Help Us Unearth Your History

9 Oct

Carter House - Cotton Gin

Dear friends and readers,

We are currently excavating the main trench line at the epicenter of the 1864 Battle of Franklin, and we are also trying to find the base of the iconic Cotton Gin that stood nearby (See above image).

We need $20,000 to continue this invaluable work (images below), headed by archaeologist Dr. Larry McKee of TRC Solutions Archaeology. Please give a tax-deductable donation to this project, coordinated by myself through the preservation group Franklin’s Charge, or even just a letter of support to:

Franklin’s Charge (Memo: Archaeology)

604 W. Main Street

Franklin, TN 37064

You can also donate online through

BACKGROUND: Dr. Larry McKee and his team have been surveying the Cotton Gin site in Franklin, the iconic epicenter of the 1864 Battle of Franklin (see images below), where nearly 10,000 casualties fell in less than five hours. It is also the site where humans were enslaved before and during the war and sought freedom thereafter. By the 1880s, the gin site hosted a school for higher learning. In many ways, we are all connected to the story of this place, and nothing brought that home to me like Dr. McKee’s initial report:

“Thomas. Along with all the military artifacts…we did come across some small fragments of human bone, including what looked like fragmented but articulated (still together) elements from an ankle and lower leg, a fragment from the top of a femur (thigh bone) and a skull fragment. All of these were in the soil filling the ditch, rather than embedded in the floor. The attached page from the 2009 report supplies my thoughts on these fragments – body parts dismembered by gun and artillery fire during the battle, uncollected during the removal of the dead [in summer and fall 1866].”

Dr. Larry McKee, Sept. 28, 2014

His team found at least forty yards of the original Union trench line, and he is asking for two more weeks to complete his work in hopes of finding the old cotton gin foundation and more elements of the life and loss of that hallowed ground.

Below are images of the great progress made this far. Please support this, and ask me any questions you have.

Thanks in advance.

Thomas Flagel

Franklin’s Charge Board of Directors, and assistant professor of History at Columbia State Community College.

  Sept 12 2014 excavation Carter Hill trenchline Cotton Gin site June 2014Sept 12 2014 excavation Carter Hill and BGA foundationCotton Gin site sept 5 2014


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