Final Touches Made for Reenactment

September 01, 2004

Final preparations are being made for the event hailed as the premiere reenacting event of 2004 – the 140th Anniversary Battle of Franklin Reenactment set for October 1-3, 2004 in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Between 8,000-10,000 reenactors and 30,000-50,000 spectators are expected to converge on the 1,200-acre battlefield to watch or participate in the reenactments of the Battles of Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville.

The event kicks off Wednesday, September 29 with the GM/Spring Hill Manufacturing School Days. School children from across Middle Tennessee will descend on Rippavilla Plantation to get up close and personal with the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, as portrayed by Dennis Boggs. They will also have the opportunity to watch Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood meet with his generals the morning prior to the Battle of Franklin.

The first reenactment, the Battle of Columbia, takes place at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

During the Battle of Franklin reenactment Saturday at 4 p.m., thousands of Confederate reenactors will charge north along "Columbia Pike" toward entrenched Union forces. The battle will once again erupt around the Carter House and Cotton Gin, as it did that fateful November 30, 1864 night.

During that battle, Cockrell’s Missouri Brigade Band and Adams Brigade Bands led the charge at Franklin, It was unusual for the "tooters to go up in a charge with the shooters."

The 8th Regiment Band of Rome, Georgia will don Confederate uniforms, pick up antique and replica instruments and lead the charge during the reenactment of that ill-fated charge.

Although battles are the most popular feature of Civil War reenactments, other activities will take place during the three-day event, including concerts by the 8th Regiment Band, Civil War authors discussing and autographing their books, a ladies tea, Civil War reenactor Norm Hill discussing the U.S. Colored Troops, and their role in the Civil War and much, much more.

The event will also feature several hands-on exhibits, including the most spectator-friendly model ever built of the Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley.

Spectators and reenactors will be able to sit inside, turn the crank and operate the propeller of a life-size model of the first submarine to ever sink an enemy ship. The model was used in the filming of the Ted Turner film about the Hunley.

South Carolina Senator Gelnn McConnell, chairman of the Hunley Commission, will deliver a slide presentation and talk on the Hunley. Busts made from the facial reconstruction of the eight crewmen will also be on display.

For the first time, spectators and reenactors alike will be able to see the recreation of a full artillery camp as described by the "Instruction for Field Artillery Handbook" used by Federals and Confederates during the war. For the first time, spectators and reenactors will also be able to view an artillery battery moving into position as it would have during the war.

The camp will consist of a battery forge, two battery wagons, and several baggage weapons.

Once the weapons, horses and men are in place, this camp will rival the size and composition of an actual Confederate battery camp, something that has never been done before during a reenactment.

Tickets are $10 for a one-day pass, $13 for two days and $15 for all three days. They can be purchased in advance by visiting or from members of the Save the Franklin Battlefield Association. Proceeds from the event benefit the Preservation of the Franklin Battlefield.

For more information and an updated list of events, visit or e-mail: or write to: Franklin 140th Reenactment, P. O. Box 625, Morristown, Tennessee 37814.

©The Tullahoma News 2004