For Immediate Release: 11/27/12
Campaign Begins to Protect Three Additional Pieces of the Preservation Puzzle at Franklin
Civil War Trust and Franklin’s Charge again join forces to protect, restore and interpret battlefield land
(Franklin, Tenn.) – The latest chapter in the remarkable story of Franklin’s transformation into a heritage tourism destination began today, as the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, announced a national fundraising campaign to protect three additional parcels on the Middle Tennessee battlefield. By joining forces with dynamic local preservation group Franklin’s Charge and utilizing federal and state matching grant programs, the Trust has the opportunity to permanently preserve historic landscapes worth $2.2 million, if it can raise the final $339,000 by year’s end.
“The way that Franklin has embraced its heritage in recent years is a shining example to all historic communities,” said Trust president James Lighthizer. “It is an honor and a privilege to continue working with such dedicated partners and visionary local officials to protect and interpret the hallowed ground of Franklin.”
Among the three properties that the Trust is working to protect is the Cameron Strip Center on Columbia Avenue, a project to which Franklin’s Charge has committed to contribute $500,000.
The continued existence of such opportunities for preservation groups to purchase and restore battlefield land led the Trust to propose a unique cooperative agreement with the City of Franklin earlier this year. Under the partnership, the Trust pledged to match a $250,000 annual contribution from the city with private donations and then leverage that total against state and federal grants, potentially generating $1 million for the purchase of battlefield land in Franklin. While preliminary discussions have taken place, the arrangement will be considered more formally as part of the 2013–2014 city budget.
Together, the three target parcels total only 1.6 acres, but due to the presence of modern buildings and businesses, carry a joint price tag of $2,209,000. However, the projects have been awarded $1,020,540 in government matching grants from the Tennessee Transportation Enhancement program and the federal American Battlefield Protection Program. In addition to the $500,000 pledge from Franklin’s Charge, other major donors have also already come forward — including an anonymous contribution of $250,000 and $100,000 in gifts and pledges from a group of Civil War buffs who call themselves the RASCALS.
The presence of these funding sources leaves just $339,000 to go before the Trust can finalize all three transactions. But in order to meet closing deadlines, the money must be raised before the end of the year. More information about these properties — including maps, video, photos and more — and the remarkable journey of preservation at Franklin is available at www.civilwar.org/franklin2012.
In addition to its campaign to protect land at Franklin, the Trust is currently engaged in active fundraising efforts to save significant battlefield properties at Appomattox, Va., Bentonville, N.C., Cedar Mountain, Va., Chancellorsville, Va., Fredericksburg, Va., Kelly’s Ford, Va., Perryville, Ky., Petersburg, Va., Sailor’s Creek, Va., and Second Manassas, Va. To learn more about current fundraising projects and the Trust’s ambitious sesquicentennial preservation effort, Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy, please visit www.civilwar.org/campaign150.
After failing to destroy Maj. Gen. John Schofield’s Federal army near Spring Hill the previous day, Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood led his 30,000 Confederates to the outskirts of Franklin, Tenn., on November 30, 1864. Determined not to let Schofield reach the safety of Nashville, Hood unleashed a precipitous frontal assault against the entrenched Federal defenders. Despite nearly breaking through the center of the Union line, Hood’s forces were driven back with heavy losses. The bloody assault cost Hood more than 6,000 casualties, including six dead Confederate generals. Learn more about the Battle of Franklin, its personalities and its legacy at www.civilwar.org/franklin.
The Civil War Trust 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. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 34,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including 175 at Franklin. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.