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Local historian Michael Bradley shares confederate history with colorful detail. Bradley will join the Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department bus tour to the site of the Battle of Franklin next month and will use his creative storytelling skills to describe what happened on the battlefield 154 years ago.

In an effort to help make people aware of the rich history of Middle Tennessee, Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department hosts a long-running Civil War tour series, led by local historian Michael Bradley.

The latest event, set for Saturday, Dec. 1, is a bus tour to the site of the Battle of Franklin.

The Battle of Franklin, which took place on Nov. 30, 1864, became one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War as Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood led his army of more than 20,000 men to the outskirts of Franklin. Even with line reassurances from fellow Col. Emerson Opdycke and Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Hood endured nearly 7,000 casualties, including six dead Confederate generals.

Bradley, who has a doctorate degree in United States history, will be accompanying the bus tour to offer historical insight.

“People will have the opportunity to visit three historic houses,” Bradley said. “The Battle at Franklin is one of the most talked about battlefields in war history. It is also the site of the bloodiest conflict for the entire war. Visitors will also be visiting the site one day after the anniversary date, so they will get a real feel for how the climate was, how the terrain looked and gain a real life perspective to how the soldiers felt.”

“Dr. Bradley is so knowledgeable, and he’s an excellent story teller,” said Parks and Recreation Program Manager Lyle Russell. “We’re grateful for him helping us to put on these Civil War tours and bring history to life.”

Parks and Recreation has hosted several Civil War tours in the past, including trips to Chickamauga, Stones River and Shiloh.  They’ve even hosted a local tour that went around and through Tullahoma, Shelbyville and Beechgrove.

Leaving from Tullahoma, the Battle of Franklin bus tour will head to Columbia and Spring Hill, stopping at the Rippavilla Plantation. From there, the tour will continue to Franklin, following the line of Confederate advance, up to Winstead Hill Park, the Carter House and the Battle of Franklin Museum. The tour will conclude at the Franklin Battlefield and the historic cemetery on site.

The tour is set for Saturday, Dec. 1, just one day after the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. The bus will depart at 8 a.m. from the D.W. Wilson Center at 501 N. Collins St.

There may be extra activity at the sites due to it being the anniversary weekend.

The tour is open to anyone who wants to go and learn about the historic battle. The $55 per-person fee includes transportation, lunch and admission into Rippavilla, the Carter House and the museum.

For an additional fee, participants can also take a tour of the Carnton Plantation at the battlefield site. However, guests who do not want to pay the additional fee may enjoy the park and the grounds at the battle site for free.

To reserve a seat, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 931-455-1121.

Faith Few can be reached by email at ffew@tullahomanews.com.