Remains of Civil War soldier found in Tennessee

(May 18, 2009) – The scattered remains of a Civil War soldier were found by construction workers last Thursday in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. Pieces of a Union uniform were also found in the two-foot grave, located on Columbia Ave. at Southeast Parkway. The location is currently being developed for condominiums and businesses.

Work was immediately halted and authorities contacted. Soon to arrive to secure the site were local law enforcement followed by Civil War historians from the area, and the State Archeologist.

Found in the shallow grave were bones, teeth and copper military-style eagle buttons. The items were collected for further investigation.

Franklin, Tennessee was the site of two Civil War skirmishes. The first took place on April 10, 1863 when 237 men fell to a Union victory.

The unknown soldier discovered last week, however, was likely from the second, bloodier battle fought on November 30, 1864. The Battle of Franklin has been called "the bloodiest hours of the American Civil War" and "The Gettysburg of the West."

Casualties were heavy and the fighting between Confederate and Union soldiers intense for five hours, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., with over 55,000 soldiers fighting in a square mile area. It was one of the few night battles of the Civil War, and one of the smallest battlefields of the war. Casualties totaled 2,326 Union troops and 6,252 Confederates.

For more detailed information about the battle, check out the Carter House: www.carter-house.org.

Sources: WZTV Fox 17 Nashville; WCBD – TV/DT Charleston, S.C.; and Carter House Museum


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