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According to Greg Wade, a board member of Franklin’s Charge:

The final documents have been filed!  The Civil War Trust is now the official owner of the “Dominos” strip center, former site of the Carter Cotton Gin.  The Trust has partnered with Franklin’s Charge to make this a reality.    While it will take time, the building will eventually be removed and the ground restored to its battlefield appearance.  Plans include the possible rebuilding of the cotton gin as well as possible additional acquisitions.  As you know some of the hardest fighting in American history took place on this hallowed ground.

It should be noted no retail jobs will be lost as the former owner plans to rebuild in another location.

The goal has been to finalize this purchase before the end of 2012.  Hard work along with generous donations has made this a reality.  Now along with the 110 acre Eastern Flank, the current former “Pizza Hut” park as well as some other pieces of critical battle ground including the Carter House, we can actually say we have a battlefield to walk upon, reflect and interpret.



See previous blog posts on:

Mary Pearce, Robert Hicks, Julian Bibb

Franklin’s Charge announced this morning (10:30 CST) that they have met the goal of raising $500,000 in matching private funds that was established by the Civil War Trust back in December. This means that the total amount of $1.8 million needed to purchase the strip center anchored by Domino’s Pizza on Columbia Avenue has either been raised, pledged, or secured. The final piece of the funds is the State grant of $960,000 that was awarded by the Tennessee Department of Transportation in 2010.

Mike Grainger, Civil War Trust

Mike Grainger, who serves as vice chair of the Civil War Trust said, “To have conceived this park in the first place, and to have acquired several other parcels surrounding the strip center is great. We have seen the work that Franklin’s Charge has done in the past, and we were confident that the group could achieve the goal.”

The goal Grainger refers to is a robust one.  Plans are for the Carter Cotton Gin Interpretive Park to be constructed on the exact ground on which it originally stood in 1864, when the Battle of Franklin took place (30 November 1864). The park will include a replicated cotton gin based on the detailed designs by the Carter family, as well as a partial replication of the original Federal earthworks on the site.

Historians like Eric Jacobson have long-tenuated that the fighting that took place between Confederates and Federal units on this exact land during the battle was some of the fiercest ever waged in the Civil War. Much of the fighting took place at night, in hand-to-hand combat, and the outcome was in doubt to the very last hours of the action.  Confederate Generals Patrick Cleburne and John Adams fell mortally wounded within sight of the original cotton gin. There were nearly 10,000 total casualties within five hours at Franklin.

The original Carter Cotton Gin

Julian Bibb, a local attorney with Stite’s and Harbison and founding board member of Franklin’s Charge places this preservation project in its proper context, “We’ve gone from being known as one of America’s most threatened battlefields to a national model for battlefield preservation in less than a decade, thanks to the help of some incredible partners and supporters. This project will be the centerpiece of a greatly enhanced Civil War offering when we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin in 2012.”

This is part one in a series on the Carter Cotton Gin Interpretive Park. Check back for more posts soon. Future posts will include more pictures and video of the news conference held today.

Previous posts regarding Franklin battlefield preservation efforts:

Keywords for this blogpost:

Franklin, Tennessee | The Battle of Franklin | Carter Cotton Gin | Historical preservation | Civil War Trust | Franklin’s Charge


Author, speaker, and historic preservationist Robert Hick’s spoke this morning at the Franklin’s Charge news conference about the group reaching the goal of raising $500K in matching funds to the Civil War Trust challenge.

CBS Sunday Morning ran a segment on the Civil War, 150 years Later, on Sunday April 24, 2011. Author Robert Hicks – The Widow of the South – was the last portion of the interview. This clip is just of Robert’s portion of the interview.

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Kraig McNutt is the author and publisher of this blog. He has been blogging on Franklin for over five years and on the Civil War in general since 1995. Email him.

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Summary of the Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee; in Williamson County. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee (around 33,000 men) faced off with John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the Cumberland (around 30,000 men). Often cited as "the bloodiest five hours" during the American Civil War, the Confederates lost between 6,500 - 7,500 men, with 1,750 dead. The Federals lost around 2,000 - 2,500 men, with just 250 or less killed. Hood lost 30,000 men in just six months (from July 1864 until December 15). The Battle of Franklin was fought mostly at night. Several Confederate Generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, and the Rebels also lost 50% of their field commanders. Hood would limp into Nashville two weeks later before suffering his final defeat before retreating to Pulaski in mid December. Hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to the John and Carrie McGavock home - Carnton - after the battle. She became known as the Widow of the South. The McGavock's eventually donated two acres to inter the Confederate dead. Almost 1,500 Rebel soldiers are buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, just in view of the Carnton house.

Make sure to check-out the Google Map of the Franklin Civil War Guide.

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