Franklin Battlefield reclaimed (Civil War)

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As recently as Feb. 2004, Franklin, the battlefield where the Army of Tennessee was broken Nov. 30, 1864, was considered lost. No one had ever reclaimed battlefield ground of that size once development had taken place.

One hundred forty-one years later, preservationists in Franklin became the first.

On that date, several hundred people were on hand to witness the tearing down of the Pizza Hut on Columbia Pike, believed to be the spot where Confederate Gen. Patrick Cleburne lost his life during that ill-fated battle.

“It’s really the culmination of many years and flat out effort to preserve other parts of the battlefield,” said Fred Prouty, director of the Tennessee Wars Commission. “It’s a real victory for them, especially for those who gave their all there.”

There was something else to celebrate on that date.

Members of Franklin’s Charge, a grassroots organization comprised of all of Franklin’s various heritage groups, announced it had completed arrangements to fund its portion of the monies needed to purchase approximately 112 acres along Lewisburg Pike and Carnton Lane, which was the eastern flank of the 1864 battle.

The preservation group raised $2.5 million of the $5 million needed to purchase the former golf course which abuts Carnton Plantation. The City of Franklin provided the other purchase money.

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