CBS to broadcast a Sunday Morning segment focusing on Franklin Civil War Sites: featuring local author Robert Hicks

U P D A T E : 9:45 CST, Sunday, April 17th

Robert Hicks just posted on his Facebook page the following regarding the running of the CBS segment:

was informed yesterday that the story ran quite long & they simply didn’t have time in this week’s broadcast to accommodate it. Rather than make draconian cuts, they decided to wait until next Sunday (Easter Sunday) to air the piece. Stay tuned; we still have 4 years, minus this past week, to commemorate the American Civil War.

According to the Battle of Franklin Trust:

CBS Sunday Morning Segment Featuring Robert Hicks and Battle of Franklin Trust Sites

Robert Hicks, far right

Robert Hicks, the author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country, will be featured on a CBS Sunday Morning segment about Why the Civil War Matters to Southerners. The segment is scheduled to air Sunday morning, April 17. Please check your local listings for the exact air time.

The segment was filmed in Charleston and other locations around the South with a full day of filming in Franklin at Carnton Plantation and The Carter House. The crew also shot some footage at the Domino’s Pizza site, which is now being purchased for battlefield reclamation.

This is the third time Robert Hicks has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning. He was featured first in September of 2005, soon after the release of The Widow of the South. Several years later, Hicks reappeared on the show after he joined a team of authors to fight to save the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut from closing.

In the field of historic preservation, Hicks has served on the Boards of Historic Carnton Plantation, the Battle of Franklin Trust, the Tennessee State Museum, The Williamson County Historical Society, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Hicks is founding chairman emeritus of Franklin’s Charge: A Campaign for the Reclamation and Preservation of Franklin’s Historic Battlefield. Jim Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Trust, said “There is no close second in any community in the nation to match the success of Franklin’s Charge in preserving and reclaiming the battlefield at Franklin.”

Please support Robert Hicks and The Battle of Franklin Trust by tuning in to CBS Sunday Morning on April 17.

New Carnton exhibit focuses on Civil War veterans

There is a new exhibit installed at the Historic Carnton Plantation (Franklin) called Remembering Our Bold Defenders: Civil War Veterans. The exhibit runs from March 1 – October 1, 2011.

About 3 million soldiers fought in the American Civil War from 1861-1865; about 2.2 million for the Union and 850,000 for the Confederacy. When the war was over there were about 2.4 million veterans who returned home. Many of these men lived 50-60 years after the war.

The veterans exhibit is a small but classy display of roughly 15 primary items, mostly buttons and badges, as well as some pictures of Civil War veterans and objects. By far, the most interesting object is the Franklin 1914 (50th Anniversary) Register List that was signed personally by roughly 110 soldiers, most of whom were Confederate.

There are also two original uniforms on display.

No photography is permitted and it only takes about 15-20 minutes to peruse the exhibit.

If you’re interested in reading more about Civil War veterans from Williamson County then pick up this book by Rick Warwick from the Williamson County Historical Society:  Williamson County Civil War veterans:  their reunions and photographs. Nashville, Tenn. :  Panacea Press,  2007.

Amazon sometimes has a copy available. Also check Landmark Booksellers in Franklin. You can also order a copy from the WCHS for $20.00, plus $2.50 shipping.

PO Box 71
Franklin, TN 37065

Cavalry Camp of Instruction at Carnton this weekend

March 18-21

This weekend the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, Company D will host their annual Cavalry Camp of Instruction at Carnton Plantation.  On Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, nearly 80 Confederate cavalrymen and their horses will be geared up from dusk until dawn, learning battalion formation and performing drills for spectators. On Sunday, March 20, the camp will come to a close at noon.  Spectators can expect to see a realistic portrayal of Civil War cavalry techniques, including multiple mounted and dismounted drill sessions with bugle calls, combat simulation, and several other living history opportunities.

The Camp of Instruction is open to the public for spectators. The demonstrations are included in the regular tour admission prices of $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+, and $8 for children 6-12. To view the demonstration without the house tour, the cost is $5 per person. For more information, please contact Tara Danley at (615) 794-0903 or at

The Battle of Franklin Trust is looking for a new C.E.O.

The Franklin Civil War preservation community was shocked to learn on Saturday that the Battle of Franklin Trust board is not renewing the contract of CEO Jennifer Esler. It was due to renew March 1st.

Esler, who previously held a leadership post in Virginia, worked in that capacity for just one year.

What is the BOFT be looking for in a new CEO?

I contacted the Trust to ask what they were looking for in a CEO, and what goals or objectives they want the new leader to focus on. They declined to provide anything more than the 2/26 brief statement.

The Battle of Franklin Trust Chairman of the Board of Directors Marianne Schroer announced today the Trust will not enter into a new contract with Jennifer Esler who served as the President and C.E.O. of the Trust effective today.

In making the announcement, Schroer said, “We appreciate the year Jenny spent working for the Battle of Franklin Trust, and we wish her well in her next endeavor.”

The Battle of Franklin Trust operates and manages Carnton Plantation and The Carter House in historic Franklin.   Eric Jacobson will continue to serve as Director of Operations of the Battle of Franklin Trust managing the operations for both sites.

So looking back on the original December 18, 2009 press release when the Trust first announced they hired Esler, one can only assume the goals/objectives they disclosed then are still relevant today.

The Battle of Franklin Trust appears to be looking for a CEO who can provide leadership and direction in these areas:

  • to further enhance the visitors experience of the historic Battle of Franklin and the sites related to the Battle.
  • developing the museum sites.
  • guide the Trust in the planning, development, and construction of a newly planned Carter House Interpretive Center & Museum related to the Battle of Franklin held November 30, 1864.

Since the Trust is not providing any further statements on what went awry, one is left to conclude that Esler apparently fell short of one or all of the above stated objectives.

This blogger and historic tourism supporter is curious of the following:

1. Are the above-stated objectives still current?  If not, what would the updated objectives be?  I think many of especially wonder if there are still plans to build a Carter House Interpretive Center.

2. Which objective(s) have the highest priority?

3. How long does the Trust expect the search for a new CEO to take?

Civil War artist – John Paul Strain – releases new painting of General Forrest at Carnton


General Forrest at Carnton

General Forrest at Carnton
General N.B. Forrest, Major J.P. Strange & Mrs. Caroline McGavock
November 30, 1864 – Franklin, Tennessee

Visit Strain’s web site.

Strain’s likness of modern-day Carnton is pretty accurate. Here’s a picture of the the same basic view of Carnton that Strain interpreted for his painting.