Franklin’s Charge is A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space.
Franklin’s Charge is a § 501(c)(3) Tennessee nonprofit corporation organized in 2005 dedicated to preserving America’s threatened Civil War battlefields in Williamson County, Tennessee. In addition, Franklin’s Charge has actively worked to educate the public about the 1864 Schofield- Hood campaigns, the 1864 Battle of Franklin, the 1863 Battle of Thompson’s Station, the Union earthworks in Triune, and other Civil War events in Middle Tennessee. Further, Franklin’s Charge has been an active participant in heritage tourism, American Civil War history programs, and preservation efforts.
Franklin’s Charge brought together all preservation groups operating in Williamson County. Its membership consists of representatives of the African-American Heritage Society, the Carter House Association, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Franklin-Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, the Harpeth River Watershed Association, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, Historic Carnton, Inc., the Land Trust for Tennessee, Inc., Save the Franklin Battlefield Association, the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, the Tennessee National Civil War Heritage Area, the Tennessee Preservation Trust, and the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Current Board Members of Franklin’s Charge are: Danny Anderson, Ernie Bacon, Julian Bibb, Angela Calhoun, Jim Campi, Joe Cashia, Nancy Conway, Phil Fawcett, Mike Grainger, Ken Green, Robert Hicks, Tom Murdic, Mary Pearce, Tom Powell, Joe Smyth, Greg Wade, Rick Warwick, Stacey Watson, and Van West.
Advisory Board Members of Franklin’s Charge are: Warner Bass, Dorie Bolze, Hank Brockman, Jim Campi, Lisa Clayton, Laura Holder, Sam Huffman, Eric Jacobson, Rudy Jordan, Steve McDaniel, Jeanie Nelson, Fred Prouty, Damon Rogers, Cindy Sargent, Mark Shore, Ed Silva, and Deborah Warnick.
What Are We Doing:
- Franklin’s Charge has launched an effort to acquire the Cotton Gin property along Columbia Avenue and to develop an open space park site open to the public, complete with a replica of the Carter’s Cotton Gin, which was a principal focus of the 1864 Battle of Franklin. The effort has a price tag in excess of $2 million dollars. Your contributions are needed to preserve this important site. Donate here.
- Franklin’s Charge is hosting its third annual Civil War Symposium: June 18-June 20, 2009. This year’s Symposium focuses on the Schofield-Hood 1864 Campaign, beginning in Spring Hill and culminating with the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. Register now.
- Franklin’s Charge recently received a grant from Tennessee Wars Commission to conduct archaeological excavations to locate the Union trench line established at the Cotton Gin site, during the 1864 Battle of Franklin.
- Franklin’s Charge worked with a variety of groups to bring the Civil War Trails program to Tennessee. Led by the State Department of Tourism (Susan Whitaker), the Tennessee Civil War Trails program was kicked off in Franklin in September, 2008. Key participants along with Franklin’s Charge in the effort in Williamson County are: Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, Tennessee Preservation Trust, the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association; Historic Carnton, Inc., the Carter House Association, and Save the Franklin Battlefield, Inc.
- Franklin’s Charge received a grant from the Tennessee Wars Commission to conduct a study of the site of the Union earthworks fort in Triune. The study was conducted by Phil Thomason & Associates with assistance from Fred Prouty and the Tennessee Wars Commission. A public meeting was conducted by Phil Thomason with landowners, representatives of the Land Trust for Tennessee, and Civil War groups to discuss the results.
- Franklin’s Charge led a public-private effort to acquire and preserve a 112 acre site known as the Eastern Flank of the 1864 Battle of Franklin. The acreage adjoins Carnton and also approximately 40 acres owned by the State of Tennessee. The 112 acre site is the largest remaining open space comprising a portion of the Franklin battlefield. The cost of the acquisition effort was in excess of $5 million. The site was acquired and conveyed to the City of Franklin and will be developed into a public battlefield park. The successful effort involved a collaboration among Franklin’s Charge, the City of Franklin, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the American Battlefield Protection Association, the State of Tennessee, local preservation groups, and over 500 donors. Jim Lighthizer of CWPT called the effort the largest and most successful public-private effort by any community in America. The effort has been featured in National Geographic, Business Tennessee, NPR’s Marketplace, CBS News Sunday Morning, local media, and numerous preservation and Civil War related newspapers and magazines.
- The Symposium conducted by Franklin’s Charge each of the past 3 years has been coordinated by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and related grants. Each of the sessions offers a special training section for educators, and elementary and high school teachers have been provided scholarships to enable them to attend.
- Franklin’s Charge successfully obtained a $300,000 Congressional grant to study Franklin’s Civil War sites and the opportunity to involve the National Park Service in the Franklin Civil War story.
- Franklin’s Charge has received grants from the Civil War Preservation Trust, the American Battlefield Protection Program, the State of Tennessee (Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Program), the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, the Tennessee Wars Commission, and Williamson County, Tennessee.
- Franklin’s Charge was awarded the Shelby Foote Preservation Legacy Award by the Shelby Foote Preservation Legacy Award by the
Civil War Preservation Trust in 2006.
- At different times, Robert Hicks and Ernie Bacon, successive presidents of Franklin’s Charge have been recognized by the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association for outstanding service to the preservation of Civil War sites in Tennessee, receiving the Bob Ragland Award.
- Over the past four years, representatives of Franklin’s Charge have been asked to write articles and make presentations to various regional and local civil groups about the successful public/private partnership efforts conducted by Franklin’s Charge.