FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Two years after thousands of people lined Franklin’s downtown streets to honor the sacrifice of an unknown Civil War soldier recovered from the battlefield, the long-awaited premiere of the film chronicling the event and its impact has arrived.
“Heading Back Home: Franklin’s Unknown Soldier and the Civil War’s Five Bloodiest Hours” will be shown to the public for the first time at the Franklin Theatre on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $35, with proceeds donated to battlefield preservation efforts in Franklin.
Emmy Award-winning film producers Brian Speciale and Jodi Jones-Speciale – a husband and wife team who had recently moved to Franklin when the remains were uncovered from a shallow grave during a construction project in the summer of 2009 – offered to document the process of planning a period funeral befitting of an American soldier whose fate had been unknown for 145 years.
But the film became so much more, shedding new light on the historically overlooked Battle of Franklin, considered the bloodiest and most brutal five hours of the entire Civil War. As author and historian Eric Jacobson said after previewing the film, it tells the story of the Battle of Franklin like “it’s never been told before.”
The detailed maps, recreated battle scenes, expert accounts, original music and narration from legendary actor Lee Majors take “Heading Back Home” beyond a lesson in history – it’s a lesson in life.
“The gravity of the discovery of the remains and the way it captured public interest was a touching moment in time, an overwhelming response from across the nation that brought long-deserved attention to the horrors that this soldier and tens of thousands of others endured here at Franklin,” says Jacobson, who serves as director of operations for the Battle of Franklin Trust. “Brian and Jodi have captured that emotion in the context of history and modern times in a way that I didn’t think possible. The film is spectacular in every way, and not to be missed.”
Tickets are available at the Franklin Theatre box office and at www.franklintheatre.com. Cabaret and classic seats are $25, with balcony seats available for $35.