For further information
Contact: Susan Andrews (615) 242-4400
or J.T. Thompson (615) 790-7190
Lotz House Hosts American Icon Ed Bearss for
Dinner on the Battlefield and a
Twilight Tour of the Battle of Franklin
Presented by the Franklin Civil War Roundtable
Thursday, August 22
(Franklin, Tenn.) – July 15, 2012— Lotz House Foundation Executive Director J.T. Thompson announced today the Civil War house museum will host American icon Ed Bearss for a country supper on the battlefield followed by a Twilight Tour of the Battle of Franklin on Thursday, August 22 as a fundraiser for the Foundation. The Franklin Civil War Roundtable is the presenting sponsor of the event.
In making the announcement, Thompson said, “This is an incredible opportunity for history enthusiasts to meet the father of modern day Civil War battlefield preservation, Ed Bearss. We’re honored to have him at the Lotz House to visit with guests and lead an insightful tour of the Battle of Franklin at twilight. He elicits a stream of consciousness and unwavering memory as he weaves the complex story of the battles and the soldiers who fought them.”
Founder and President of the Franklin Civil War Roundtable Greg Wade said, “We are delighted to sponsor an event held on actual battleground with an icon such as Mr. Bearss,”
Ed Bearss, Chief Historian emeritus at the National Park Service and World War II veteran, was recognized by the Smithsonian in 2005 as one of the thirty-five people who, along with such notables as Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg and Wynton Marsalis, have immeasurably enriched our lives throughout the last quarter century. Since his retirement in 1995, Bearss, now 90 years old, has become a champion of battlefield preservation, giving tours across the nation and around the world.
Thompson added, “This is a rare opportunity to personally meet and visit with a true national treasure. We are fortunate to have him in Franklin as we continue to work toward battlefield reclamation and preservation.”
The country supper will be held on the lawn of the Lotz House Thursday, August 22 at 5:30 p.m. with a program at 6:00 p.m. followed by a country supper. Following the supper, Bearss will lead a twilight tour on the battlefield from Lotz House to the Cotton Gin.
Tickets to the Ed Bearss country supper and twilight tour are limited. The cost is $60 per person or a table of eight for $425 and reservations can be made by email: email@example.com or by calling 615-790-7190. Franklin Civil War Roundtable members get $10 off per ticket. All proceeds benefit the Lotz House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.
The Lotz House, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976, is located in the heart of downtown historic Franklin, Tennessee at the “epicenter” of the Battle of Franklin which was a pivotal battle in the Civil War on November 30, 1864. The house opened to the public as a Civil War house museum October 30, 2008.
The house is open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment. The Lotz House is located at 1111 Columbia Avenue, across the street from The Carter House. For more information, call 615-790-7190 or visit www.lotzhouse.com.
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Ed Bearss Biography
Ed Bearss is an American icon. Chief Historian emeritus at the National Park Service, World War II veteran, and the father of modern day Civil War battlefield preservation, the Smithsonian recognized him in 2005 as one of thirty-five people who, along with such notables as Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, and Wynton Marsalis, have immeasurably enriched our lives over the last quarter century. Now 90 years old, Bearss continues to pursue the one thing he has loved almost his entire life: history.
On the outside, he looks less than impressive with his patent t-shirt, walking cane, and baseball cap. He strikes the pose of the temperate grandfatherly figure to those who are fortunate to follow along on one of dozens of tours he leads each year.
Born in 1923 in Montana, he grew up on a cattle ranch just thirty-five miles from the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Much of his early education was acquired in a one-room school house on the upper Plains, a land of bitter winters and mild summers. During the Great Depression Bearss worked in the soil conservation program of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. He discovered his hunger to learn about history, however, at a young age, pouring over maps and pictures of wars, especially World War I. But his deep passion for the Civil War was aroused in the seventh grade after reading a biography on J.E.B. Stuart. He never looked back.
With the outbreak of World War II, Bearss was off to the Pacific as a young Marine. He was critically wounded in January 1944 at New Britain. Hospitalized for 26 months, the experience shaped his entire adult life and further whetted his appetite for history. Following the war he earned degrees from Georgetown and Indiana and entered the National Park Service in 1955. His first major NPS assignment was Vicksburg as Park Historian. Over the next ten years he started a family (his wife, Margie, was also an historian), added to the depth of knowledge on the Civil War in the West, and raised of the USS Cairo from the bottom of the Yazoo River. In 1966 he was moved to Washington D.C. which led eventually to the office of Chief Historian in 1981. During his long NPS career, he directed preservation and interpretive efforts at Fort Smith, Stones River, Fort Donelson, the battlefields around Richmond, Pea Ridge, Wilson’s Creek, Bighorn Canyon, the Eisenhower Farm at Gettysburg, the gold miners’ route over Chilkoot Pass, President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s Ranch, Fort Moultrie, Fort Point, William Howard Taft House, Fort Hancock at the Boston Navy Yard, and the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, just to name a few. With each, Bearss has a fascinating story to tell.
Since his retirement in 1995 he has become a champion of battlefield preservation, giving tours across the nation and around the world. Senators, Congressmen, business leaders, preservationists, and hundreds of thousands of others have been mesmerized over the decades by his oratory and memory of the American past. In the last several years Bearss has lost both his wife and eldest daughter. It has not deterred him in his long journey to tell the American story. He still lives in Arlington, Virginia, in the house he bought in 1968. It’s estimated he is on the road over 200 days a year giving talks and leading tours. He is a living legend and leading voice on story of the American past.
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