A few days ago, I told you about our charge to save 15 historic acres at 3 battlefields in Tennessee. This effort includes hallowed ground at Fort Donelson, Brown’s Ferry, and Franklin, a tragic battlefield that, not so long ago, was paved over, and nearly forgotten. These battlefields are essential to telling the story of the Civil War in the Volunteer state.
With the exception of Virginia, no state played host to a larger number of significant Civil War battles than Tennessee. It was in Tennessee where Ulysses S. Grant secured the “unconditional surrender” of the Confederate army at Fort Donelson in February 1862, punching a massive hole in the Confederacy’s western defenses and opening the way for the Union’s penetration of the Southern heartland. Grant was so little known before his stunning triumph that multiple newspapers mistakenly used woodcuts of an Illinois beef contractor named William Grant in reporting on the victory.
Eighteen months later, the eyes of the nation were once again fixed upon the Volunteer State, this time as Union and Confederate forces vied for control of Chattanooga. A major turning point in that struggle came on October 27, when the Federals seized control of a key river crossing at Brown’s Ferry, removing a major obstacle towards supplying beleaguered Union forces.
Another year later, John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee made a courageous if ill-fated attack on John Schofield’s Yankees at the Battle of Franklin, resulting in inconceivable suffering and ultimate defeat at Nashville.
Today, we have the opportunity to save an additional 15 acres at those three battlefields. We will be adding to the 639 acres we have already saved at Fort Donelson, Brown’s Ferry, and Franklin—more tiles in the mosaic of Tennessee’s rich Civil War heritage. Thanks to a magnificent $21.17-to-$1 match, you and I can save this land—worth a combined total of $1.5 million—for just $73,250!
Help us to honor the sacrifices of the brave Americans on both sides who gave the last full measure of devotion at these three sacred sites.
’Til the Battle is Won,
Jim Lighthizer, President
Civil War Trust
P.S. We need your help to save hallowed ground at Fort Donelson, Brown's Ferry, and Franklin.