Category Archives: Interpretation

Why is the Battle of Franklin important to you?

I asked the BoF Facebook Community why is the Battle of Franklin important to you?  Here are some select responses.  Join in the discussion at

I wrote an essay a while back entitled, “Why Franklin matters to me“.

Steve Cagle My ancestor Perry D Culver fought at Franklin and survived. He was captured during the Battle of Nashville. He was 15 years old. He was in the 34th Alabama Infantry in Manigualt’s Brigade.

Helen Mize My ggrandfather fought for the Confederate 6th Arkansas and lost the front part of his foot and was captured at the Battle of Franklin. He did survive and got home safely after the war.

Andy Halvorsen The Battle of Franklin is important to me as a transplant because it gives me the hope that the citizens of this nation will be reminded of our personal freedoms and what it takes to keep them. There was no greater soldier than the Confederate soldier, the last of the founding fathers to fight for the Constitution. We are still the greatest country in the world, but we can be so much greater.

Andy Halvorsen The Battle of Franklin is important to me as a transplant because it gives me the hope that the citizens of this nation will be reminded of our personal freedoms and what it takes to keep them. There was no greater soldier than the Confederate soldier, the last of the founding fathers to fight for the Constitution. We are still the greatest country in the world, but we can be so much greater.

Michael-Lee Anne Williams I had 5 relatives at The Battle of Franklin My Great Grand Father Caleb H Lewis and his twin brother Moses Wheat Lewis was with the 46th Ala. I also had Great Uncles on

Donna Werner We’ll see if we can “win” with; we were led to know of Franklin and the War in Tennessee some years ago when we began researching our family’s histories. Of the over 3500 members of our family tree none from so many years ago are more vivid and alive today than two…my great-grandfather was on the far right of the Union flank and my wife’s was in reserve in the Lotz’ yard and moved up into the mayhem when the center collapsed. Just the discovery that these two men who grew up 20 miles from each other in Ohio, came here together and experienced Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville – yet never knew one another, has literally changed our lives. And, the place we now call home.

Patricia Brooks Roth My ancestor was mortally wounded there and we have been unable to find where he died and was buried also saw civil war reenactment battle there several years ago. Awesome experience!!!

Robbin Francis my gg-grandfather( Christopher Columbus Francis) was the chief surgeon for the 3rd Texas cavalry.I have read that he was decorated that day for his bravery in rescuing comrades under fire, but have not been able to confirm this.Thankfully he survived and went on to a distinguished career as a doctor in Cleburne Texas where among other things, he helped establish the first hospital.Yes the town was named after Pat. Cleburne.I live close by in Granbury Texas, in Hood County. Texans love their civil war heroes.

Kim Harrison My gggrandfather James H. Harrison was a Sgt. with the 24th Mississippi Infantry Co. F. He survived the Battle of Franklin and was later captured at the Battle of Nashville and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio prison camp until the end of the war. I think of him and what he must have experienced during the battle when I walk the grounds at Carnton, Carter House or looking below from Winstead Hill.

Joe Schwenz Sr. I have an ancestor, Thaddeus Waters. He was my maternal Grandfather’s, great Uncle. Thad was a Private in the 2nd Michigan Cavalry. His unit came down to Bowling Green, KY., I’m assuming they rode there on horseback, but they might have come there by train. 

From there, they came through Clarksville, were I now live, all of these areas, were at that time, under Union control. 

After leaving Clarksville, the 2nd MI. Cavalry participated in the Battle of Franklin, then the Battle at Stones River in Murfreesboro, and eventually on to the Battle of Chickamauga where Thaddeus Waters was captured by Confederate forces and then sent through a series of Confederate prisons before ending in the notorious prison of Andersonville. 

He barely survived that Hell hole and wrote a book about his experiences after the war. I have read that book a dozen times in my life and will probably read it a dozen more! It is a riveting account of Civil War action and life and death like nothing you’ll ever get in history books or movies. 

For me, a transplanted northerner, to be living in Clarksville, the place where Thaddeus Waters first entered the south and fought in his first engagement in Franklin, TN. is pretty awesome. When I visit Franklin, Stones River, Chickamauga, and Andersonville, because of Thaddeus’ book, and his real life history, I feel like I am almost there, back then!

Through the life story, as told by a real life ancestor, who was actually “there”, I get a personal connection to places like the Battle of Franklin, that ordinary tourists don’t.

Clayton McMeen I grew up in Franklin, my Great Grandmother’s house was on the corner of Columbia Pike and Battle Avenue. I had 5 ancestors that fought in the Battle of Franklin, that I know of. As a child I grew up hearing tales about the battle from people whose grandparents either witnessed the battle or had been in Franklin at the time. One of my earliest school field trips was the the Confederate Cemetary at Carton we went there every year from 1st grade to 6th grade and learned of the brave CS Army and Todd Carter was held up to all us children as the example of a real hero

Stephanie Yancey Phelan I am very proud to share that my GGGrandfather, Calvin Lee Mooney was in the Alabama 29th Infantry, Company E. They had become a part of the Army of Tennessee and fought their way in Georgia where he was wounded three times before arriving in Franklin. From his obituary in 1906, I quote, “At the long to be remembered battle at Franklin, Tenn., his color bearer was shot down; he seized the battle flag from his dead comrade’s hand and bore it aloft until his own strong arm was shattered, and not until he fell bleeding did he let it fall.” I am convinced that some of the blood stains that remain at Carnton carry my own DNA from this brave soldier.

Jimmy Campbell The battle of Franklin is important to me because my ggggrandfather fought there, he was a member of the 8th Georgia Battalion, Co. C. I know what your saying, the 8th GA was not there. Question? If that was the case my ggggrandfather didn’t know the hell he went thru and we need to know where those 3 marked grave in Carnton came from. So the Battle of Franklin is important to me because I want those brave souls of the 8th Georgia Battalion given the credit that is due them. GOD Bless Them and the Souls of those who survived, we OWE them so much!!!!

Mike Maude My gggrandfather, Benjamin Newman, served with the 88th Illinois at Franklin (plus Perryville, Stones River, Spring Hill and Nashville), suriving the battles and the war. The ORs document that he captured the battle flag of a combined Arkansas regiment at Franklin; I understand that its flagstaff was on display at Carter House for a period of time.

Barry Dunagan I felt the warm wind blow across me in the late Tennessee afternoon, closed my eyes and imagined the horror that my grandfathers and their brothers felt as hundreds of their fellow soldiers fell. As smoke and darkness closed, the horror intensified until they moved only on instinct as soldiers of Tennessee. Load and fire or load and pass the rifle forward, continuously until shot down or commanded to try to escape into the night. This is what I believe the members of the 47th, 48th, 11th Tennessee Infantry Regiments endured November 30, 1864.

Larry Hicks Andrew Jackson Hicks, 29th Al.Co.H my gggrandpaw was shot in the shoulder and jaw broken on the Confederate right, fortunatly he survived and raised 21 children.

James DuMond My deep interest in Civil War history began hearing stories told by my great aunt about her grandfater (my gg-grandfather) Henry Meiser of the 111th OVI. His company was in the left flank of that regiment and when the Confederaderates made their breakthrough to the Carter House they were ordered to refuse the flank. Many years later he would personally show my young aunt where he was that day and point out some of the bullet holes on the west side of the Carter House he probably made

Jay Mc My GreatGreat Grandfather was in Co. K 31st Mississppi,,,,wounded in the side with a minie ball. Lived to be 90 years old.

Travis Devine Im a reenactor in the 8th tn US inf, and my 6th great grand dads step was a pvt in said unit, they were stationed in the 2nd line near the cotton gin and they helped plug the breach in the federal center

Angie Adams Hipp I believe my mother’s ancestors met at Camp Douglas, both one captured at Franklin and the other at Nashville within a few weeks of each other, and both were sent to Camp Douglas. Being from two different states, they both end up in the same small, tiny town in Texas, their children marrying. Too much of a coincidence to be random…both survived. One gx3 grandfather, however, was in the hospital when he was paroled at the end of the war. I would love to find out if they were housed in the same barracks,, or barracks near one another. Do you happen to know if there is a list of POWs and what barracks they resided in?

Elaine Hearon Everett Shelton My gg grandfather, Asa Minor Laney, was killed in front of Carter Cotton Gin in the Battle of Franklin. He was in the 5th Mississippi.

Rayna Steven My great great grandfather, Capt. James A. Sexton, 72nd IL., fought in the Carter Garden.
Here’s a quote by him:

“Franklin was the private soldier’s battle, the sum of its strategy being to hold and occupy the few square feet upon which the soldiers stood to the last.” Capt. James Andrew Sexton

We recently found out my husband more than likely had two gg granfathers who fought for the union at the BOF. One would have been near the Lotz House.

This is very strange, since we are from Arkansas and Oklahoma…..yet, we both had gg grandfathers who fought for the union at the BOF. And even more strange, we ended up moving to the area a couple of years ago from Chicago.

Support the Battle of Franklin story and join the Facebook Group

Happy 148th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin!

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 9.21.41 PMI launched the Battle of Franklin Facebook Group in October 2009.  It has grown, in just three years, to be the single largest Civil War battle-focused Facebook Group in existence that is run by an individual.  It has over 4,200 members. It’s easily accessible at ( ).

The Battle of Franklin Facebook Group receives visitors from around the world as this list (right) shows visitors in just the past 3 months.

Some of the National Park Service battle sites are a little larger but the Battle of Franklin Facebook Group is larger than most of the NPS groups as well.

The second largest Civil War battle-focused Facebook Group is one dedicated to the Battle of Gettysburg and it has just over 2,000 members. This is interesting because Gettysburg is no doubt THE first Civil War battle most people think of, yet the Battle of Franklin Facebook Group is more than twice the size of the Gettysburg group.  It attests to the interest and intrigue behind the Franklin story. More than 75% of the visitors to the Facebook group come from outside of the Nashville-Franklin area.  In fact, hundreds of people access the Facebook group from other countries, especially the U.K.

I use my Battle of Franklin blog ( ) to serve as the content foundation for the Facebook group. The blog launched in late 2006 and receives around 300-400 visits a day. Anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a month visit the blog.

If you’re not a member of the the Battle of Franklin Facebook Group then visit the site and “like” it today. Join in the fun!

Battle of Franklin Facebook Group

“Must reading” on the Battle of Franklin

Jacob Dolson Cox, The March to the Sea, Chapter Five: Battle of Franklin (Download in PDF)

The Battle of Franklin Tennessee November 30, 1864, by Jacob D. Cox, 1897 (Entire book in PDF)

Jacob Dolson Cox, (Jr.) (October 27, 1828 – August 4, 1900) was a lawyer, a Union Army general during the American Civil War, and later a Republican politician from Ohio. He served as the 28th Governor of Ohio and as United States Secretary of the Interior. (Wikipedia)

Thomas Y. Cartwright to portray Civil War soldier Sam Watkins

>>>>   N E W S  R E L E A S E <<<<

Thomas Y. Cartwright to portray Civil War soldier Sam Watkins

Accompanied by musical artist Michael Holloway at The Franklin Theatre November 28

A portion of the proceeds benefit The Heritage Foundation

(Franklin, Tenn.)—October 30, 2012—The Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce announced today Civil War historian Thomas Y. Cartwright will portray Confederate Civil War soldier Sam Watkins at The Franklin Theatre Wednesday, November 28 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Heritage Foundation. Tickets go on sale October 31.

In making the announcement, Pearce said, “We’re ecstatic to have Thomas Cartwright take the stage at The Franklin Theatre to share with us his depiction of one of the most memorable soldiers of the Civil War and who wrote Co. Aytch, a riveting recount of his life during the war. This date was chosen because its two days prior to the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin held November 30, 1864, which is significant to our rich history.

As a young boy, Cartwright read Co. Aytch and was so enthralled with it, he committed the book to memory. During the past 20 years, Cartwright has performed and portrayed Sam Watkins in numerous one man performances throughout the country. Now, for the first time, he’ll premiere his performance on stage with Holloway’s captivating music.

Cartwright, in conjunction with the Lotz House Civil War museum, has teamed with long-time music performer and entertainer Michael Holloway to take what Watkins began to write after the war, and what Cartwright memorized as a child, into the 21 century. Holloway wrote and will perform all original music to enhance the experience of the two hour portrayal. Holloway calls his music on the new CD “American music, by an American artist for an American story.”

Pearce added, “Thomas’ incredible ability to quote Sam Watkins off the top of his head is amazing and transcending. We’re excited to have this moving performance to share because it will leave everyone who hears it with the feeling they’ve heard Watkins’ story told first hand. Michael’s original music puts a huge exclamation point on the performance as it leads our imagination back to the 1860s.”

Robert Hicks, author of New York Times bestseller The Widow of the South said, “Thomas Cartwright has partnered up with Michael Holloway to give us Sam Watkins’ Co. Aytch and what a gift it will be. For those of us who have loved ol’ Sam and his Co. Aytch, this is long overdue. For those who have never read Co. Aytch, it is the best introduction I can think of.”

Hicks added, “In Sam’s own words, Cartwright movingly retells the story of Sam’s adventures in the service of the South. It is hard to imagine anyone that Sam would have rather had retell his story. Added to all of this is the wonderful music that Michael Holloway wrote and performed in accompaniment to Sam’s words. Cartwright and Holloway have hit this one out of the park. This performance is a must for anyone who loves the rich history of the American Civil War.”

Sam Watkins, originally from Maury County, served throughout the entire four year war despite being wounded several times. Of the 120 men who enlisted in “Company H” in 1861, Watkins was one of the few still in the ranks when the Confederate Army of Tennessee surrendered in April, 1865. After the war ended, Watkins began writing his memoir entitled Co. Aytch.

Watkins’ work today is recognized around the world and often used for teaching purposes. Co. Aytch is called by many historians one of the best Civil War memoirs written by a common soldier in the field. Clearly, Watkins engaging writing style captures the pride of the Civil War soldier.

Thomas Y. Cartwright is known as one of the leading authorities on the Civil War and the Battle of Franklin. He frequently appears on various documentaries for the History Channel, A&E, Travel Channel, CNN, Discovery, and Preservation Channel. For many years, he has lectured throughout most of the United States for Civil War Round Tables, corporations, preservation groups and heritage organizations. In addition, Cartwright authored several published articles and essays. He is currently authoring two books and he conducts battlefield walking tours of the Battle of Franklin from the Lotz House.
Holloway has a long and storied musical career. Growing up in Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta, his exposure to music came early, accompanying his father to blues jams with other workers in the pulp wood business.

Playing left-handed, Holloway learned the guitar on his own, playing his father’s instrument upside down. In fact, the legendary Gibson Guitar even created a left-handed dobro especially for Holloway to play. He has released two albums including Blues Travel Fast and Riding This Train which includes a cut called Feast or Famine with duet partner Gretchen Wilson. He’s toured the country as well as Europe and opened for such acts as BB King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter and Little Feat.

The doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:00 p.m. with a brief intermission. Tickets are $35 and $50 and go on sale October 31 and are available at or at The Franklin Theatre box office (615) 538-2076. After expenses, half of the proceeds benefit The Heritage Foundation earmarked for the Carter Cotton Park.

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving our historic resources in Franklin and Williamson County, Tennessee. Among our programs are the award-winning Main Street Program, the Downtown Franklin Association, which promotes and revitalizes the 150 unique places to explore in the 15-block downtown National Register District.

For further information contact:
Susan Andrews 615-242-4400

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