Franklin Battlefield, Tenn.

Franklin Battlefield, Tenn.

Michael Byerley

Help Save “The Final Mile” at Franklin, Tennessee

The Opportunity

There is a key missing piece in the heart of the battlefield at Franklin, Tennessee: a 0.60-acre tract of land with a single-story, contemporary warehouse. It is the only obstacle preventing visitors from walking the final quarter mile of the Confederates’ desperate charge against the Union earthworks.

Securing this tract of land, is an act that will allow future generations to truly feel a sense of what happened in “Bloody Franklin” on that fateful day, walking on the land that witnessed some of the most desperate hours of the entire Civil War.

A warehouse on the Franklin, Tenn. Battlefield with a interpretive sign in the foreground.
A warehouse currently mars this portion of the battlefield, obstructing the final quarter mile of the Confederates’ desperate charge. American Battlefield Trust

The cost of this small Franklin Battlefield property is an astonishingly expensive $5 million. However, thanks to the collective efforts of local preservation organizations, Franklin’s Charge and the Battle of Franklin Trust, and anticipated support from local and state government and the American Battlefield Protection Program, this hallowed ground is within reach. However, we still need to raise $100,000 to meet our goal.

Please donate today to help secure this critical tract of battlefield land at Franklin, Tennessee. Any amount you can donate to this effort will be matched 50-to-1 toward this historic battlefield completion effort. 

Donate now

The History

In November 1864, the Confederate Army of Tennessee found itself in relentless pursuit of a victory. Abraham Lincoln had just been re-elected president, meaning that the long fight which had already rent and ravaged the nation for nearly four years would continue. General William Tecumseh Sherman had captured Atlanta and was now in the thick of his scorched-earth March to the Sea. The Confederates were running out of options.

Battle of Franklin, by Kurz and Allison (1891)
The Battle of Franklin by Kurz and Allison (1891). Library of Congress

The desperation was palpable when Confederate General John Bell Hood attempted to defeat Union forces determined to reach Nashville. About 20 miles south of the Tennessee capital, Hood’s 27,000 soldiers encountered 28,000 Union forces under the command of General John Schofield. What ensued in that small country town on an unseasonably warm and bright afternoon would ultimately become known as “Bloody Franklin.”

Described by some as the “last gasp” of the Confederacy, Franklin, Tennessee, was one of the worst places on the planet to be on November 30, 1864. As one soldier recalled years after the battle, “It was as if the Devil had full possession of the Earth.”

Fighting began around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when the Confederates launched a massive infantry charge against Union forces that had dug in behind well-prepared earthworks and abatis. An astounding force of 20,000 Confederate soldiers charged across nearly two miles of open ground with virtually no artillery support to make a frontal assault on the Union lines. The size of this assault dwarfs the famed “Pickett’s Charge” at Gettysburg by 50 percent.

Southern battalions slammed into the enemy lines and met intense resistance. Chaos and confusion reigned as soldiers on both sides engaged in fierce, often vicious hand-to-hand combat.

“Bloody Franklin” witnessed some of the most brutal fighting of the war, with opposing soldiers often separated only by a few feet of earthworks.

Beyond the sheer brutality and savagery of the fighting — the Battle of Franklin proved a calamitous defeat for the Confederates. More southern generals became casualties at Franklin than any other single battle of the war — eight were wounded or captured and six were killed.

Help Save “The Final Mile”

Help secure the last $100,000 needed to save this historic land. Remember, your gift will be multiplied 50 times in value to nearly complete the once-lost battlefield at Franklin and preserve this hallowed ground forever.

Plus – if you can give $64 or more, you will receive an exclusive Preservation Edition of Let Us Die Like Men: The Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864.

Donate Now 

“It is the blackest page in the history of the war. It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was the finishing stroke to the independence of the Southern Confederacy. I was there. I saw it. My flesh trembles, and creeps, and crawls when I think of it today.”
Confederate Private Sam Watkins on the brutality at the Battle of Franklin

Secure one of Franklin's most important tracts

Acres Targeted
$50-to-$1 Match

Explore This Opportuity