Confederate Monument - Public Square

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Confederate Monument - Public Square

In the years following the Civil War, cities and towns across the nation began to erect memorials for their war dead. Several Franklin women founded a chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, raising $2,700 to purchase this monument; it took 17 years of bake sales and quilting bees to raise the money. 

The group chose November 30, 1899— the 35th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin—as the day for the dedication. A few days beforehand, the statue arrived on the train. After placing it on a wagon and hauling it up to the square, workers began hoisting it up to its place atop the column. Something—no one knows what—caused the statue to slip from the ropes and crash against the base, breaking off a piece of the hat’s brim. 

Five days later, before a crowd of 10,000, the statue was unveiled, broken hat and all. The statue represents an anonymous infantryman at rest; locals now call him ‘Chip.' 

The monument is different today. It actually started at the level of the surrounding road, but reckless drivers occasionally drove over, instead of around, the square, endangering the statue. City officials decided to raise the level of the ground around the statue about two feet. The first step of the monument is underground, and although newspaper reports from the time refer to a cornerstone with a time capsule, none is visible today.

Years after the monument was erected four original bronze Federal Model 1841 6-pounder field guns, cast for the Union Army in Massachusetts between 1847 and 1861, were added encircling the base. In 2015 the cannons were placed in National Park-quality reproduction No. 1 field carriages on wheels to represent better what the cannons looked like in the 1860s.

Third Ave. South
Franklin,  TN  37064

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