Riverkeeper helps film crew with its Civil War documentary
Published 12:42 pm Saturday, December 6, 2014
By Jim Hart/contributing writer
Mahone’s Tavern and Museum Inc. recently hosted John Quarstein, a local historian, author and host of several TV special documentaries on WHRO TV on the Blackwater River. Jeff Turner, the Riverkeeper, assisted in providing the transportation on the river and the film crew accompanied by board member Jim Beale and local historian Clyde Parker traversed the river to Crumpler’s Bluff approximately two miles from downtown Franklin.
The purpose of the trip was to assist Quarstein in his research and development of a documentary on the attack on the town of Franklin during the Civil War. Quarstein is developing a “Here and Then” documentary on the Battle of Crumpler’s Bluff for Mahone’s Tavern and Museum in Courtland.
On Oct. 3, 1862, three Union Gunboats came up the Blackwater River to protect the crossing of Union Infantry, whose mission was to destroy warehouses and supplies collected at Franklin, for use by the Confederate Army. Arriving at 6 a.m., and finding the Infantry had not arrived, the guns on the boats began to shell the town of Franklin. One cannon ball came to rest in the old “Bogart Home” located at the southern end of Main Street and remained there in the side of the home until it was torn down sometime in the 1960s. Additionally, several “grapeshot” fired from Union soldiers was left behind in some of the outside framing of the old railroad station on Main Street until it was torn down in recent years and is now in storage with the City of Franklin in its archives. This gunfire continued for two hours; however, Confederate resistance continued to increase, and the Union gunboats withdrew to the Albemarle Sound in North Carolina to avoid capture by Confederate troops.