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Friday, July 23, 2010

The Battle of Nashville Monument

The Battle of Nashville Monument

Signifying an important event, the monument itself has had an interesting history.

The monument was originally commissioned by the Ladies Battelfield Associtation and created by Giuseppe Moretti. It was dedicated on Armistice Bay, 1927, on Franklin Rd. (U.S. 31) near Woodmont Blvd. This Post Card shows what it looked like at the time.

This memorial is dedicated to the struggle of both the Union and Confederate forces who clashed here on Dec. 15-16, 1864. Moretti interpreted the scene with two charging horses (for the North and the South) divided by a wall of antagonism. The horses are halted and quited into the spirit of teamwork by a youth who embodies the spirit of Unity (as the word UNITY is written on the banner which entines the horses.) Atop the summit of the shaft, and Angel of Peace protects the group. The monument is nationally significant as it was the first civil war memorial in the country created in the memory of both the North and the South.

A few decades after it was built, the cration of Interstate 65 meant Woodmont Blvd became a bridge in the area, and Franklin Road became a trench and you couldn't see the monument as it was well above the street.

In 1974, a tornado came through, destroying the statue's 30-foot carrara marble obelisk and angel, leaving just the base and bronze figures behind. Then, after the completion of Interstate 440 and its interchange with I-65 left the remains isolated where nobody could see it.

in 1992, the Tennessee Historical Commission selected an undeveloped site on Granny White Pike for the complete restoration of the monument. The new carved stone and obelisk are of white granite, quarried at Elberton, GA. The bronze figures - preserved and refurbished from Moretti's original work- face due east toward the rising sun as Moretti intended. The six foot angel at the apex was carved by local sculptor Coley Coleman

Here is a picture of the Civil War marker:

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