Battle Of Franklin Anniversary Highlights Fundraising Efforts
by Chris Cannon
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Two thousand luminaries covered the lawn at Carter House in Franklin Friday. They marked the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. They also highlight fundraising efforts currently underway.
Each of the luminaries was lit with a purpose, to remember a casualty from the battle.
"It represents an individual person, confederate or federal," said Eric Jacobson from the Battle of Franklin Trust.
Carter House is a well-preserved piece of Civil War history. But other parcels of land around the site have been developed.
Several preservation groups are working to reclaim as much land as possible in that part of Franklin.
"Because of what happened here this ground was changed forever. It didn't just become historic, it became hallowed," Jacobson said.
He feels Battle of Franklin played just as important role in the war as other more noted locations.
"Saving this is as vital as the efforts to save places like Shiloh, Gettysburg, and Antietam," according to Jacobson.
Washington, D.C. based Civil War Trust is leading a charge to raise remaining monies to purchase several parcels of land on Columbia Avenue, a block from Carter House.
Donations and grants have already covered the $1.8 million needed to buy the Domino's Pizza property.
"We're slowly cobbling together a workable park, where some of the worst and heaviest and important fighting occurred," Jacobson said.
The groups need to raise an additional $339,000 to buy the land that would be turned into a Civil War battlefield park.
"That ground is as hallowed and as important as anything. Very soon, in the next year or two, you'll see about four or five acres on the east side of the road open and really see a real park emerge," said Jacobson.
The thought is an expanded presence will encourage more Civil War enthusiasts to visit Franklin.
"And it's shown that heritage tourist tend to spend a good bit of money, so it's a win. You save history and you can help the local economy," Jacobson explained.
The Carnton Plantation and Carter House already draw 80,000 visitors a year to Franklin.
You can still make a pledge towards purchasing the additional land.