When Confederates attacked the Union earthworks at Franklin, even battle-hardened veterans were horrified by the brutal, close-quarters combat that ensued. With the Confederates “determined to conquer or die,” one Federal considered himself lucky to emerge with only two minor wounds. Meanwhile, thousands fell in the five-hour fight that decimated the Army of Tennessee. Bodies, almost three-quarters of them wearing gray, littered the ground so thickly that a person might walk across the field without ever touching earth. Confederate Sam Watkins called it “the finishing stroke” of the Confederacy.
In the last ten years, the Civil War Trust has worked tirelessly to reclaim the once-lost Franklin battlefield. A Pizza Hut, a strip mall, and a number of modern houses have been removed in order to restore the historical integrity of the land. We now have the opportunity to add a key piece of ground to this already remarkable success, by preserving nearly three acres at the heart of the battlefield. Surrounded on three sides by already-preserved land, this property was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the battle. Saving this tract will give us the chance to connect land we have previously saved and create a battlefield that, with the help of local groups, will look more like it did in 1864 than was ever imaginable ten years ago.
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Featured Online Resources
An in-depth look at past preservation successes at Franklin and its potential for the future.