​The fight to reclaim America's battlefields

"The view that any land over which troops moved or where any shots were exchanged is automatically to be preserved is a view that's hard to apply in Princeton," said Masten, "because so much has happened since 1777. And it's not just large residential neighborhoods, but also important institutions in the community."

So, it's the place where Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the A-bomb, worked -- against the father of our country, George Washington.

Who deserves to win?

Last Wednesday, Franklin, Tenn., came one demolition closer to reclaiming another big piece of its battlefield. A decade ago, it had been written off as lost. But then Franklin had a change of heart - thanks in part to Robert Hicks and lawyer Julian Bibb.

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Demolition, in 2014, on the site of the 1864 Battle of Franklin. CBS News

"The battlefield, which had been looked at as forgotten or, 'Gosh, it's gonna be way too expensive to do what you all are trying to do,' that took the convincing," said Bibb. "And once that began to happen, it completely changed the support we were recognizing politically, locally and statewide."

"This year we will probably have over 100,000 people come to Franklin [as] heritage tourists," said Hicks.

The worst part of the fighting was around the site of the Carter House (now a museum) and a Pizza Hut when we first came to Franklin in 2005. Since then, It's been "now you see it, now you don't" -- one property after another gone, just like Dominoes, which will be going away in January, all to make way for a 20-acre park on the reclaimed land. The price tag: $14 million, so far, from private donations, the Civil War Trust, and the city, state and federal governments.

"This is hallowed ground" said Hicks. "I don't know how to say it any other way. Something holy happened here."

Who knew that people would still be fighting the Battle of Franklin today, 150 years after the fact? The front lines then . . . are the front lines now.


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