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Re: [civilwarwest] OT: WASHINGTON TIMES :TENNESSEE LOCALS FIGHT NEW BATTLE OF SPRING HILL

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  • D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D.
    For what it s worth, I would sooner see the heroes disinterred from Arlington so that land could be turned into a mega mall before I would like to see even
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 3, 2001
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      For what it's worth, I would sooner see the heroes disinterred from
      Arlington so that land could be turned into a mega mall before I would
      like to see even small battlefields gobbled up. National cemeteries are
      hallowed because we say so. Battlefields are hallowed whether we want
      to admit it or not.
      Andy

      lilsteve68@... wrote:
      >
      > TENNESSEE LOCALS FIGHT NEW BATTLE OF SPRING HILL
      > SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
      > By: Gerald A. Regan
      >
      > SPRING HILL, Tenn. - Local Civil War history has proven to be slippery
      > for
      > city officials in Spring Hill, Tenn., site of the last surviving
      > battlefield of the Confederacy's redoubtable Army of Tennessee.
      >
      > Still, the city's mayor, Ray Williams, whose 211 battlefield acres
      > once
      > hosted spirited skirmishing between Nathan Bedford Forrest's
      > cavalrymen and
      > federal infantry, says that his sources are quite clear on what didn't
      >
      > happen at Spring Hill on Nov. 29, 1864.
      >
      > "We had a few people a few years ago come in here and try to say it
      > was a
      > humongous battle, thousands died," said Mr. Williams in a recent
      > interview,
      > when asked about historians' assertions that the fighting that day at
      > Spring Hill constituted a battle. "That's what I disagree with. . . .
      > Sure,
      > there [was] some skirmishing here."
      >
      > In fact, primary sources provide a picture of fighting that ebbed and
      > flared for nearly nine hours, with the fate of two opposing armies
      > totaling
      > nearly 100,000 men arguably hinging on the outcome. As many as 900
      > soldiers
      > may have became casualties, in combat that ranged over more than 1,500
      >
      > acres of this once-sleepy hamlet, divided between Maury and Williamson
      >
      > counties, 30 miles south of Nashville.
      >
      > One whom the mayor accuses of revisionism is military historian Dave
      > Stieghan, director of the city's Rippavilla Plantation historic site,
      > a
      > former Army captain who came to Rippavilla after teaching history at a
      >
      > several colleges in Tyler, Texas. Says Mr. Stieghan, citing the
      > abundance
      > of Army reports, a state-funded archaeological study and a survivor's
      > letter: "The bottom line is there was a battle at Spring Hill. . . .
      > If
      > [city officials] don't want to recognize it, no amount of primary
      > resources
      > or tombstones will change their minds."
      >
      > A parcel of land in Spring Hill that best underscores what happened at
      >
      > Spring Hill in 1864 and what might happen in the years to come is a
      > 240-acre tract owned by Brentwood, Tenn., developer Ira Adams and his
      > four
      > sons - land where, says Mr. Stieghan, the heaviest fighting took
      > place.
      >
      > It was there about 4:30 p.m. that 1,800 federal soldiers led by Brig.
      > Gen.
      > Luther Bradley were overrun by 5,600 Confederates, commanded by Gen.
      > Patrick R. Cleburne. If the Confederates could have cut the nearby
      > Franklin-Nashville Pike, Gen. John B. Hood, with 38,000 men massing at
      >
      > Spring Hill, hoped to divide and destroy a 30,000-man federal army en
      > route
      > to Nashville. Hood's desperate hope was then to capture the 30,000-man
      >
      > garrison at Nashville and launch an offensive into Kentucky and Ohio.
      >
      > Six days later, Bradley reported to his superiors: "I then reached
      > Spring
      > Hill about 2 p.m. . . . We were soon furiously attacked in front and
      > on the
      > right flank, a brigade of the enemy swinging completely around the
      > right of
      > the Forty-second Illinois and the Sixty-fourth Ohio. We gave them a
      > very
      > destructive fire and somewhat staggered them in front, and had we had
      > some
      > support on the right, and the right flank not been turned, we could
      > have
      > held our ground. After firing about 10 minutes, the right and center
      > (of
      > the line) were compelled to give way." Capt. George A. Williams, an
      > adjutant in one of Cleburne's brigades, was there, and wrote two weeks
      >
      > later to a fellow officer, noting that the Confederate brigade
      > suffered 225
      > casualties in the assault. Bradley reported to his superiors that he
      > lost
      > 198 men, including 17 killed, 114 wounded (including himself), and 67
      > missing.
      >
      > Capt. John K. Shellenberger, a company commander in the 64th Ohio
      > Infantry
      > in Bradley's command, in 1907 privately published his account of
      > Spring
      > Hill. He recalled the moment when the Union line collapsed: "The
      > contact
      > was then so close that as the men in our right were running past the
      > line
      > closing on them, they were called on with loud oaths, charging them
      > with a
      > Yankee canine descent, to halt and surrender; and, not heeding the
      > call,
      > some of them were shot down with the muzzles of the muskets almost
      > touching
      > their bodies."
      >
      > Perhaps more than 400 men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner in
      > the
      > action on Mr. Adams' 240 acres, land now approved for an industrial
      > park.
      >
      > Although Hood and his commanders ultimately failed to close the trap,
      > writers and historians, including Pulitzer Prize winner James M.
      > McPherson,
      > Shelby Foote and Wiley Sword, and numerous eyewitnesses all describe
      > the
      > fighting at Spring Hill as a small but vital battle in the ultimate
      > defeat
      > of the Confederacy. Capt. Shellenberger underscored its importance,
      > writing: "It may be fairly claimed that the success of General
      > [William T.]
      > Sherman's famous march to the sea hung on the issue of a minor battle
      > fought at Spring Hill."
      >
      > So why have Spring Hill residents accepted the Mayor Williams' denial
      > of
      > documented history?
      >
      > Mr. Williams says that "frankly, the Civil War isn't much on
      > residents'
      > minds." Asked whether the Southern army's failure at Spring Hill might
      > fuel
      > local disinterest, he says: "I kind of doubt it. . . . We never had
      > much of
      > the Civil War discussed here."
      >
      > The city's selective historical recall is undoubtedly driven by the
      > one-time crossroad's breathtaking pace of development, a pace rapid
      > enough
      > that a slate of four candidates, including two former mayors, is
      > running
      > against incumbent Williams, accusing him, in the words of one
      > candidate, of
      > ushering in "growth gone amok." Previous elections had trouble
      > generating
      > even two candidates, says lifelong Spring Hill resident Effie Heiss,
      > publisher and editor of The Informer, a weekly covering the city.
      >
      > In Spring Hill, since 1989 home to Saturn's first and largest auto
      > factory,
      > growth is brisk, as it is throughout middle Tennessee, home to major
      > battlefields at Nashville and Franklin (both nearly entirely built
      > over)
      > and Murfreesboro (Stones River), included in February on Civil War
      > Preservation Trust's listing of the 10 most endangered Civil War
      > sites.
      >
      > In the past decade, Spring Hill has seen its population grow six-fold,
      > now
      > well over 9,000, from 1,400, while its area, through annexations, has
      > more
      > than doubled. The city is adding close to 90 new residents a month,
      > making
      > it one of the fastest growing cities in the state.
      >
      > "We have commercial developments popping up all over the town," Mr.
      > Williams says. Mackie Automotive, a Canadian firm looking to move to
      > Spring
      > Hill, in fact, reportedly considered several sites in or adjacent to
      > the
      > core battlefield for its warehouse, on the land owned by Mayor
      > Williams,
      > Mr. Adams and writer Peter Jenkins.
      >
      > The properties of the mayor and Mr. Jenkins, who are both neighbors
      > and
      > friends, were rezoned from agricultural to light industrial in 1997,
      > when
      > Mr. Williams was chairman of the Spring Hill Regional Planning
      > Committee.
      > According to Cindy Williams, the mayor's wife and a local appraiser,
      > she
      > and the mayor were recently seeking more than $2 million for their
      > property.
      >
      > The mayor's dismissal of the historical record could benefit
      > landowners
      > within the battlefield, including himself, and would likely lead to
      > development of the core battlefield. It now is largely pristine and
      > anchored by a 110-acre tract owned by a land trust established by
      > Maury
      > County.
      >
      > Mr. Williams is forthright about his desire to sell his 211 acres in
      > and
      > alongside the heart of what the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee
      > identifies as the core battlefield, as is Mr. Jenkins, owner of 150
      > acres
      > and author of the popular book "Walk Across America."
      >
      > "I've had a for-sale sign on it since I bought it. Every piece of
      > property
      > I have is for sale, but I'm in no big hurry to sell any of it," the
      > mayor
      > says.
      >
      > "Ninety percent of the battlefields in Tennessee are in private
      > ownership,
      > and they can do what they want with their lands," laments Stuart
      > Moore, a
      > landscaper and chairman of the 75-member Tennessee Civil War
      > Preservation
      > Association. "That's what we face in Tennessee." As well, middle
      > Tennessee's fast-growing population, led by greater Nashville's 17.5
      > percent increase from 1990 to 2000, has made millionaires out of many
      > farmers and pushed development to Spring Hill.
      >
      > Mrs. Heiss, the 65-year-old editor of the town weekly, was once teased
      > by
      > Mayor Williams, she says, as part of what he called the "blue-haired
      > brigade" that helped raise money to buy the 110 preserved acres. She
      > notes
      > Spring Hill residents' wariness of battlefield supporters, which she
      > has
      > seen grow in the past decade as more and more local farmers sold to
      > land
      > speculators.
      >
      > "If they listen to us preservationists, then they won't be able to
      > sell to
      > whatever industrial company comes in. I guess they're afraid we'll
      > stand in
      > their way," she says.
      >
      > "It's gotten so that if they find [even] one Minie ball, they're going
      > to
      > hide it."
      >
      > Mayor Williams insists that he is not opposed to preservation. The
      > city's
      > stance is: "We don't own it. If you want it preserved, buy and you can
      >
      > preserve it. It's your right. Mr. Adams - he bought the land, he
      > sweated
      > and paid for it. He paid taxes on it."
      >
      > Presented with period accounts that describe the casualties and fury
      > of
      > Spring Hill's fighting, Mayor Williams said, "I'm not trying to spit
      > on the
      > grave sites of anyone who died in that war." He notes, too, that Mr.
      > Adams'
      > land was rezoned from agricultural to industrial nearly 15 years ago
      > and
      > asked why preservationists didn't act then.
      >
      > The mayor contends that the historians have a hidden agenda - a desire
      > to
      > push the city to zone for a battlefield, depriving landowners of the
      > right
      > to develop their land. But no one, not even the Civil War Preservation
      >
      > Trust, has called for that action, although, according to Steve
      > Tocknell,
      > chairman of the Tennessee chapter of the Washington, D.C.-based
      > American
      > Planning Association, the city could return any undeveloped land to
      > its
      > original, agricultural zoning.
      >
      > In fact, historian Stieghan agrees that Mr. Adams is perfectly within
      > his
      > rights to develop the parcel as he sees fit but adds that it would be
      > a
      > shame. He says battlefields are a boon to communities, generating
      > tourists,
      > income for local businesses, green space, and jobs. "You don't have to
      >
      > provide schools and sewer lines for tourists, but you sure can use
      > their
      > money and take the taxes from it," he says.
      >
      > Spring Hill is not alone in Tennessee in its casualness toward its
      > Civil
      > War sites. The Civil War Sites Advisory Committee has identified 38
      > principal battlefield sites in Tennessee, second only to Virginia's
      > 61. Of
      > those 38, 24 are endangered, according to the committee's 1993 report.
      >
      > Spring Hill is among these.
      >
      > Fred Prouty, military sites preservationist for the Tennessee Wars
      > Commission, heads an office of one with an annual budget of $125,000.
      > While
      > an advocate for the battlefields, he understands what he faces, and
      > offers
      > a longer view for the causes of Tennessee's lax stewardship of its
      > Civil
      > War battlefields.
      >
      > "Virginia, and the sort of Lee-Grant historical way of looking at
      > things,
      > has kept the focus on those Eastern battlefields," he says, from his
      > office
      > in Nashville. "Now that has changed, but for many years when you
      > mentioned
      > Civil War, people would only think of [Robert E.] Lee and [Ulysses S.]
      > Grant."
      >
      > In his research, Mr. Prouty found that veterans of the fighting in
      > middle
      > Tennessee in fall 1864, from both armies, united in 1910 to lobby for
      > legislation to locate, map and mark the field of battle near Nashville
      > on
      > Dec. 15-16, 1864. The measure was introduced into the U.S. House of
      > Representatives, but because the federal government had put so much
      > money
      > into battlefields in the East, it was rejected.
      >
      > "I think because they were denied, a lot of folks in this area became
      > disillusioned. I think if we had the historical backing of writers,
      > [then]
      > maybe Tennessee would have been able to preserve more sites over the
      > years," Mr. Prouty says."
      >
      > Meanwhile, the amount of green space in Spring Hill - Tennessee's last
      >
      > surviving battlefield of Hood's star-crossed army - has dropped from
      > as
      > much as 70 percent a decade ago to less than 50 percent today. That
      > figure
      > may drop to 35 percent by 2010 because of anticipated commercial
      > development.
      >
      > After posing for a photograph in front of his Spring Hill
      > Mini-Warehouse,
      > built atop a former football field, Mayor Williams points out that
      > when he
      > built, "people were angry, saying the Spring Hill football team won
      > the
      > state championship here, and some said, `This is sacred ground. Blood
      > was
      > shed here.' "
      >
      > Mr. Adams, 77, is also comfortable with his plans. The developer says
      > the
      > soldiers who died here "would probably rise up and say, `We appreciate
      > it,
      > but you should also use the land we have given - we have bequeathed -
      > for
      > the common good.'"
      >
      > Gerald A. Regan is a New York-based journalist. He can be contacted at
      >
      > ger@....
      >
      > 1864 CLASH LEAVES ENDURING STAIN ON HOOD
      >
      > Saturday, March 31, 2001
      > Section: SATURDAY THE CIVIL WAR
      > Gerald A. Regan
      > SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
      >
      > SPRING HILL, Tenn. - On the afternoon of Nov. 29, 1864, Confederate
      > Maj.
      > Gen. John Bell Hood had a career-making victory awaiting him in Spring
      >
      > Hill, one that could revive the teetering Confederacy's fortunes while
      >
      > establishing him as one of the war's great commanders.
      >
      > Instead, the inconclusive affair at Spring Hill left an enduring stain
      > on
      > his reputation, launching what Dave Stieghan, director of Spring
      > Hill's
      > Rippavilla Plantation historic site, calls the second battle of Spring
      >
      > Hill, the fight by Hood's subordinates, particularly Maj. Gen.
      > Benjamin
      > Frank Cheatham, to clear their reputations, impugned by Hood in his
      > quest
      > for scapegoats for his failure.
      >
      > Hood's aim was to interpose his 38,000-man force between the federal
      > forces
      > of John Schofield, in Pulaski, Tenn., and George H. Thomas in
      > Nashville.
      > That accomplished, he planned on destroying Schofield's 30,000-man
      > army and
      > then turn on Thomas' force.
      >
      > About 11:30 a.m., Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's
      > cavalry
      > arrived at Spring Hill and collided with Schofield's skirmishers, part
      > of a
      > division the federal commander had sent hustling northward, led by
      > Maj.
      > Gen. David S. Stanley. Forrest, working from the vicinity of what is
      > today
      > Spring Hill Mayor Ray Williams' property, hurled his men against the
      > badly
      > outnumbered Yankee skirmishers, who fought back gamely.
      >
      > Finally, Forrest dispatched Brig. Gen. James Chalmers to finish off
      > the
      > federals, who by this time, unbeknownst to Forrest, were reinforced
      > with
      > artillery and additional infantry. His charge bloodily repelled,
      > Chalmers
      > faced Forrest, who quipped, "They was in there sure enough, wasn't
      > they,
      > Chalmers?"
      >
      > For most of the afternoon and evening, Hood's forces held numerical
      > superiority as both armies marched toward Spring Hill. But because of
      > a
      > series of misunderstandings, Hood's commanders failed to close on the
      > outnumbered vanguard of Schofield's force, despite driving Bradley's
      > brigade from its key defensive position in late afternoon.
      >
      > At Rippavilla the next morning, Hood, who had lost use of an arm and a
      > leg
      > earlier in the war, fumed when he learned that the Yankees had marched
      > past
      > his forces. Still seething, that afternoon he ordered a head-on
      > assault
      > against Schofield's now-entrenched federals at Franklin, 10 miles to
      > the
      > north. On Nov. 30, 1864, the attacks, protested by his corps
      > commanders,
      > led to the loss of 6,200 Confederates, including the deaths of six
      > generals, and 2,326 federals.
      >
      > The remnant of the Confederate Army of Tennessee then invested
      > Nashville,
      > until Thomas, biding his time, finally attacked on Dec. 15. Thomas'
      > army
      > wrecked Hood's survivors in daylong battle.
      >
      > The fighting at Spring Hill would be dwarfed by the battles of
      > Franklin and
      > Nashville, and the identities of many of the casualties at Spring Hill
      > were
      > left unknown because of the decimation of both Confederate records and
      >
      > officers in the days that ensued.
      >
      > Gerald A. Regan
      > 20-67 38th Street, #D3
      > Astoria NY 11105-1641
      > Voice/Fax: 718.545.1216
      > e-mail: ger@...
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
      > [Click Here!]
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
    • Robert Taubman
      Wonderfully put. ... From: D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D. To: Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 1:43 PM Subject: Re:
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 3, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Wonderfully put.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D." <daburden@...>
        To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 1:43 PM
        Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] OT: WASHINGTON TIMES :TENNESSEE LOCALS
        FIGHT NEW BATTLE OF SPRING HILL


        > For what it's worth, I would sooner see the heroes disinterred from
        > Arlington so that land could be turned into a mega mall before I
        would
        > like to see even small battlefields gobbled up. National cemeteries
        are
        > hallowed because we say so. Battlefields are hallowed whether we
        want
        > to admit it or not.
        > Andy
        >
        > lilsteve68@... wrote:
        > >
        > > TENNESSEE LOCALS FIGHT NEW BATTLE OF SPRING HILL
        > > SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
        > > By: Gerald A. Regan
        > >
        > > SPRING HILL, Tenn. - Local Civil War history has proven to be
        slippery
        > > for
        > > city officials in Spring Hill, Tenn., site of the last surviving
        > > battlefield of the Confederacy's redoubtable Army of Tennessee.
        > >
        > > Still, the city's mayor, Ray Williams, whose 211 battlefield acres
        > > once
        > > hosted spirited skirmishing between Nathan Bedford Forrest's
        > > cavalrymen and
        > > federal infantry, says that his sources are quite clear on what
        didn't
        > >
        > > happen at Spring Hill on Nov. 29, 1864.
        > >
        > > "We had a few people a few years ago come in here and try to say
        it
        > > was a
        > > humongous battle, thousands died," said Mr. Williams in a recent
        > > interview,
        > > when asked about historians' assertions that the fighting that day
        at
        > > Spring Hill constituted a battle. "That's what I disagree with. .
        . .
        > > Sure,
        > > there [was] some skirmishing here."
        > >
        > > In fact, primary sources provide a picture of fighting that ebbed
        and
        > > flared for nearly nine hours, with the fate of two opposing armies
        > > totaling
        > > nearly 100,000 men arguably hinging on the outcome. As many as 900
        > > soldiers
        > > may have became casualties, in combat that ranged over more than
        1,500
        > >
        > > acres of this once-sleepy hamlet, divided between Maury and
        Williamson
        > >
        > > counties, 30 miles south of Nashville.
        > >
        > > One whom the mayor accuses of revisionism is military historian
        Dave
        > > Stieghan, director of the city's Rippavilla Plantation historic
        site,
        > > a
        > > former Army captain who came to Rippavilla after teaching history
        at a
        > >
        > > several colleges in Tyler, Texas. Says Mr. Stieghan, citing the
        > > abundance
        > > of Army reports, a state-funded archaeological study and a
        survivor's
        > > letter: "The bottom line is there was a battle at Spring Hill. . .
        .
        > > If
        > > [city officials] don't want to recognize it, no amount of primary
        > > resources
        > > or tombstones will change their minds."
        > >
        > > A parcel of land in Spring Hill that best underscores what
        happened at
        > >
        > > Spring Hill in 1864 and what might happen in the years to come is
        a
        > > 240-acre tract owned by Brentwood, Tenn., developer Ira Adams and
        his
        > > four
        > > sons - land where, says Mr. Stieghan, the heaviest fighting took
        > > place.
        > >
        > > It was there about 4:30 p.m. that 1,800 federal soldiers led by
        Brig.
        > > Gen.
        > > Luther Bradley were overrun by 5,600 Confederates, commanded by
        Gen.
        > > Patrick R. Cleburne. If the Confederates could have cut the nearby
        > > Franklin-Nashville Pike, Gen. John B. Hood, with 38,000 men
        massing at
        > >
        > > Spring Hill, hoped to divide and destroy a 30,000-man federal army
        en
        > > route
        > > to Nashville. Hood's desperate hope was then to capture the
        30,000-man
        > >
        > > garrison at Nashville and launch an offensive into Kentucky and
        Ohio.
        > >
        > > Six days later, Bradley reported to his superiors: "I then reached
        > > Spring
        > > Hill about 2 p.m. . . . We were soon furiously attacked in front
        and
        > > on the
        > > right flank, a brigade of the enemy swinging completely around the
        > > right of
        > > the Forty-second Illinois and the Sixty-fourth Ohio. We gave them
        a
        > > very
        > > destructive fire and somewhat staggered them in front, and had we
        had
        > > some
        > > support on the right, and the right flank not been turned, we
        could
        > > have
        > > held our ground. After firing about 10 minutes, the right and
        center
        > > (of
        > > the line) were compelled to give way." Capt. George A. Williams,
        an
        > > adjutant in one of Cleburne's brigades, was there, and wrote two
        weeks
        > >
        > > later to a fellow officer, noting that the Confederate brigade
        > > suffered 225
        > > casualties in the assault. Bradley reported to his superiors that
        he
        > > lost
        > > 198 men, including 17 killed, 114 wounded (including himself), and
        67
        > > missing.
        > >
        > > Capt. John K. Shellenberger, a company commander in the 64th Ohio
        > > Infantry
        > > in Bradley's command, in 1907 privately published his account of
        > > Spring
        > > Hill. He recalled the moment when the Union line collapsed: "The
        > > contact
        > > was then so close that as the men in our right were running past
        the
        > > line
        > > closing on them, they were called on with loud oaths, charging
        them
        > > with a
        > > Yankee canine descent, to halt and surrender; and, not heeding the
        > > call,
        > > some of them were shot down with the muzzles of the muskets almost
        > > touching
        > > their bodies."
        > >
        > > Perhaps more than 400 men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner
        in
        > > the
        > > action on Mr. Adams' 240 acres, land now approved for an
        industrial
        > > park.
        > >
        > > Although Hood and his commanders ultimately failed to close the
        trap,
        > > writers and historians, including Pulitzer Prize winner James M.
        > > McPherson,
        > > Shelby Foote and Wiley Sword, and numerous eyewitnesses all
        describe
        > > the
        > > fighting at Spring Hill as a small but vital battle in the
        ultimate
        > > defeat
        > > of the Confederacy. Capt. Shellenberger underscored its
        importance,
        > > writing: "It may be fairly claimed that the success of General
        > > [William T.]
        > > Sherman's famous march to the sea hung on the issue of a minor
        battle
        > > fought at Spring Hill."
        > >
        > > So why have Spring Hill residents accepted the Mayor Williams'
        denial
        > > of
        > > documented history?
        > >
        > > Mr. Williams says that "frankly, the Civil War isn't much on
        > > residents'
        > > minds." Asked whether the Southern army's failure at Spring Hill
        might
        > > fuel
        > > local disinterest, he says: "I kind of doubt it. . . . We never
        had
        > > much of
        > > the Civil War discussed here."
        > >
        > > The city's selective historical recall is undoubtedly driven by
        the
        > > one-time crossroad's breathtaking pace of development, a pace
        rapid
        > > enough
        > > that a slate of four candidates, including two former mayors, is
        > > running
        > > against incumbent Williams, accusing him, in the words of one
        > > candidate, of
        > > ushering in "growth gone amok." Previous elections had trouble
        > > generating
        > > even two candidates, says lifelong Spring Hill resident Effie
        Heiss,
        > > publisher and editor of The Informer, a weekly covering the city.
        > >
        > > In Spring Hill, since 1989 home to Saturn's first and largest auto
        > > factory,
        > > growth is brisk, as it is throughout middle Tennessee, home to
        major
        > > battlefields at Nashville and Franklin (both nearly entirely built
        > > over)
        > > and Murfreesboro (Stones River), included in February on Civil War
        > > Preservation Trust's listing of the 10 most endangered Civil War
        > > sites.
        > >
        > > In the past decade, Spring Hill has seen its population grow
        six-fold,
        > > now
        > > well over 9,000, from 1,400, while its area, through annexations,
        has
        > > more
        > > than doubled. The city is adding close to 90 new residents a
        month,
        > > making
        > > it one of the fastest growing cities in the state.
        > >
        > > "We have commercial developments popping up all over the town,"
        Mr.
        > > Williams says. Mackie Automotive, a Canadian firm looking to move
        to
        > > Spring
        > > Hill, in fact, reportedly considered several sites in or adjacent
        to
        > > the
        > > core battlefield for its warehouse, on the land owned by Mayor
        > > Williams,
        > > Mr. Adams and writer Peter Jenkins.
        > >
        > > The properties of the mayor and Mr. Jenkins, who are both
        neighbors
        > > and
        > > friends, were rezoned from agricultural to light industrial in
        1997,
        > > when
        > > Mr. Williams was chairman of the Spring Hill Regional Planning
        > > Committee.
        > > According to Cindy Williams, the mayor's wife and a local
        appraiser,
        > > she
        > > and the mayor were recently seeking more than $2 million for their
        > > property.
        > >
        > > The mayor's dismissal of the historical record could benefit
        > > landowners
        > > within the battlefield, including himself, and would likely lead
        to
        > > development of the core battlefield. It now is largely pristine
        and
        > > anchored by a 110-acre tract owned by a land trust established by
        > > Maury
        > > County.
        > >
        > > Mr. Williams is forthright about his desire to sell his 211 acres
        in
        > > and
        > > alongside the heart of what the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee
        > > identifies as the core battlefield, as is Mr. Jenkins, owner of
        150
        > > acres
        > > and author of the popular book "Walk Across America."
        > >
        > > "I've had a for-sale sign on it since I bought it. Every piece of
        > > property
        > > I have is for sale, but I'm in no big hurry to sell any of it,"
        the
        > > mayor
        > > says.
        > >
        > > "Ninety percent of the battlefields in Tennessee are in private
        > > ownership,
        > > and they can do what they want with their lands," laments Stuart
        > > Moore, a
        > > landscaper and chairman of the 75-member Tennessee Civil War
        > > Preservation
        > > Association. "That's what we face in Tennessee." As well, middle
        > > Tennessee's fast-growing population, led by greater Nashville's
        17.5
        > > percent increase from 1990 to 2000, has made millionaires out of
        many
        > > farmers and pushed development to Spring Hill.
        > >
        > > Mrs. Heiss, the 65-year-old editor of the town weekly, was once
        teased
        > > by
        > > Mayor Williams, she says, as part of what he called the
        "blue-haired
        > > brigade" that helped raise money to buy the 110 preserved acres.
        She
        > > notes
        > > Spring Hill residents' wariness of battlefield supporters, which
        she
        > > has
        > > seen grow in the past decade as more and more local farmers sold
        to
        > > land
        > > speculators.
        > >
        > > "If they listen to us preservationists, then they won't be able to
        > > sell to
        > > whatever industrial company comes in. I guess they're afraid we'll
        > > stand in
        > > their way," she says.
        > >
        > > "It's gotten so that if they find [even] one Minie ball, they're
        going
        > > to
        > > hide it."
        > >
        > > Mayor Williams insists that he is not opposed to preservation. The
        > > city's
        > > stance is: "We don't own it. If you want it preserved, buy and you
        can
        > >
        > > preserve it. It's your right. Mr. Adams - he bought the land, he
        > > sweated
        > > and paid for it. He paid taxes on it."
        > >
        > > Presented with period accounts that describe the casualties and
        fury
        > > of
        > > Spring Hill's fighting, Mayor Williams said, "I'm not trying to
        spit
        > > on the
        > > grave sites of anyone who died in that war." He notes, too, that
        Mr.
        > > Adams'
        > > land was rezoned from agricultural to industrial nearly 15 years
        ago
        > > and
        > > asked why preservationists didn't act then.
        > >
        > > The mayor contends that the historians have a hidden agenda - a
        desire
        > > to
        > > push the city to zone for a battlefield, depriving landowners of
        the
        > > right
        > > to develop their land. But no one, not even the Civil War
        Preservation
        > >
        > > Trust, has called for that action, although, according to Steve
        > > Tocknell,
        > > chairman of the Tennessee chapter of the Washington, D.C.-based
        > > American
        > > Planning Association, the city could return any undeveloped land
        to
        > > its
        > > original, agricultural zoning.
        > >
        > > In fact, historian Stieghan agrees that Mr. Adams is perfectly
        within
        > > his
        > > rights to develop the parcel as he sees fit but adds that it would
        be
        > > a
        > > shame. He says battlefields are a boon to communities, generating
        > > tourists,
        > > income for local businesses, green space, and jobs. "You don't
        have to
        > >
        > > provide schools and sewer lines for tourists, but you sure can use
        > > their
        > > money and take the taxes from it," he says.
        > >
        > > Spring Hill is not alone in Tennessee in its casualness toward its
        > > Civil
        > > War sites. The Civil War Sites Advisory Committee has identified
        38
        > > principal battlefield sites in Tennessee, second only to
        Virginia's
        > > 61. Of
        > > those 38, 24 are endangered, according to the committee's 1993
        report.
        > >
        > > Spring Hill is among these.
        > >
        > > Fred Prouty, military sites preservationist for the Tennessee Wars
        > > Commission, heads an office of one with an annual budget of
        $125,000.
        > > While
        > > an advocate for the battlefields, he understands what he faces,
        and
        > > offers
        > > a longer view for the causes of Tennessee's lax stewardship of its
        > > Civil
        > > War battlefields.
        > >
        > > "Virginia, and the sort of Lee-Grant historical way of looking at
        > > things,
        > > has kept the focus on those Eastern battlefields," he says, from
        his
        > > office
        > > in Nashville. "Now that has changed, but for many years when you
        > > mentioned
        > > Civil War, people would only think of [Robert E.] Lee and [Ulysses
        S.]
        > > Grant."
        > >
        > > In his research, Mr. Prouty found that veterans of the fighting in
        > > middle
        > > Tennessee in fall 1864, from both armies, united in 1910 to lobby
        for
        > > legislation to locate, map and mark the field of battle near
        Nashville
        > > on
        > > Dec. 15-16, 1864. The measure was introduced into the U.S. House
        of
        > > Representatives, but because the federal government had put so
        much
        > > money
        > > into battlefields in the East, it was rejected.
        > >
        > > "I think because they were denied, a lot of folks in this area
        became
        > > disillusioned. I think if we had the historical backing of
        writers,
        > > [then]
        > > maybe Tennessee would have been able to preserve more sites over
        the
        > > years," Mr. Prouty says."
        > >
        > > Meanwhile, the amount of green space in Spring Hill - Tennessee's
        last
        > >
        > > surviving battlefield of Hood's star-crossed army - has dropped
        from
        > > as
        > > much as 70 percent a decade ago to less than 50 percent today.
        That
        > > figure
        > > may drop to 35 percent by 2010 because of anticipated commercial
        > > development.
        > >
        > > After posing for a photograph in front of his Spring Hill
        > > Mini-Warehouse,
        > > built atop a former football field, Mayor Williams points out that
        > > when he
        > > built, "people were angry, saying the Spring Hill football team
        won
        > > the
        > > state championship here, and some said, `This is sacred ground.
        Blood
        > > was
        > > shed here.' "
        > >
        > > Mr. Adams, 77, is also comfortable with his plans. The developer
        says
        > > the
        > > soldiers who died here "would probably rise up and say, `We
        appreciate
        > > it,
        > > but you should also use the land we have given - we have
        bequeathed -
        > > for
        > > the common good.'"
        > >
        > > Gerald A. Regan is a New York-based journalist. He can be
        contacted at
        > >
        > > ger@....
        > >
        > > 1864 CLASH LEAVES ENDURING STAIN ON HOOD
        > >
        > > Saturday, March 31, 2001
        > > Section: SATURDAY THE CIVIL WAR
        > > Gerald A. Regan
        > > SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
        > >
        > > SPRING HILL, Tenn. - On the afternoon of Nov. 29, 1864,
        Confederate
        > > Maj.
        > > Gen. John Bell Hood had a career-making victory awaiting him in
        Spring
        > >
        > > Hill, one that could revive the teetering Confederacy's fortunes
        while
        > >
        > > establishing him as one of the war's great commanders.
        > >
        > > Instead, the inconclusive affair at Spring Hill left an enduring
        stain
        > > on
        > > his reputation, launching what Dave Stieghan, director of Spring
        > > Hill's
        > > Rippavilla Plantation historic site, calls the second battle of
        Spring
        > >
        > > Hill, the fight by Hood's subordinates, particularly Maj. Gen.
        > > Benjamin
        > > Frank Cheatham, to clear their reputations, impugned by Hood in
        his
        > > quest
        > > for scapegoats for his failure.
        > >
        > > Hood's aim was to interpose his 38,000-man force between the
        federal
        > > forces
        > > of John Schofield, in Pulaski, Tenn., and George H. Thomas in
        > > Nashville.
        > > That accomplished, he planned on destroying Schofield's 30,000-man
        > > army and
        > > then turn on Thomas' force.
        > >
        > > About 11:30 a.m., Confederate Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's
        > > cavalry
        > > arrived at Spring Hill and collided with Schofield's skirmishers,
        part
        > > of a
        > > division the federal commander had sent hustling northward, led by
        > > Maj.
        > > Gen. David S. Stanley. Forrest, working from the vicinity of what
        is
        > > today
        > > Spring Hill Mayor Ray Williams' property, hurled his men against
        the
        > > badly
        > > outnumbered Yankee skirmishers, who fought back gamely.
        > >
        > > Finally, Forrest dispatched Brig. Gen. James Chalmers to finish
        off
        > > the
        > > federals, who by this time, unbeknownst to Forrest, were
        reinforced
        > > with
        > > artillery and additional infantry. His charge bloodily repelled,
        > > Chalmers
        > > faced Forrest, who quipped, "They was in there sure enough, wasn't
        > > they,
        > > Chalmers?"
        > >
        > > For most of the afternoon and evening, Hood's forces held
        numerical
        > > superiority as both armies marched toward Spring Hill. But because
        of
        > > a
        > > series of misunderstandings, Hood's commanders failed to close on
        the
        > > outnumbered vanguard of Schofield's force, despite driving
        Bradley's
        > > brigade from its key defensive position in late afternoon.
        > >
        > > At Rippavilla the next morning, Hood, who had lost use of an arm
        and a
        > > leg
        > > earlier in the war, fumed when he learned that the Yankees had
        marched
        > > past
        > > his forces. Still seething, that afternoon he ordered a head-on
        > > assault
        > > against Schofield's now-entrenched federals at Franklin, 10 miles
        to
        > > the
        > > north. On Nov. 30, 1864, the attacks, protested by his corps
        > > commanders,
        > > led to the loss of 6,200 Confederates, including the deaths of six
        > > generals, and 2,326 federals.
        > >
        > > The remnant of the Confederate Army of Tennessee then invested
        > > Nashville,
        > > until Thomas, biding his time, finally attacked on Dec. 15.
        Thomas'
        > > army
        > > wrecked Hood's survivors in daylong battle.
        > >
        > > The fighting at Spring Hill would be dwarfed by the battles of
        > > Franklin and
        > > Nashville, and the identities of many of the casualties at Spring
        Hill
        > > were
        > > left unknown because of the decimation of both Confederate records
        and
        > >
        > > officers in the days that ensued.
        > >
        > > Gerald A. Regan
        > > 20-67 38th Street, #D3
        > > Astoria NY 11105-1641
        > > Voice/Fax: 718.545.1216
        > > e-mail: ger@...
        > >
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