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Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Old Harpeth River Bridge

 
 
Old Harpeth River Bridge Marker (front) image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 22, 2019
1. Old Harpeth River Bridge Marker (front)
Inscription.  

On July 5, 1819, The Williamson County Court authorized “building of a bridge across the Harpeth at the town of Franklin.” The bridge was a large, enclosed, double covered bridge having a partition along its middle course, with two open windows on each side. For the next 42 years, the bridge linked Franklin to residents north and to the city of Nashville. When the Civil War came to Middle Tennessee in early 1862, Confederate soldiers streaming south following the fall of Fort Donelson crossed the Bridge (sic). A little later, Gen Don Carlos Buell’s 20,000 troops marched across on their way to the Battle of Shiloh. Late in 1862, just before the Federal army came into Franklin to occupy the town and build Fort Granger, Confederate Cavalry (sic) burned the bridge. During the Federal occupation, the soldiers used a pontoon bridge and another temporary bridge built on piles.

Reverse:
On Nov 30, 1864, the remains of the demolished Harpeth River bridge and a burned temporary bridge blocked Gen John Schofield’s Federal army, forcing him to order planks laid across the railroad bridge and to build another bridge
Old Harpeth River Bridge Marker (back) image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 22, 2019
2. Old Harpeth River Bridge Marker (back)
just a few inches above the water on the piles from the burned temporary bridge. The Federal Army then moved towards Nashville across these two bridges. During the Dec (sic) 1864 retreat from the Battle of Nashville, Confederate troops forded the river near the empty bridge abutments trying to escape the fire from pursuing Federals. The frenzied push of these men trampled at least one soldier into the mud. While the troops were struggling to cross the river, Bledsoe’s Confederate Artillery Battery was posted along 1st Ave., near the old bridge entrance ramp, firing into the advancing Federal cavalry.

In memory of Calvin E. Bohnke a friend of Save the Franklin Battlefield, Inc.
Williamson County Historical Society 2011

 
Erected 2011 by Williamson County Historical Society.
 
Location. 35° 55.624′ N, 86° 51.996′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker is on 1st Avenue North north of East Main Street (Business U.S. 31), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 94 E Main St, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Factory Store (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John H. Eaton (about 500 feet away); Original St. Philip Catholic Church
Old Harpeth River Bridge Marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 22, 2019
3. Old Harpeth River Bridge Marker site
(about 500 feet away); St. Philip Catholic Church (about 500 feet away); Union Headquarters (about 700 feet away); Masonic Temple (about 700 feet away); Franklin Cotton Factory and Foundry / Lillie Mills (about 700 feet away); Riverview (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil
 
Old Harpeth River Bridge site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 22, 2019
4. Old Harpeth River Bridge site
There are no indications that a bridge ever stood here.
Harpeth River Road Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Kurtz and Allison
5. Harpeth River Road Bridge
In this highly-stylized representation of the battle shown in Kurtz and Allison's lithograph entitled "The Battle of Franklin", Federal wagons can be seen crossing in the distance.
The present Harpeth River Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 22, 2019
6. The present Harpeth River Bridge
Mundane and strictly utilitarian.
 

More. Search the internet for Old Harpeth River Bridge.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 6, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on November 6, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 6, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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