As many of you know, I have more than a passing interest in the Battle of Franklin. I have visited the battlefield many times, and have always been in awe of the sacrifice made there by the soldiers on both sides. The battle was ferocious and has often been called Pickett’s Charge of the West. I would disagree – it was far more brutal. The multiple charges that CSA Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee made were over very open ground, made from a greater distance and repeated multiple times. At one point CSA Major General Frank Cheatham’s Corps actually broke through the lines and were only repulsed because of the quick reactions of US Colonel Emerson Opdycke. He would quickly send his brigade to the breach in the lines and through brutal fighting would repulse the Confederate forces – saving the day for US Major General John M. Schofield’s army. Today, we have an opportunity to save 1.07 acres of this hallowed battlefield – the same ground Opdycke’s brigade fought to save. At the bottom of this post, is the email I received yesterday from Jim Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust, announcing this new campaign. Through matching grants, every $1 you donate is increased by over $6. For those of you interested in learning more about the Battle of Franklin, I encourage you to check out the following two blog articles I recently wrote.
You may also be interested in my photo essay on the Battle of Franklin. It can be found on my Flickr website by clicking HERE.
Help Save the Franklin Battlefield
Let’s Reclaim a Key Section of the Franklin Breakthrough
“The most desperate fighting imaginable.”
There were many horrifying scenes of carnage throughout the Civil War, but there are few that can compare to what was witnessed on November 30, 1864 at the Battle of Franklin.
In what became one of the largest and most precipitous charges of the Civil War, Confederates of Frank Cheatham’s corps hurled themselves against strong Union entrenchments. Despite facing enormous odds, these battle hardened Confederate forces did manage to break through the Union line at its center.
Facing the sudden prospect of total defeat, Colonel Emerson Opdycke and his brigade of veteran Midwestern soldiers – Opdycke’s Tigers – charged forth into the growing breach and drove back the Confederate attackers. After five hours of frenzied fighting more than 8,500 soldiers would lay dead on the field and John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee was left in shambles.
CWPT is partnering with Franklin’s Charge to preserve forever a 1.07 acre portion of the Franklin battlefield – ground which witnessed the Confederate breakthrough and Union counterattack. Join us in saving this hallowed ground.
Franklin 2010 Preservation Campaign
* Acres: 1.07 acres
* Total Cost: $950,000
* CWPT Fundraising Goal: $150,000
* Match: $6.33 to $1
* Match Sources: ABPP, Franklin’s Charge
It’s not every day that we get the chance to reclaim a battlefield that has been lost. As we did with the former Pizza Hut location, at the Carter House Garden, and on the Eastern Flank, we are slowly taking back what was lost at Franklin. Join us in adding another crucial part of the puzzle at the Franklin battlefield.
Very sincerely yours,
Click HERE to make a donation!