August 24, 2017

Battle of Franklin Trust Lecture Series To Discuss Current Flag, Monument Issues

Battle of Franklin Trust CEO Eric Jacobson will revisit his discussion of current events, such as issues with the Confederate flag, monument removals, changing interpretation and what is in store for the future of Civil War history, in a lecture entitled “Our Civil War and A New Discussion.”

The August 24 lecture begins at 6 pm and is free and open to the public.

This event will be held at the Williamson County Park and Recreation’s Academy Park Performing Arts Theatre at 112 Everbright Avenue, Franklin 37064. Reservations are required: please contact Meagan Wuest at or (615) 794-0903 to reserve a seat.



August 28, 2017


The Nashville Civil War Roundtable has announced that its August meeting has been changed to August 28, 2017,  the 4th (rather than the 3rd) Monday of the month, when attendees will hear Tonya Staggs, Traveller’s Rest historian, speak on “Annie Claiborne and Traveller’s Rest During the Civil War.”

The next event is scheduled for September 18, 2017, when historian and author Allen Mesch will speak on “General Charles F. Smith.”

All events are scheduled from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Although all programs are free and open to the public, the group encourages membership. Annual dues along with proceeds from the silent auction support programming and local preservation causes.

For more information, visit the Roundtable’s website at



September 10, 2017


The Friends of Fort Negley (FOFN) will presenting a special informative program at the September Franklin Civil War Round Table concerning the future of the Fort Negley complex.

The presentation will be held at the Hiram Masonic Lodge at 115 2nd Ave South, Franklin on Sunday, September 10, 2017, beginning at 3:00 p.m.  The public is invited.  For more information contact

Above: Ft. Negley Park: aerial view in 1940s, before construction of Greer Stadium. Click on photo twice for super-zoom view.

Since the relocation of the Nashville Sounds from their Greer Stadium location, there has been much speculation about the future of the site.  Because the baseball stadium literally adjoined the walls of Fort Negley, Civil War historians and green space advocates have lobbied for the property to be made part of the Fort Negley grounds, as it was during the Civil War.  

Not only was this structure a critical part of the extensive works protecting the city during its federal occupation, it was constructed in large part by “impressed” black labor. Many of these former slaves lost their lives during the fort’s erection  and are interred at the nearby Nashville National Cemetery.  On this important ground that has great significance to Nashville’s Civil War and post war history, there is now a massive proposed commercial development. It is also the last major piece of acreage in Davidson County that can still be preserved with such historical ties from that era.  The proposed construction is supported by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

The Friends of Fort Negley will be presenting the full story and the charge by citizens to turn back the suggested retail, housing and commercial complex at the old Greer Stadium location. 


September 16, 2017


The Lotz House will host a two-part symposium on September 16, 2017, on two aspects of the Battle of Franklin and the aftermath of the Battle of Nashville.

The two symposium topics are “The Forgotten Battle of Franklin – Dec. 17, 1864” and “10,000 Secrets Unearthed.”  Speakers will include historian Thomas Cartwright, Bryan Lane, Andy Willoughby, and Robert Blythe. Also, there will be a discussion and announcement of one of the largest caches of Confederate bullets ever unearthed in Middle Tennessee.

The event will be held at Nashville-Franklin Lodge # 72, BPOE and lunches will be provided by Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant. The cost is $50 per person and reservations can be made by contacting the Lotz House at 615-790-7190 or emailing Laura Westbrook at . Seating is limited and reservations are required.


May 11, 2017 (Tour is full as of 4/26/17)


The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and its former president and historian, Jim Kay, will conduct a free one-hour walking tour entitled “Historic Kirkman Lane” on Thursday, May 11, 2017, to explore an area and events occurring there that were critical to the outcome of the Battle of Nashville.

Jim Kay, who lives in the area, will lead the tour which will start at the corner of Stonewall and Kirkman Lane at 5:00 p.m. The tour will include information on the history of the property, the stone wall, Kirkman Lane, the assault on the Confederate position at the wall, the capture of the Louisiana Pointe Coupee battery and Congressional Medals of Honor awarded to individuals for their bravery at the wall as well as the recognition of the wall on the National Register of Historic Places.

This tour is free and open to members of The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, members of the Lealand Plantation Garden Club and guests and residents of Stonewall Drive.

Please RSVP to


Spring 2017


The Tennessee Historical Society Spring Lecture series will kick off on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, with “Nashville’s Streetcars And Interurban Railways,” presented by Ralcon Wagner.

All programs will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Negley Visitor Center, located at 1100 Fort Negley Boulevard, Nashville 37203.

For a complete listing and description of the upcoming events, see .


Friday – Sunday December 9, 10, 11, 2016


Historic Ft. Negley in downtown Nashville will be the site of one of the events commemorating the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Nashville, which occurred on December 15-16, 1864.

The full list of events over the three-day rememberance will include:

  • Small Arms Demonstrations
  • Artillery Demonstrations
  • Signal Corps Demonstrations
  • Meet General George Thomas, President Lincoln, USCTs and Union Soldiers
  • Enjoy Scholarly Presentations in the Theater

All details will be updated soon.  Click HERE for details or visit the Ft. Negley website for additional information about the Fort’s history and programs, all of which are supported by The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society.


Thursday, October 13, 2016, 6:30 p.m.


Note:  Tickets Now Available. Reservations required on or before October 7, 2016

The Battle Of Nashville Preservation Society will sponsor a special “Battlefield Bourbon Dinner” to benefit historic Travellers Rest Plantation on October 13, 2016, offering a unique and varied evening of entertainment for anyone interested in the history of the Battle of Nashville.
The event, to be held at Travellers Rest beginning at 6:30 p.m, will introduce a unique “Battlefield Bourbon” made from water sourced from the Battle of Nashville battlefields, as well as dinner catered by Puckett’s and a stellar group of authors and speakers.

What is “Battlefield Bourbon?”  See below.

Speakers, itinerary and ticket prices are detailed below in the flyer. The 6:30 p.m. cocktail hour, featuring Battlefield Bourbon, will be followed by a 7:15 p.m. dinner catered by Puckett’s restaurant.  The 8:00 p.m. program will feature Franklin novelist Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country, who will be signing copies of his newly-published book, “The Orphan Mother.”  His role in the development of “Battlefield Bourbon” is explained below; he will signing those as well.

In addition, another New York Times best-selling author, James Lee McDonough, will be on hand to sign copies of the latest in his long list of Civil War works of nonfiction,  “William Tecumseh Sherman: In The Service Of My Country: A Life.”

BONPS historian Jim Kay will round out the speakers with comments regarding the Battle of Nashville.


What is “Battlefield Bourbon”?

In the Fall of 2014, Robert Hicks, battlefield preservationist and New York Times bestselling author, launched “Battlefield Bourbon,” a very small batch bourbon distilled, aged and hand-bottled in Tennessee.  The sale of the bourbon benefited Civil War battlefield reclamation and preservation.

Hicks’ idea was to make limited batches of bourbon from the water originating from actual battlefields, including springs and other comparable sources.  By using water from each battlefield, he was able to provide an opportunity to actually taste part of this hallowed ground.

In 2014, the first very small batch featured the Battle of Franklin which occurred in 1864. Therefore, only 1864 bottles were distilled and the batch sold out in 10 days.

In 2015 the bourbon featured the Battle of Shiloh and these 1864 bottles sold out in less than 2 weeks.

This fall the batch of 1864 bottles will feature the Battle of Nashville and the water used to make the bourbon will be sourced from a Nashville battlefield. Robert Hicks will personally sign and number each bottle, as this will be treated no differently from any other limited edition in any other medium of the fine arts.


Battlefield Bourbon is being released this fall exclusively at spirits retailers and restaurants in Middle Tennessee.  This private event at Travellers Rest provides guests an opportunity to purchase the bourbon and $10 from every bottle sold will benefit the historic property and another portion will benefit Civil War battlefield reclamation and preservation.

“Something important happened on the hallowed ground of Civil War battlefields that should never be forgotten, Hicks said.  “Whether it was ‘home’ or ‘country,’ ‘honor’ or ‘union,’ that drove them forward, they fought and suffered, even unto death, for their cause.  As a lover of fine bourbon, I wondered if there was a way to offer fine, very small batch bourbon and to raise funds for the battlefield reclamation.  May we raise a glass in honor of those who came before us, Lest We Forget.”

These words are on printed on the bottle along with “Lest We Forget” engraved into the wooden stopper cap of the 750 ml grandeur bottle.

For more information visit


Wednesday, April 27, 2016


The public is invited to a free presentation to preview the plans for the new Tennessee State Museum.

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Nashville State Community College, Student Services Center, Room 118, located at 120 White Bridge Road in Nashville.

Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly announced the launch of the new state museum in April of 2015.  The new facility will be part museum, part virtual reality experience, and part time machine. It will serve as a hub to virtually connect local schools and museums to exciting programming and events.

The event is open to the public and will feature the internationally acclaimed design team for a discussion of the museum’s vision and a showcase of the early plans.


Wednesday May 4, 2016

Author Ridley Wills To Discuss Battlefields Roads

As part of the Tennessee Historical Society’s Spring Lecture Series, noted Nashville historian and author Ridley Wills is scheduled to speak on May 4, 2016, on his latest project, “Nashville Pikes: 150 Years along Franklin Pike and Granny White Pike.”

Wills is tracing the history of the major pikes that lead from Nashville to surrounding regions. His stories bring the local history of Nashville to vibrant life, with profiles of persons and landmarks both well-known and obscure. He will share the first phase of his study, an examination of the Franklin and Granny White pikes. Copies of the book will be available at the program.

The lecture is part of the Tennessee Historical Society’s spring membership programs from March 23 through May 25, 2016. The  programs will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Fort Negley Visitor Center, 1100 Fort Negley Boulevard, Nashville, 37203.

For more information, visit the THS website.  Reservations for the programs may be made by emailing the THS at or by calling 615-741-8934.



January 10, 2016


The fascinating and little-known story of the desperate fighting through the hills between Nashville and Franklin during the fateful hours immediately following the Battle of Nashville will be explored by author Joe Johnston at the January 10 meeting of the Franklin Civil War Round Table.

The free event, which is open to the public, begins at 3:00 PM at Carnton Plantation’s Fleming Center located adjacent to the Carnton mansion in Franklin, TN.

Author and historian Joe Johnston is a regular contributor to many history related publications including America’s Civil War, the Wild West and U.S. Naval History.

His topic for the Round Table, entitled “Order out of Chaos: Retreat Through the Gap at Nashville,”   explores the second day of the Battle of Nashville when Confederate troops were overrun on December 16, 1864, from their positions south of Nashville. With the Confederate troops stretched across a line too long to hold between Peach Orchard Hill and Shy’s Hill, the late afternoon Federal attack sent them into a chaotic, running retreat south toward Brentwood and Franklin. While the main body withdrew down Franklin Pike, a little known drama was unfolding among the men of the Confederate left flank, who had been cut off by the Union attack.

There is little in the Official Records about the retreat or about the actions of an Arkansas brigadier who, with a cool head, led a textbook fighting retreat through a gap in the Brentwood Hills that saved thousands of Confederate lives.


Save on Tickets


Nashville tour ticket 2015The “value ticket” provides a cost-saving and convenient way of visiting Nashville’s three premier antebellum estates with profound Civil War significance – Belle Meade Mansion, Belmont Mansion and Travellers Rest Plantation & Museum.

The three historic destinations, including the homes, grounds and museums, can now be seen with a single Battle of Nashville Historic Site Tour ticket for only $40.00 per person.

To purchase the ticket on line, click HERE or on the ticket image above..

There is no time limit as to when each of the historic places must be visited, making sure each ticket holder has a full opportunity to experience each of these historic sites.

The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society supports and works closely with each of these historic institutions, and a small portion of each ticket purchase is earmarked for BONPS to help us continue preserving and maintaining the battlefield sites in Nashville. The grounds secured for posterity by BONPS, including such important landmarks as Shy’s Hill and Confederate Redoubt No. 1, are open to the public without charge.


BONPS  April 2015 Newsletter


BONPS November 2014 Newsletter.


Nashville Scene Blogger Discovers the Battlefield

“Lipscomb’s Civil War Tour Suggests Something for Nashville’s Future”

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014

NOTE:  Betsy Phillips posted this article in The Nashville Scene’s “Pith In The Wind” blog on October 22, 2014.  In it, she speaks of her discovery of the importance of the Battle of Nashville, its impact on the city, and the influence of Lipscomb’s Sesquicentennial program.

In general, I find the Civil War to be tedious, boring, and sad. It’s not my favorite historical era — give me the weirdos of Jacksonian America or the ghost-lovers of the Victorian age — but it’s such a big part of Nashville’s history that I try not to completely ignore it.

So, when I saw that Lipscomb University was doing free Battle of Nashville tours this month, I signed myself up for one but didn’t rope anyone else into going. After all, it was doomed to be tedious, boring, and sad.

Nashville, I am a fool! It was fantastic. I apologize to everyone I didn’t try to talk into going with me.

David Currey, a historian and documentary filmmaker, guided us around much of the battlefield for the Battle of Nashville and regaled us for three hours about the significance of the battle. And I have to say, going to these places—Fort Negley, Granbury’s lunette, the redoubts, Shy’s Hill, Traveller’s Rest—and driving through the parts of town that contained front lines and paths of retreat, it makes a huge difference when you’re trying to understand the Battle.

Sure, I could tell you that Fort Negley had guns that could shoot over three miles, but it’s not quite as meaningful as standing in a Confederate fortification, just out of range of those guns. And, sure, a lot of history buffs lament that there is no preserved battlefield, but I found it a lot easier to imagine the logistics of how things were laid out when Currey explained that the Confederate western line was White Bridge Road, a road I travel frequently, than I would have if he’d just said “Way over there in that grassy area where there are some monuments.”

I want to give a lot of credit to the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, who has done a superhuman job of filling a real need in the community. They’ve not only preserved stuff that would have otherwise been lost, but they’ve put together maps and self-guided driving tours and, hell, if you want an expert-guided tour and can afford it, they’ll put a dude in your car and he’ll tell you everything you want to know.

But there’s something to be said for being able to get on a bus and soaking in wisdom while someone else drives. The quality of the Lipscomb tour, to me, suggests that we, as a city and as a tourist destination, are missing out by not having a way to regularly put people on a bus and drive them out to significant places and show them what’s what. ( Grayline offers a “Nashville” Nashville tour, but not a Battle of Nashville tour.)

It’s not just an important part of our history, but, I thought Currey made a convincing show of how we’re still living in a landscape deeply transformed by the battle, if only we knew how to recognize it. We need some way to learn.

In that spirit, Lipscomb is doing a really kick-ass job of providing programing this fall for the public. I’m especially looking forward to November 15, when they’re going to have James McPherson, Joseph Glatthaar, and John Baker in for a symposium, “The African-American Experience in the Civil War Era.” And, during during the tour, they hyped the upcoming Sesquicentennial events on Saturday, December 13, now with a “city-wide progressive cannonade.” I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds awesome. And loud.

So, long story short. No, we don’t have enough cool Civil War stuff normally, but this autumn, we do, so get out there and soak it all in.


Starting August 2, 2014 in Franklin

“Battle Scarred” Exhibit Opens At Carnton


Battle Scarred, an exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, opened on August 2 under the sponsorship of The Battle of Franklin Trust. This special showcase will reside at Carnton Plantation for public viewing until April 26, 2015, marking another significant anniversary: the day Confederate Gen. J. E. Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee.

Though the exhibit features the Battle of Franklin which preceded the Battle of Nashville by two weeks, the exhibit contains many items specifically relevant to the Nashville conflict and overall provides a unique look at Hood’s 1864 campaign in Tennessee.  BONPS President John Allyn has called it a “must see” exhibit.

NYHeraldBoNashvilleAbove:  A New York Herald issue from December 11, 1864 talking about the two armies meeting in Nashville & Hood’s plan to attack

Battle Scarred is a chronologically organized experience that begins in 1860 and continues through the tragic events of November 30, 1864. Covering more than 1,600 square feet, this display captures the ultimate cost of war and the importance of the Battle of Franklin as part of our national heritage. Thoughtful interpretation of eyewitness accounts guided the design, which incorporates graphics, light, sound and more than 100 artifacts.

Highlights of the exhibition include a variety of never before displayed items and enlistment cards for each visitor outlining the military service of a soldier involved in the Battle of Franklin. The enlistment cards are intended to help participants personalize the ramifications of such a battle, and the fate of each soldier will be revealed.

Admission is $10 per adult. Tickets can be purchased on-site and do not include a tour of Carnton Plantation. The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about The Battle of Franklin Trust, visit, and the special section on Battle Scarred.

Pictured below from the exhibit is the Cooper Frock Coat: Worn by 1st Lt. James L.Cooper, 20th Tennessee Infantry at Franklin & Nashville. He lived in Nashville before and after the war (also, he was the son of Washington Bogart Cooper, the portrait artist who is quite well known in Middle Tennessee).

Cooper Frock Coat: Worn by 1st Lt. James L.Cooper, 20th Tennessee Infantry at Franklin & Nashville. He lived in Nashville before & after the war (also, he is the son of Washington Bogart Cooper, the portrait artist who is quite well known in Mid TN).


New DVD Produced by Nashvillians

American Journey: The Life and Times of Ed Bearss


The new documentary film featuring Ed Bearss, a man often called a “living national treasure,” makes its East Coast debut in a Smithsonian screening on Friday, June 6, 2014.  The film was produced and directed by Nashville’s David Currey and former BONPS president and board member Jim Kay was executive producer.  For more information, visit the Smithsonian Associates website.

The DVD may be purchased directly from the BONPS Store on this website and is also available from Road Films (see flyer above).

The Smithsonian Associates notes:

“From his childhood on a cattle ranch in Montana to his Marine Corps days in WWII through his career as chief historian for the National Park Service, 90-year-old Bearss has lived a colorful life. But to Smithsonian Associates audiences, he is best known as the indefatigable Civil War tour guide and champion of battlefield preservation, a one-of-a-kind figure with a booming voice, extraordinary knowledge, and seemingly boundless energy. Bearss and Currey answer questions after the film.”



See the Battlefield from the Air

Music City BiPlane Tours is providing tours from the air of the prominent landmarks of the battles of Franklin and Nashville.  The bi-plane route follows Hood’s advance northward from Winstead Hill through Franklin, and visits the major sites of the Battle of Nashville before ending above Ft. Negley and the State Capitol.  For details, see this brochure: 

Civil War Biplane Tour Brochure