2014 Annual Giving Campaign
Dear Friend of History,
It is hard to believe, but in barely two weeks we will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. Planning for this important event has gone on for many months, and in some ways for years, and November 30, 2014 is almost here. What a month we have ahead of us. The State Sesquicentennial event will unfold right here in Franklin, a re-enactment of the battle will be staged, and the anniversary itself concludes a month those of us involved will never forget. All of this will be in addition to the thousands of guests who will be visiting day by day throughout the course of the month. Then, almost suddenly, it will be December 1, and then January 1, and a new year will be upon us. So what then? What is next?
Simply put – we must continue the momentum that has been generated over the past decade. To ensure that Franklin’s incredible story regains its proper place in American history and in the collective memory of all of us, we cannot relax and take anything for granted. I strongly believe that the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Franklin is the midway point between where the story was and where it is headed.
Last year I asked you to help support The Battle of Franklin Trust as we aimed to complete our Sesquicentennial exhibit, repair the garden fence at Carnton, and install carpet at The Carter House. Because of your help we not only completed all three projects, we finished them ahead of schedule and the floorcloth installation at The Carter House is soon to be a reality. In fact, if you have not been able to come out and see the exhibit – entitled Battle Scarred – please do so by April 2015. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I see 2015 as another year of growth, and also of great opportunities. As you already know, we are in the process of raising money for the acquisition of core battlefield just south of The Carter House which will be the centerpiece of the Carter Hill Battlefield Park. Our first major fundraiser was a huge success and nearly $160,000 was committed toward the project.
A master plan for The Carter House and surrounding property, which is being developed by a local firm with input from the Tennessee Historical Commission and The Battle of Franklin Trust, is nearly complete. With the master plan complete the next big step may be taken – demolition of the old gymnasium which dwarfs The Carter House and stands as an obstacle to reclaiming more of the battlefield. Just imagine the ground south and north of The Carter House cleared and taking on the appearance of a true battlefield park. That will be our legacy – and there is no one alive today who has seen it that way. The last people who saw the ground on both sides of the house open were the Carters themselves and veterans of the battle who returned to Franklin years after the war.
So as the Sesquicentennial fades away, and becomes part of history itself, we must move forward and continue the work we have started. To do this, you are essential. We need your financial support.
One hundred and fifty years ago the soldiers in two great armies were maneuvering in ways that would ultimately lead them through Spring Hill and onto Franklin. Those who survived tried again and again to ensure that their story, and the overarching story of America’s greatest trial, would not be lost to time.
Please consider supporting us as we move toward and beyond the Sesquicentennial and take the steps necessary to make The Carter House and Carnton and the battlefield, as well as other local sites such as Lotz House, Fort Granger, Winstead Hill, Collins Farm, and the McGavock Confederate Cemetery, all part of a single and cohesive story. Together we can turn the focus to a single and very powerful word:
Thank you for everything you have already done. Please help us in any way that you can and remember that all donations are fully tax deductible. Your support is vital, especially as we move into 2015 and begin to lay the pathway which will lead us through the next ten years.
Eric A. Jacobson
Chief Executive Officer