Preservationists and Franklin officials gathered Tuesday with Franklin residents Reid and Brenda Lovell to sign a $2.8 million contract that will have the Lovells' property located just south of The Carter House on Columbia Avenue become part of the protected battlefield lands. Franklin Homepage has a lot more info.
The contract allows Franklin’s Charge and the Battle of Franklin Trust one year to raise the necessary funds to complete the transaction. This acquisition brings a total of 20 acres in downtown Franklin that have been saved as Civil War battlefield sites. They collectively represent one of the largest urban public Civil War attractions in the nation.
The Battle of Franklin Trust has tapped longtime employee Eric Jacobson to be its CEO. Previously the Trust’s COO, Jacobson has been with the organization since 2006. He oversees operations of The Carter House and Carnton Plantation and is the author of three books, For Cause & For Country, The McGavock Confederate Cemetery and Baptism of Fire.
“This was a unanimous decision from the board,” said Marianne Schroer, the Trust's board chairman. “Eric’s guiding hand has led the Trust to record attendance and national recognition. He is truly a visionary and we look forward to continued growth in our charitable and educational missions.”
Franklin developer and entrepreneur Calvin LeHew — the man behind the restoration and reuse of The Factory — has cut a $200,000 check to Franklin's Charge, the group seeking to assemble a number of parcels off Columbia Avenue and recreate some of the land where the fiercest fighting during the Battle of Franklin took place in late 1864. The gift gets Franklin's Charge to within $100,000 of its goal, but the clock is ticking.
“Our focus is to have the Cotton Gin Park in place by the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin in November of 2014,” Pearce said. “Completing the acquisition of the land is the first step, and it is critically important that we meet this May 30 deadline.”
"Together, The Carter House and Historic Carnton Plantation will have a more powerful significance. This venture has the potential of joining the ranks of Gettysburg, Richmond and Charleston as more local battle sites are reclaimed for public access by such groups as the City of Franklin, The Heritage Foundation and Franklin’s Charge. Certainly, the opportunity to affiliate with the National Park Service and the National Heritage Area are greatly enhanced by this joint venture."
"At this hour 145 years ago, little could be heard above cannon fire, rifle shot and bugle calls,” Mr. Cheney told thousands gathered at McLemore Cove. “It was violent and terrifying and brief.” The 145th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga is expected to bring about 50,000 people to Walker County from all over the world. Re-enactors from as far away as Australia will participate in the event. “This is going to be the largest gathering in Walker County’s history,” John Culpepper, a re-enactor and Chickamauga city manager, said. Today there will be three battle re-enactments, and the Battle of Snodgrass Hill on Sunday afternoon will close the event. Mr. Cheney stood on the same land that his great-grandfather fought on in battles leading up to the conflict in Chickamauga, which claimed 34,000 American lives. Several miles north of the event site is the land where the last major Confederate victory took place, preserved today as the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. “All of us know this is the place were Bragg and Rosecrans faced off. This is the place where Longstreet and Thomas gained fame,” he said of the Confederate and Union generals who led soldiers on Sept. 19-20, 1863. The vice president’s great-grandfather, Samuel Fletcher Cheney, was a Union lieutenant with the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.
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