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9755Rarely seen section of Franklin battlefield open for tour Sunday

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  • lilsteve68@aol.com
    Mar 1, 2002

      Rarely seen section of Franklin battlefield open for tour Sunday
      Staff Writer

      — Collins Farm, which played a significant role in the Nov. 30, 1864, Civil War Battle of Franklin, will be open Sunday for its first public tour under new ownership.

      The property, purchased last summer by Save The Franklin Battlefield Inc., was the site of particularly vicious fighting when Confederate Maj. Gen. W.W. Loring's division advanced under artillery fire through the farm and across the Nashville and Decatur Railroad tracks only to face a barrier of felled Osage orange trees and entrenched Union forces equipped with repeating rifles.

      Confederate troops made the final 60 yards with fixed bayonets under rifle fire that one soldier reported ''swept our ranks like hail.'' To escape, survivors fell back to a ravine on Collins Farm.

      After the battle, the house and the grounds around it were used as a hospital for hundreds of casualties, said Joe Smyth, STFB president. Although trees have grown up on the property, the topography of the 3.22 acres is essentially unchanged, Smyth said.

      During Sunday's tour, STFB board members will describe the part that Collins Farm played in the assault on the federal works during the battle. Participants will be invited to walk the grounds and hear about improvements planned for the property. The tour may include a short walk or drive to several nearby sites on the eastern end of the battlefield.

      Parking will be available adjacent to Collins Farm at Huskey Lumber, 424 Lewisburg Pike. The tour will begin at 2 p.m. and is free to STFB members and their guests. Admission for the general public is $5, with 100% of the proceeds being used to pay down the Collins Farm debt, Smyth said.

      For more information, call Save The Franklin Battlefield at 500-6612, or visit the group's Web site at www.franklin-stfb.org.