Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 3

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 3 of a 6-part article


I knew of Fort Granger before moving to Franklin from the reading I had done about the Battle of Franklin but I didn’t know until I had lived there a few weeks that Fort Granger, or what was left of it, was still there. While I had passed its location many times in our search for a home, I was unaware that the trees, on a small hill above Franklin’s Pinkerton Park right off route 96, just before the bridge over the Harpeth River as you enter Franklin from the east, were hiding the remains of a Civil War treasure. Once learning of its existence and its location, I set out one Sunday morning with great expectations to visit it.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 2

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 2 of a 6-part article


As I’m sure you’ll realize if you stay with these articles, I came to be very fond of Franklin as one of its residents after moving there late in 1991. In fact, although born in East Cleveland and having spent most of my life in the greater Cleveland area, I never felt more at home living anywhere else. If I believed in reincarnation, and I don’t, I might have thought I either once lived there in a former life or maybe fought there wearing blue. While I never doubted what side I would have been on in the Civil War, I did come to have a much better understanding of those who fought the war defending their land.

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Behind the Lines: My Life as a Yankee in Franklin, TN, Part 1

By Mel Maurer
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved

Part 1 of a 6-part article


Franklin, Tennessee is located in Williamson County – an area rich in history first occupied by Indians with a highly developed culture who lived on farms and in towns. Later, other Indians, Creeks, Chickasaws, and Cherokees, made Williamson’s lush hills, valleys, and streams their hunting grounds. The original white settlers moved into the area in the late 1700s from Ft. Nashboro in what is now Nashville about 20 miles north of Franklin. General John Bell Hood brought his Army of Tennessee into the county from the south in 1864, taking on the Federal army of John Schofield in the Battle of Franklin in what would be called “The Bloodiest Five Hours of the Civil War.” Although not likely to be noted in any history books, my wife Elaine and I arrived in Williamson County in late December 1991.

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Taking “The Gettysburg Test”

By John Hildebrandt
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

If, as William Faulkner postulated, at least once in the life of every Southern boy, it is 3 p.m. on a warm July afternoon in the shallow valley that separates Seminary Ridge from Cemetery Ridge, it is also so for every student of the Civil War. However, in the student’s imagination he is a Licensed Battlefield Guide, leading a group of spellbound battlefield visitors on the short walk from Seminary Ridge to the fields that witnessed the glory, and the horror, of Pickett’s Charge.

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Blue and Gray on the Silver Screen

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2010, All Rights Reserved

Michael Kraus, curator of the Pittsburgh Soldiers & Sailors Monument and Museum, offered a very interesting and original program at the Roundtable’s October 14 meeting. He spoke about the Civil War on film, and his own involvement in the productions of Gettysburg and Cold Mountain. Hollywood turned to the Civil War as a dramatic topic very early on, with dozens of movies (most of them very short) being made about the war annually by the 1920s. Kraus discussed how Lost Cause mythology took early root on the Silver Screen, with both Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind sympathetically reflecting it. (He was intrigued afterwards when I told him that a 10-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. had sung with the Ebenezer Baptist Church choir at the segregated premiere of GWTW in Atlanta in 1939.)

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Gettysburg 2013

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2013, All Rights Reserved

Author’s note: I recently again took part in the Straight Dope (straightdope.com) Poetry Sweatshop. Participants are given one hour to write a poem that includes three randomly-provided words. The words provided this year were: “present,” “passing,” and “completer.”


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Charleston 1861: The Other Star-Spangled Banner

By William F.B. Vodrey
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2003, 2005, All Rights Reserved

On April 14, 1861, after an extensive bombardment, the outnumbered and outgunned Union garrison of Ft. Sumter surrendered to the Confederate forces in and around Charleston harbor. U.S. Army Maj. Robert Anderson insisted, as a condition of his troops’ surrender, that they be permitted to fire a 100-gun salute to the huge United States flag that had so defiantly flown over the fort during the battle. Confederate Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard agreed to the demand of Anderson, his former West Point artillery instructor. The Union guns began firing the salute, but on the 47th round, Union Army Private Daniel Hough was killed in the accidental explosion of a pile of cartridges; five others were wounded. Hough was the first casualty of the Civil War. The salute was promptly reduced to 50 rounds. Maj. Anderson and his troops then boarded a steamship and sailed north, with the flag, into history.

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Letters from the Front

By John C. Fazio
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

About the Letters

The following letters were given to one of our members by a kindly fellow from Tallmadge, Ohio, named Bob Lowry, after the member addressed a group there. They appear to have been written in 1862 from Ft. Scott, Kansas, by a Union soldier named George C. Ashmun, who was from Tallmadge, though some of his letters were addressed to West Virginia and Indiana, too. Interestingly, there are still Ashmuns living in Tallmadge. Additionally, a Google search revealed a publication in Ohio Mollus – Sketches of War History, Vol. Two, transcribed by Larry Stevens, titled “Recollections of a Peculiar Service,” by Second Lieutenant George C. Ashmun. This may or may not be our Ashmun, though an intelligent guess is that it is.

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Five Hundred Dead and a Hoax that Lives On

By Peter Holman
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2015, All Rights Reserved

One hundred and forty years ago, a man hailed as a modern Robinson Crusoe made a brief appearance in newspapers across the world and continues today to impact genealogists, historical societies and miscellaneous bloggers throughout the world-wide web. And he was, with all moral certainty, long dead.

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