Monday, August 17, 2009

Unknown Soldier Recovered from Franklin Battlefield

/PRNewswire/ -- A construction project in the area where the calamitous Battle of Franklin was fought on Nov. 30, 1864, has disturbed the resting place of an unknown soldier who was buried in a shallow grave 145 years ago during the tragic last days of the Civil War in Tennessee.

The City of Franklin's Battlefield Task Force, along with local historians and government officials, led the recovery of the soldier's remains and will direct a funeral ceremony to re-inter his body at the Historic Rest Haven Cemetery in downtown Franklin, where other brave veterans - both Union and Confederate - were laid to rest.

It is not known for which army the unknown soldier fought. A coffin containing his remains will lie in state at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 510 West Main Street in Franklin - the circa 1827 sanctuary which served as barracks for Federal troops during their occupation of the town in 1864 - from 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8 until the funeral ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. One Union and one Confederate honor-guard sentry will be posted at the front doors of the church during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. visitation period each day, and prior to the ceremony on Saturday morning.

The soldier will receive full military honors from re-enactors representing brothers-in-arms from both the Union and the Confederacy. On Saturday morning, a Union and a Confederate Chaplain will conduct a brief funeral service in the church. Following the service, the casket will be borne from the church by uniformed pallbearers (Union and Confederate) and placed on a waiting, horse-drawn caisson in front of the church. Accompanied by a color guard, honor guard, and Civil War-era bagpiper, the caisson will move north on Main Street, crossing Fifth Avenue, circling the Square, proceeding north on Third Avenue, and then west on North Margin Street to the Rest Haven Cemetery gates.

As the procession leaves St. Paul's and continues up Main Street, townspeople and visitors are invited to fall in behind the ranks of the marching re-enactors.

After arriving at Rest Haven Cemetery, a brief eulogy will be delivered by the chaplains, and will conclude with period-appropriate military honors including a 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps" by a uniformed bugler.

A Monument to The Unknown Soldier who died on the Franklin Battlefield will be unveiled as part of the ceremony. Active participation in the ceremonies at Rest Haven and at St. Paul's will be restricted to uniformed re-enactors only, but the public is invited to view the ceremonies from designated areas.

Any re-enactment unit that wishes to participate is encouraged to contact Robert Huff at (615) 500-8211, or via email at

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Historic Brandywine Battlefield Falls in Tough Times of the Economy

PP Note: Although the Americans lost this famous battle which lasted only one day in September 1777, it was a turning point for patriots. The battle at Brandywine demonstrated the resolve of the Americans and gave inspiration that they could wage war and defend their beliefs. Out of the estimated 26,000 troops who fought in the battle, the Americans lost some 1200 patriots.

Thomas Paine said of this battle, "Those who expect to reap the blessings of Freedom, must... undergo the fatigue of supporting it. The event of yesterday is one of those kind of alarms, which is just sufficient to rouse us to duty, without being of consequence enough to depress our fortitude. It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequence will be the same."

History is important, and we should all do our part to preserve our American heritage.

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

Brandywine Battlefield Park May Close

This appears to be a very sad "sign of the times."

The state park at the site of the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War, fought on September 11, 1777 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is about to close for lack of funding. How can a National Historic Landmark be in jeopardy?

The future of the Brandywine Battlefield is being threatened by the loss of state funding needed to keep the gates open and the site functioning. The Revolutionary Times battle event has been cancelled for 2009. This event brings reenactors to the park along with others who establish camps, display crafts and recreate life in colonial times. This event has been the centerpiece of the Battlefied's calendar for years.

The rest of the park is expected to close soon and all employees there will be laid off.

A website has been established as a grass roots campaign to keep the Brandywine Battlefield open and bring back the Revolutionary Times battle event. Donations and other assistance are being solicited.

You can find the Save Brandywine Battlefield Park web site at

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