Battle of Franklin Trust Legacy Dinner honors quiet volunteers


Battle of Franklin Trust Legacy Dinner honors quiet volunteers

PHOTO: Patrons mingle outside Carnton Plantation on Friday, April 27, 2018, before the Battle of Franklin Trust’s Legacy Dinner.//Brooke Wanser

By BROOKE WANSER

Major donors to the Battle of Franklin Trust were honored Friday night during the Legacy Dinner at Carnton Plantation.

Guests supped on appetizers and cocktails while wandering the halls of the ground floor of antebellum Carnton Mansion.

Later, during a dinner catered by South Fork, Battle of Franklin Trust President and CEO Eric Jacobson honored two longstanding volunteers for the legacy they helped to maintain.

Jacobson noted that both volunteers and himself had lived in Midwestern states, joking about the reactions they initially received to being deeply involved in a part of the American South.

Leah Van Driest, a Carnton tour guide and volunteer who for more than 20 years would accept no compensation, said she has a lateral ancestor, James Knox Polk Bivens, a soldier from Texas who fought in the Battle of Franklin under Brig. Gen. Hiram Granbury.

Van Driest received one of the volunteer awards, while Mike Plumley, who has served on the trust board, received the other.

The Battle of Franklin Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization operating two Civil War sites in Franklin: Carnton House and the Carter House, with the mission to preserve, understand, and interpret the story of a people forever impacted by the American Civil War.

Bagpipes sounded prior to dinner in a nod to Carnton Plantation’s Mistress Carrie McGavock’s Scottish roots.//Brooke Wanser
A harpist strummed melodious tunes during dinner under a canopy against the visitor center.//Brooke Wanser
Guests listen to Jacobson discuss the impact each of the night’s award winners had on him and the organization.//Brooke Wanser
Leah Van Driest accepts her award and speaks about how she found her way to Franklin from Wisconsin.//Brooke Wanser
Mike Plumley gives a brief acceptance speech while Jacobson unwraps his award, a framed photo of Carnton.//Brooke Wanser

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