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Historian highlights Quarles brigade in SFTB address, 149th commemoration of battle draws re-enactors

Tim Anderson, a Confederate reenactor with the Cedar Bush Mess drinks from a canteen. Carole Robinson

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Reenactors from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Fort Donelson Camp 62 march southward on Columbia Ave. during last Saturday’s commemoration of the 149th Battle of Franklin, which took place Nov. 30, 1864.

When writer and historian Brian Allison spoke to members of the Save the Franklin Battlefield Association recently he noted that the Battle of Franklin “wasn’t the turning point of the War. It’s the story of a bad day that happened to regular folks….It’s all about the soldiers.”
Last Saturday, visitors with both Union and Confederate ancestors arrived in Franklin to commemorate the 149th Battle of Franklin, Nov. 30, 1864.
To mark the day, volunteer re-enactors organized a march along the streets of town with Union participants walking in formation from Fort Granger to Columbia Ave., and Confederate participants marching north on Columbia Pike from Winstead Hill.
The two sides staged a symbolic meeting at the Carter House at 4:30 p.m., the approximate time the five-hour battle began.
Meanwhile, at the same time Carnton Plantation volunteers set out 10,000 luminaries on the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park to pay tribute to both the Union and Confederate casualties from that day nearly 150 years ago.
Quarles’ brigade
Allison, formerly with Carnton Plantation and Traveller’s Rest in Nashville, is writing a new book about Gen. William A. Quarles’ brigade, made up mostly of Tennesseans from the surrounding counties of Maury, Hickman, Lawrence and Wayne counties.
Ninety-five men from Quarles’ brigade lost their life during the battle of Franklin, 113 were wounded and 87 were reported missing. 
They were a very small  brigade and part of Brig. Gen. William Loring’s advance on federal troops occupying Franklin. This site, called Loring’s Advance, has been preserved and is located near Adams Street.
Those that survived the Nov. 30 battle went on to fight in the Battle of Nashville.
“These (soldiers) are the rejects. Nobody wanted them. All of them were ultimately taken prisoner at the Battle of Fort Donelson,” Allison told members of the STFB recently during their annual dinner.
These men began fighting in 1862 in Mississippi, and after their imprisonment following the Battle of Vicksburg they were paroled and actually reconstituted for the Battle of Jackson in Mississippi in 1863, Allison explained.
His research is timely, as the STFB members, have been focused on drawing Civil War buffs to this lesser known area of the battle.
The site of Loring’s Advance includes a five-acre tract. Its close proximity to Lewisburg Pike has made it an attractive piece of property for battlefield preservationists.
Ultimately, the SFTB would like to connect it with the nearby Collins Farm, located on Lewisburg Pike.
For more information on the work of the SFTB, visit


Posted on: 12/5/2013


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