FRANKLIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD STUDY ACT -- (House of Representatives - November 15, 2005)
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking my colleague, Congressman Davis, for his diligence and his attention to this matter. This addresses Williamson County, Tennessee, which he and I share the representation of. He and his staff have worked very closely with us to address this issue of looking at the Franklin battlefield.
By way of history, Mr. Speaker, on the afternoon of November 30, 1864, General Hood's Army of Tennessee marched down Winstead Hill in Franklin, Tennessee, and charged the Union forces of General Schofield. Fighting continued until late in the evening as both sides sustained heavy casualties. The following morning revealed the terrible consequences of the fighting that took place and how the battle became the darkest day of the Civil War. With over 9,000 dead soldiers and six dead Confederate generals, the battle would be the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and would sound the death knell of the Confederacy. The battle is known as the Battle of Franklin.
Mr. Speaker, the Battle of Franklin was one of the last significant battles leading to the Union victory over the Confederacy in the Civil War and has tremendous significance not only to our community but to American history. Yet there is neither a national cemetery nor a national battlefield park commemorating the battle. This bill is a first step toward preserving and protecting sites that contributed to this important Civil War landscape and achieving a solution to save the area as a national heritage through partnerships with the local communities.
It does, as the gentlewoman from Colorado said, direct the Secretary of the Interior to study sites in Williamson County, Tennessee, where portions of the Battle of Franklin took place or were related to the battle. The battlefield will serve as a memorial of the American citizens who fought and died for what they believed was right. I urge my colleagues' consideration on this bill. Again, I thank the gentleman from Tennessee for his support and assistance.
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