $2 million matching grant to help purchase a critically important piece of the Franklin battlefield. The grant puts Franklin's preservation community one step closer toward its goal of raising $5 million to acquire the property, currently the site of the Country Club of Franklin.
CWPT President James Lighthizer hailed the vote in a statement issued today. He said: "Mayor Tom Miller and the board of alderman are to be applauded for this unprecedented city investment in battlefield preservation. Aside from the pure monetary value of this generous contribution, the vote sends a powerful message that Franklin's elected officials are committed to reclaiming the city's Civil War heritage."
In mid-February, CWPT commissioned a poll of city voters that showed three out of four residents support saving the battlefield. Sixty-one percent of city voters indicated support for public funding of battlefield preservation. According to Lighthizer, "Franklin's elected officials deserve high praise for listening to the voices of their constituents."
Local activist Robert Hicks joined in praising the vote. Hicks leads Franklin's Charge, a coalition of nonprofit organizations (including CWPT) that is working tirelessly to raise the remaining money needed to secure the Country Club property. In his statement, Hicks stated: "The groups working to preserve this property for future generations have won an important victory. We recognize that there are many important hurdles ahead but we are encouraged by the terrific support from our city leaders."
Acknowledging the work done by Hicks and his colleagues in Franklin's Charge, Lighthizer remarked: "By volunteering their time and talents, these people have turned the situation in Franklin around."
Described as the eastern flank of the Nov. 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin, the 110-acre site is adjacent to Historic Carnton Plantation and the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. The Carnton Plantation served as a field hospital after the battle.
CWPT is a 70,000-member nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.