Saturday, July 28, 2018

At Battle of Nashville monument, a 'witness' to 1864 fighting

A Battle of Nashville "witness" tree looms near the monument. (CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.)
The ancient oak towers over the neighborhood. What secrets does it hold?
The Battle of Nashville monument honors soldiers on both sides of the conflict.
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Almost hidden from view, the Battle of Nashville monument is easily missed in a small park just off Granny White Pike, about three miles from downtown. But once you get there, it's impossible to miss a "witness" to the Dec. 15-16, 1864 battle. A massive basket oak stands on the old Fitzallen and Sallie Noel farm, near where Confederate breastworks were built and about 25 yards from the granite monument.

The original monument, made of mostly marble and located on Franklin Pike, was dedicated in 1927 and eventually nearly swallowed whole by interstate construction and other urban development. In 1974, the obelisk and an angel atop it were destroyed in a tornado. Only the pedestal and another part of the monument survived. In 1999, a restored monument was placed in its present-day location and re-dedicated on a site once part of the 1,500-acre Noel farm, scene of brutal fighting in 1864.

The monument is off busy Granny White Road, a war-time route for the armies.
A close-up of the monument on a sun-splashed afternoon.
The original monument, destroyed in a tornado, was located elsewhere in Nashville.
The front of the monument honoring soldiers who fought in the Dec. 15-16, 1864, battle.

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