WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
People in Franklin are taking back a big part of the nation's history.
It has been called one of the most endangered Civil War battlefields in America.
It's located along Columbia Avenue, and now Franklin is transforming sacred ground.
For years Domino's has been making pizzas in Franklin.
Pepperoni and cheese is a popular order for this prime location, which happens to be right in heart of a Civil War battlefield.
"Everybody is involved in this, and everybody is a winner," says Jim Lighthizer with the Civil War Trust.
Now, a group of Franklin residents and Civil War preservationists have come together.
"It's really about reclaiming the ground, saving this ground," says historian Eric Jacobson.
Residents have raised $3.2 million to buy seven acres of land.
They are doing something that is historic by all accounts, acquiring commercial property and restoring it to its Civil War roots.
"We're doing it, and it's happening. I'm seeing things happen in Franklin that I really only thought were a dream, and to be a part of it is just wonderful," says Jacobson.
In November 1864, 8,500 men were killed as Union and Confederate troops clashed.
It was a critical defeat for the South and a turning point in the Civil War.
Next year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. The plan is to have this land restored and open to the public.
The Domino's pizza and neighboring businesses will be torn down. In its place, the cotton gin that once stood here will be rebuilt.
Julian Bibb was one of many who helped raise money for the effort.
"This is part of our American history. It's worth preserving and telling the story," says Julian Bibb.
Protecting history is not easy, but people here are proving a strong effort builds momentum, and eventually the dominos will fall.
The Domino's strip center will be allowed to remain open until the tenants are relocated.
The plan is to open the cotton gin park by November of next year.
Click here to learn more about the Battle of Franklin.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Wednesday, February 13 2013, 10:50 PM CST
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