Over on my Franklin Facebook Group, I recently asked our members what they thought about the idea of Franklin building a world-class museum.
I initiated the discussion with this statement:
91% of people polled on my blog say Franklin needs a world-class Civil War museum? Where do you stand?
I first blogged about this in July 2008 [see post].
Here are a few of the recent comments:
David Richmond – There’s been a long-time ignorance by most in Franklin and in Williamson County of their great CW heritage and the tragic and monumental events which happened maybe in their own yards or businesses on that battlefield. More parks are very much needed besides just the tiny Carter House, Hudson. Just my opinion, of course. Franklin has long neglected the importance they have in CW history.
Diane Stephens White – I think it’s a great idea! What better way to honor those soldiers who lost their lives at Franklin, during one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. So many were never found and given a proper burial. A museum would bring people to Tennessee and that hallowed ground at Franklin, who lost ancestors there. Our state needs a good museum to honor our Civil War Soldiers, who gave their “Last Full Measure” of devotion for what they believed in.
Phil Spaugy – I agree…Good location, and the Battle of Franklin, along with the Western Theater needs their story told. What a great way to do it!!
Highlights of museum comments on this blog:
Sam Gant – This is a great concept to promote. Franklin has the great Civil War house museums and some outstanding displays of artifacts related to the Battle of Franklin, but Dr. Lossom’s mention of his coming to Nashville “to research” is the key. A “world-class” Civil War museum must have not only extensive displays for the general public but almost unlimited Civil War research capabilities. The space for both are becoming available at the Carter House, but the big bucks to pay for them is not yet there. Also, I do not know if any serious planning has be done for the research part of a museum.
Mike Walker – I believe Dr. Losson’s challenge of creating a world class Civil War museum in Franklin is an outstanding idea and worthy of investigation. Franklin as a location has a lot going for it with recent preservation work and growing visitation. Also the timing is right with interest in the Sesquicentennial growing. Sam is absolutely right, research resources is a key ingredient of such a museum. A concern is that we already have multiple projects underway seeking dollars. However, this project could appeal to a much larger pool of potential donors than are currently being tapped. Also, the interest could bring in more dollars for ongoing projects.
Bob and Donna Werner – Without a doubt. A world-class Civil War museum would tie all your efforts together. In addition, is there another in the midwest or midwest-south that can compare to what you already have? We have been to Gettysburg and we were not near as “touched” by descriptions and presentation as we were at Frankin. There is too much passion there to not try. If passion can be weighed in pounds, two persons we met, Eric Jacobson and David Fraley, have a ton each. Use it, spend it – it is priceless. We are small players in this. We can contribute little, but with two great-grandfathers footprints on the fields that make up the grounds of Battle of Franklin, we can and will do what we can – even if it is only enjoying your efforts as time moves on. Good luck!!!!
Charlie Townsley – Franklin definitely needs amuseum to promote the battle and the aftermath. Living in Maryland I spend a good deal of time on the eastern battlefields and only lately have branched out to the western theatre. After taking a tour of Franklin and Spring Hill through the Civil War Education Association led by Dave Heinze and Thomas Cartwright I developed a new appreciation for the Battle of Franklin. With all the press that Pickett’s Charge has received over the years is nothing compared to the hell of Franklin. Franklin is certainly overlooked and any efforts to memorialize the men that fought and died there is way overdue.