It was an amazing commemoration, and an honor to have lived to be a part of it. Today was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, and the preservation efforts continue to unearth innumerable stories and the hallowed ground itself. I was fortunate enough to spend time with an individual who began studying the battle – and championing the preservation of its landscape – since 1954. The iconic Ed Bearss came to town, and he even marched the entire two miles from Winstead Hill to the battle’s epicenter at the Cotton Gin site, at the young age of 91. After speeches, the spectacle of 10,000 luminaries glowing on the Eastern Flank (each representing a casualty from the battle), and a moving song from William Radcliffe, a portion of us took part in the “Historian’s Dinner” hosted by J.T. Thompson and the Lotz House. Our keynote was none other than Ed Bearss himself, fresh from his two-mile walk. Courage and tenacity take many forms.
(Myself, Ed Bearss, and Franklin alderman Mike Skinner)