By A.J. DUGGER III
An archaeological dig near Franklin’s Carter House began Monday and the diggers already have uncovered bullets and may be on the verge of finding more artifacts.
The site is near the spot where Union troops fought off soldiers of the Confederate Army of Tennessee in the 1864 Battle of Franklin. One goal of the dig, in addition to recovering artifacts, is to search for the defensive trenches used for cover by the Union troops.
The workers from TRC Environmental uncovered a lot of ground in just under two days. “We’re looking for remains of human activity,” explained Matt Spice, one of TRC’s workers. “In this respect we’re looking at the battle that took place here at the Carter House. We’re looking for artifacts and indications of where the trenches were; what was left and what they filled back in.”
One clue to finding hidden artifacts are changes in the soil color. The workers found a large bullet on Monday after scanning the area with a metal detector. The metal detector also found more objects that are hidden deeper in the soil, so the workers placed flags directly on top of those locations to mark them and will dig in those spots later in the week.
TRC is on the verge of making more discoveries and have a while longer to work.
“Right now we’re slated for two weeks of work. Hopefully by the end of next week we’ll be wrapping things up. Any artifacts we take out of the ground we’ll take them to our lab in Nashville and catalog them,” said Amanda Garvin, a worker with TRC.
The dig is taking place at the Flower Shop property right outside of the Carter House. The Flower Shop building was razed and a house was moved as part of a plan to restore the area considered the epicenter of the bloody battle. Across Columbia Avenue, also where heavy fighting occurred, a Pizza Hut restaurant, two houses and a strip mall were removed as part of the effort.
Eric Jacobson, CEO of the Battle of Franklin Trust, noted that the dig is not a public event and asked onlookers to stay away from the work site.