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Photo courtesy of Rick Warwick, "Wish You Were Here".


Carter Cotton Gin Campaign

Save The Franklin Battlefield is asking for your help at a critical juncture in the effort to reclaim the Carter Cotton Gin site, recognized as the center of the Franklin Battlefield. 


As a friend of the Franklin Battlefield, you well know that the Cotton Gin site and surrounding area is covered by homes, fast food establishments, and markets. It has long been a dream of many to create a Franklin Civil War Park on the very ground where the gin and main trenches were located by purchasing properties as they become available. 


First steps were taken when the Heritage Foundation purchased the lot at 109 Cleburne Avenue and the city of Franklin purchased the former Pizza Hut site.  The most recent addition was the purchase of a property known as the Holt House, which adjoins the 109 Cleburne Ave lot,  by Franklin's Charge in 2008.


Now, Save the Franklin Battlefield has joined forces with Franklins Charge to raise funds to reduce the debt on the Holt House property.  This effort is made necessary at this moment in order to lower the debt obligation and enable a new loan to be secured at a more cost effective interest rate. This window of opportunity dictates that we have a sense of urgency in this undertaking.  We are trying to raise as much as possible at the very outset of the campaign.


Save the Franklin Battlefield is a proud member of the coalition of organizations which formed  Franklin's Charge to purchase the former Country club of Franklin that is now the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park.  At that time, STFB members gave generously to make this a reality.


Please keep reading and we're sure you'll see why the Holt House property is key to creating a Cotton Gin Park and why we need your help at this moment.

The property

The Holt House site is shown on the map below in dark brown (#4).  The main line of works are shown by blue lines.  The Carter House at upper left (#5), and other saved parcels are shown in light brown.  These hallowed grounds are the very epicenter of the Battle of Franklin.  As you can see, the Holt House acquisition is a key step towards creating a Cotton Gin Park that we all have dreamed of for many, many years. Now, our chance is finally here and the hard work of making it a reality has begun.


You will be interested to learn that the foundation of the Holt house contains the stones from the only Battle of Franklin memorial which has ever stood on the battlefield.  Before being used in the home's foundation, the stones formed the Cleburne Cenotaph (image below), a memorial to Major General Patrick Cleburne, killed nearby.  Before this, the stones formed the foundation of the Carter Cotton Gin.  The Cotton Gin Park plan includes reconstructing the Cleburne Cenotaph using the original stones as well as reconstructing the Carter Cotton Gin on its original site. 


What you can do to help now

The outstanding Holt House debt is $850,000 and we need to quickly reduce it in order to refinance into a more favorable bank loan. We are canvassing all of our STFB members to join with us in this important fund-raising project.


We are asking for donations of all sizes. As we did with the purchase of the golf course that began in 2005, all gifts to STFB for the "Holt House" or "Cotton Gin" will be combined with other gifts and immediately forwarded in their entirety to Franklins Charge. The gifts are 100% tax deductible and STFB will send you the appropriate letter of acknowledgment. 


We donít have a formal pledge scheme, but as we did before, you can send us a note with your gift plan.  If you have questions, you can contact STFB Treasurer Sam Huffman directly as shown below.


Thank you for helping reclaim the Franklin Battlefield


Phone: 615-480-9539




Mailing Address:

Save The Franklin Battlefield, Inc.

PO Box 851

Franklin, TN    37065-0851





Numbers on map indicate location of view shown in photos:

1. Cotton Gin (viewed from Columbia Pike)

2. Carter's Cotton Gin

3. Battle Ground Academy - Circa 1889-1901

4. Holt House

5. Carter House and Smoke House

6. Drainage Swale Behind Carter's Crossing





Major General Patrick Cleburne's Cenotaph

"The students of the Battle Ground Academy collected money to build a cenotaph from stones from the old Carter Cotton Gin foundation to honor Major General Patrick Cleburne.  When the school burned in 1902 and the campus moved to the west side of Columbia Pike, the lot was sold to George I. Mathews, who dismantled the cenotaph and used the cut-limestone blocks in the foundation of his home, presently 1219 Columbia Avenue."

Photo and Text courtesy Rick Warwick, "Wish You Were Here".




Front Porch of "Holt House" showing stones from Cleburne's Cenotaph


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