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154th Battle of Franklin anniversary to be marked with extra battlefield tours, solemn illumination ceremony


154th Battle of Franklin anniversary to be marked with extra battlefield tours, solemn illumination ceremony

If the current weather forecast is accurate, a solemn illumination ceremony commemorating the 154th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin will go on as scheduled.

Elizabeth Harbin of the Battle of Franklin Trust said the 10,000 luminaries, representing the casualties of the battle, will be lit at dusk on the Eastern Flank battlefield adjacent to Carnton mansion if the forecast of light rain is accurate.

“If there is heavy rain, we can’t expect our volunteers to be out in that,” she said.

There will be a ceremony at 4 p.m., which is the hour 154 years ago that more than 20,000 Confederate troops began advancing toward Franklin from the Winstead Hill area to engage Union troops that had prepared a strong defensive line between the Harpeth River and Carter’s Creek.

After the ceremony, the public is welcome to walk-through and engage with historical interpreters inside Carnton and Carter House from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This event is free to the public.

During the day the Battle of Franklin Trust will be offering 90-minute tours of the Franklin Battlefield, departing every hour between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and reservations are required. Tickets may be purchased online: boft.org/battlefield-tours.

The tour is a comprehensive walking tour of the center-most portion of the Franklin battlefield, explaining why it occurred, the arrival of the Federal and Confederate armies, and details of what became known as one of the greatest single assaults of the Civil War. It covers a number of locations on the field where crucial portions of the battle unfolded, from the Confederate breakthrough to the Federal defensive stand and counter-assault. The tour will take you along the Federal line, see the location of the former Carter cotton gin, visit the spot where Gen. Patrick Cleburne was killed, and see battlefield reclamation in progress.

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