|BATTLE OF NASHVILLE MONUMENT
REDEDICATED AT NEW PARK SITE
Several hundred spectators witnessed the rededication of the refurbished Battle of Nashville Monument at its new location on Sat., June 26, 1999. The new gleaming white granite monument, which honors the sacrifices of both Confederate and Union soldiers at the Dec. 15-16, 1864 Battle of Nashville and the American soldiers who fought in the Great War (World War I), now for the first time in a quarter-century resembles the magnificent sculpture originally dedicated on Armistice Day, 1927.
The principal speaker at the Tennessee Historical Commission ceremony was Mr. Wilbur Foster Creighton, Jr. of the Commission, who was enthusiastically received. Mr. Ward DeWitt, Jr., Chairman of the Commission, presided at the ceremony. Civil War re-enactors presented the colors and a blackpowder salute, and the Graylyn Brass Quintet provided musical entertainment.
The rededication marked the successful completion of relocating the Nashville landmark from its original site on Franklin Road to the new park at Granny White Pike and Battlefield Drive. The Tennessee Historical Commission, which owns the statue, chose the new home for it in 1992. State and federal money, as well as generous private contributions, made possible the restoration.
The monument was originally created in 1927 by Giuseppe Moretti, who was commissioned by the Ladies Battlefield Assocation. In 1974, the obelisk and angel were destroyed by a tornado, and during the 1980s construction of a large interstate highway interchange obstructed the monument to public viewing. The new monument has been completely restored, with the bronze sculpture of the youth and horses refinished, and the marble base, obelisk, and angel reconstructed in granite, which is more durable than the original marble.
Receiving the thanks of the crowd for their tireless efforts in this endeavor were James Summerville, local historian who spearheaded the project; Mrs. Paula McCord of McCord Crane Co., which donated its services to relocate the monument; Coley Coleman, the sculptor of the angel; Gary Hawkins of Hawkins Partners, Inc., the park designers; McPherson Shaw, Inc., the contractors; and Rehorn & Kelly.
After the ceremony, beginning at noon, the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society sponsored a free concert at the north border of the park. Headlining the concert was RCA Records' artist Andy Griggs, whose debut album, You Won't Ever Be Lonely, has already produced the #1 hit with the title-track single, and the album made its debut at an impressive #15 on the country charts the very first week of its release.
The concert also featured Greg Crowe (co-writer of the current Montgomery Gentry single, "Lonely and Gone"); Kimberly Dahne; multi-award winning singer / songwriter / playwright Chris Gantry; Tim and Trent LeClaire (Gantry, Tim, and Trent co-wrote the song "Garden of Angels" for this event); and Kevin Sysyn, who wrote the song "Nashville, 1864" with Charlie Baker for the occasion. Dr. Stewart Shofner, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and WKDF 103.3 sponsored the concert. Net proceeds from all donations received at the event will go to battlefield preservation.
Volunteers from Tennessee State Guard units in Nashville and Gallatin provided parking assistance and security during the day's events.
A second phase of the monument project, for which funds must still be raised, involves the installation of walkways, benches, and interpretive elements at the park.
Governor's Rededication Message
June 16, 1999
Cannon fire boomed across Nashville, and bullets whistled through the trees in one of the decisive battles of the Civil War, fought here on December 15-16, 1864.
Today, a long drive led by volunteers is crowned with success as we rededicate one of the finest war memorials in the United States, the Battle of Nashville Monument.
It is one of the few Civil War statues that honors the memory of both the Union and Confederate dead. The bronze figure of the young man also stands for Americans from north and south who fought again, now under a common flag of a reunited nation, in the Spanish-American War and in the first World War.
The Monument's original builders understood and interpreted it for their time, and we may do the same for ours. Perhaps its meaning today is that what we have in common as Americans is more important than what divides us into bitterness over issues of race or class or ethnicity or gender.
I congratulate the Tennessee Historical Commission on this occasion, and thank it for restoring this grand old sculpture for the instruction and enjoyment of all our people.
With warm regards,
|On May 24, 1999 a sizable crowd gathered in the shade of the giant oak tree at the park at Granny White Pike and Battlefield Drive to witness the "Flight of the Angel of Peace," the crowning of the newly restored Battle of Nashville Monument. CLICK HERE to see photos of this momentous event.
All photos courtesy of Sam Huffman.
Map of new site for the Battle of Nashville Monument
Photo of capstone Angel of Peace being sculpted
On the morning of Sat., July 6, the Battle of Nashville Monument was moved from its location of 72 years on Franklin Road, courtesy of McCord Crane Co., which graciously donated its services to the society. See photos of the monument being moved.
Concept plan for the interpretive park (long download)
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