Hourglass by Myra McEntire: History lessons

The Scarlett O'Hara rip Emerson sees on p. 1 may have been dressed like these fine ladies.

Civil War references pop up left and right in Myra McEntire’s Hourglass. From Emerson’s meeting with a Scarlett O’Hara-type in the first few pages, to Michael’s Civil War-era childhood home in Atlanta (where he saw his first “rip”), and Emerson’s unfortunate experience at a reenactment, American history is a running theme throughout the book.

Emerson’s home town of Ivy Springs is based on real-life Franklin, Tennessee. Located near the middle of the state, it’s about 20 miles south of Nashville. It’s also the location of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

The first Battle of Franklin took place in 1863, but it’s most remembered for the second Battle of Franklin, which took place Nov. 30, 1864, near the end of the war.

Sometimes called “Picket’s Charge of the West,” 14 Confederate generals were killed, wounded or captured. The Army of Tennessee and Confederate Army was all but destroyed:  6,252 casualties, including 1,750 killed and 3,800 wounded. The Union Army lost 189, 1,033 were wounded, and 1,104 were reported missing. The first fifteen minutes of the battle have been called the bloodiest in American history.

Today, there’s a museum, a historic plantation house, a cemetery and battlefields in the area to commemorate the event. Unfortunately, many areas and landmarks have been lost to time and development, but efforts are being made to recapture some of the lost sites.

Some fun random facts:

  • Paramore formed in 2004 in Franklin.
  • Miley Cyrus grew up in Franklin.
  • Country singer Brad Paisley and wife actress Kimberly Williams live in Franklin with their two sons.
  • Kings of Leon originated from Franklin.

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