Lotz House Celebrates 150th Anniversary

October 27, 2014 in Editorials

The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin is approaching, and the Lotz House has many things planned to commemorate this historic battle that took place on November 30, 1864. Lotz House Foundation Executive Director J.T. Thompson and Tennessee State Museum board member Pam Lewis jointly announced today the two organizations will host American icon Ed Bearss and seven other historians for a “Historian’s Dinner” November 29 and 30 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. The seated dinner will be held at the Eastern Flank Battle Park Hall with limited seating. The Franklin Civil War Roundtable is sponsoring the event which will benefit battlefield preservation, the Lotz House and the Tennessee State Museum.

Other historians joining Bearss include Thomas Cartwright, Thomas Flagel, Jamie Gillum, Robert Hicks, Stephen M. “Sam” Hood, Eric A. Jacobson and Gregory Wade.

Ed Bearss is Chief Historian emeritus at the National Park Service and World War II veteran, who was recognized by the Smithsonian in 2005 as one of the thirty-five people who, along with such notables as Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg and Wynton Marsalis, have immeasurably enriched our lives throughout the last quarter century. Since his retirement in 1995, Bearss, now 91 years old, has become a champion of battlefield preservation, giving tours across the nation and around the world.

Thomas Cartwright is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the Battle of Franklin and he currently conducts tours at the Lotz House, Battlefield Walking Tours and McGavock Confederate Cemetery Tours. He is featured in numerous DVDs on the Battle of Franklin and Battle of Nashville. Previously, he was the director of The Carter House located at ground zero of the Battle of Franklin.

Thomas Flagel teaches American History at Columbia State Community College in Tennessee. He has written a series of books on “The History Buff’s Guide.” Originally from Iowa, he has a great great great grandfather who served in the 2nd Iowa Infantry in the Civil War. His great great uncle from the 47th Illinois Infantry was killed in the Battle of Corinth.

Jamie Gillum wrote a three volume history of the Sixteenth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Most recently he completed a study of the Battle of Spring Hill, entitled: “Twenty-five Hours to Tragedy” that helps to reconstruct the events of that evening in detail and provide the “why” as to the tragic Battle of Franklin.

Robert Hicks, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Widow of The South” and “A Separate Country” has been described by the New York Times as “at the heart of the battlefield reclamation in Franklin.” In founding Franklin’s Charge, he revived battlefield preservation in Franklin, taking the efforts there from the ‘lost’ category to being considered second to none in the nation.

Stephen M. “Sam” Hood, a collateral descendent of General John Bell Hood, is author of “John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General,” winner of the 2014 Albert Castel Award and the 2014 Walt Whitman Award, and also author of the soon to be released “The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood.”

Eric A. Jacobson is CEO and Historian for the Battle of Franklin Trust and has been a student of the American Civil War since the mid-1980s. He has authored three books, “For Cause & For Country,” “The McGavock Confederate Cemetery,” and “Baptism of Fire.”

Gregory Wade served as president of Save the Franklin Battlefield and was on the board of Franklin’s Charge. He also founded the Franklin Civil War Round Table and is on the editorial staff of the Civil War News. Earlier this year he released “Broken Valley,” a historical fiction.

In making the announcement, Thompson said, “This is an incredible opportunity for history enthusiasts to meet the father of modern day Civil War battlefield preservation, Ed Bearss. We’re honored to have him back in Franklin on the weekend of the Sesquicentennial. We hope to raise much needed funds to help purchase the property at Carter’s Hill to further preserve our precious battlefield in Franklin.”

Event co-presenter Pam Lewis, owner of Harrison House on the National Register, president of PLA Media and Tennessee State Museum board member added, “JT and I have worked together on various preservation causes. Creating a stellar event and celebrating the 150th on the actual Eastern Flank battlefield was too great an opportunity to pass up. I will be donating a portion of proceeds to the Tennessee State museum which will be bringing a special exhibit of artifacts on display during the dinners as well as providing a commemorative collectible Civil War book to each person attending. Please join us for a once in a life time opportunity to gather on our re-claimed battlefield. We look forward to a most memorable two evenings.”

The evening will include a cocktail reception, an 1860’s period inspired dinner catered by Franklin’s own Suzette with Constant Craving and a program led by Ed Bearss and participation by seven historians as well as a special viewing of Civil War artifacts provided by Jim Hoobler of the Tennessee State Museum. The authors will also have their books for sale and will be on hand for autographs.

Founder and President of the Franklin Civil War Roundtable Gregory Wade said, “We are delighted to sponsor an event held at the Eastern Flank with an icon such as Mr. Bearss. Having him in Franklin for the Sesquicentennial is a tremendous opportunity and we are proud to be part of it.”

This two night event will be held November 29 and 30 at the Eastern Flank Battle Park Hall. The reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the “Historian’s Dinner with Ed Bearss” are $150 per person marking the 150th anniversary of the battle. Tables of nine include an historian at each table which brings the cost for eight seats to $1,200. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by email: jtt@lotzhouse.com or by calling 615-790-7190. All proceeds benefit the Lotz House Foundation, battlefield preservation and the Tennessee State Museum. Historian participation is subject to change and tickets are non-refundable.

In addition to the dinner, Ed Bearss will host an exclusive Franklin Battlefield bus tour November 29 and 30.

In making the announcement, Thompson said, “We’re anticipating a sellout both days so we encourage anyone wanting to participate in this historic event to sign up now.”

The tour includes a continental breakfast served at 8:30 a.m. at the Lotz House located at 1111 Columbia Avenue. The bus leaves at 9 a.m. and includes stops at Winstead Hill, the Eastern Flank, The Carter House and Garden, Cotton Gin Park and return to the Lotz House at 1 p.m. If the weather is inclement, the tour will continue but guests will remain on the bus.

Tickets are $100 per person and there is limited seating. Reservations can be made by emailing J.T. Thompson at jtt@lotzhouse.com or by calling 615-790-7190. All proceeds benefit the Lotz House Foundation, a 501(c)(3)organization.

Lotz House was ground zero for five of the bloodiest hours of the battle, which occurred on Nov. 30, 1864. Thousands of lives were lost and the home was turned into a makeshift hospital to help the injured.

To honor the memory of the lives that were lost and to help those currently in their own battle, the Red Cross will hold a two-day blood drive at the Lotz House on November 29-30 from 10-3. Everyone who attempts to give will receive a voucher for a free tour of the historic home. To schedule an appointment, email J.T. Thompson at jtt@lotzhouse.com. Use sponsor code Lotz19

The Lotz House, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976, is located in the heart of downtown historic Franklin, Tennessee at the “epicenter” of the Battle of Franklin which was a pivotal battle in the Civil War on Nov. 30, 1864. The house has been open to the public as a Civil War house museum since Oct. 30, 2008.

The house is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. The Lotz House is located at 1111 Columbia Avenue, across the street from The Carter House. For more information, call 615-790-7190 or visit www.lotzhouse.com.

lotz Exterior - cannon balls with house