By Anna Robertson Ham
This month, we will commemorate the 159th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. This significant event in American history took place on November 30, 1864, during the heart of the American Civil War. It was a battle that left an indelible mark on the nation…as well as on the homes that withstood the bullets and cannonballs. Amidst this historical battlefield are iconic homes like Carnton Plantation, the Carter House, Lotz House and Rippavilla Plantation. These homes were transformed into makeshift hospitals and sanctuaries during and after the battle. The Carnton Plantation, with its antebellum charm, provided care and solace to the wounded. The Carter House became a field hospital. The Lotz House sheltered families caught in the crossfire and Rippavilla Plantation also played a vital role in the battle’s aftermath, offering aid and support.
Today, these homes are living witnesses to the compassion and resilience that emerged during the Civil War’s darkest hours. As we commemorate the 159th anniversary, we pay tribute not only to the soldiers who fought and perished on this battlefield but also to the significance of these historic homes in preserving the memory of those who suffered. All four historic locations will be honoring the anniversary of the Battle of Franklin.
Lotz House | 1111 Columbia Avenue
In commemoration of the 159th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, the Lotz House will host an illumination ceremony on the front lawn of the home, ground zero of the Battle, on November 30th at 4:30pm, when the battle ensued. Lotz House Executive Director Thomas Y. Cartwright said, “We have commemorated the anniversary of the Battle Franklin since we opened the Lotz House in 2008. It started with a handful of history enthusiasts working to keep the story alive. We invite the community to the Lotz House to remember those who died, those who survived, and how it changed Franklin and beyond forever.”
The lighting of a luminary will take place on the front steps of the Lotz House at 4:30pm and the community is welcome to attend. Thomas Y. Cartwright’s Walking Battlefield Tour will be held Thursday, November 30th at 10:30am, and reservations are required by calling 615.790.7190.
The Lotz House is also hosting a Living History Event with the 33rd Alabama/6th Indiana regiment Saturday, December 2nd, from 9am until 4pm with a medical, hospital and common soldier program. The Seventh Annual Living History event will provide educational interaction with visitors on the life of the soldiers – both Federal and Confederate - and the stories of the Battle of Franklin held November 30, 1864. Visitors will see how the soldiers camp out, learn about their lifestyle and witness the stories they tell from the historic battle. It’s free and open to the public. For more information, call 615.790.7190 or visit lotzhouse.com.
Battle of Franklin Trust
In honor of the anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, the Battle of Franklin Trust (BOFT) and its historic sites – Carnton, Carter House and Rippa Villa Plantation - will host special events and tours. The BOFT team interprets the Battle history seven days a week, 360 days a year…so November 29th and 30th become even more important because those are the two days in which the Battle occurred, and ultimately helped end the War and redefine America. These two days are days of reflection.
Tours at all three houses are running as usual, with the exception of the cancellation of the 4pm. Classic Tour at Rippa Villa on November 29th as well as the November 30th 4pm Classic Tours at Carter House and Carnton. Visit boft.org to learn more about the Battle of Franklin Trust and their tours. Walk-in bookings are available as well as pre-booking online at boft.org/visit. Simply click a location, hit the purchase tickets button, reconfirm which site you would like to visit.
Rippa Villa | 5700 Main Street, Spring Hill, TN
On Wednesday, November 29th, special activities will commemorate the November 29th Battle at no charge. Events will include a short program at 4pm and then condensed evening tours from 4:30pm until 8pm.
Carnton | 1345 Eastern Flank Circle, Franklin, TN
On Thursday, November 30th there will be special activities commemorating the November 30th Battle and at no charge. Events will include condensed evening tours from 4:30pm until 8pm.
Carter House | 1140 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN
On Thursday, November 30th there will be special activities commemorating the November 30th Battle and at no charge. Events will include a short program at the Carter House at 4pm and condensed evening tours from 4:30pm until 8pm.