Ed Bearss

Thomas Cartwright Portrays Co. Aytch Poster

Lotz House

Appraisal Fair

Grand Opening Script

Grand Opening Lotz House
10/20/2008 #1

Grand Opening Lotz House
10/20/2008 #2

Grand Opening Lotz House
10/20/2008 #3


Lotz House Hosts American Icon Ed Bearss for Dinner on the Battlefield and a Twilight Tour of the Battle of Franklin Presented by the Franklin Civil War Roundtable on August 22, 2013

Release - Jul 15, 2013 (Word )

Lotz House Foundation Executive Director J.T. Thompson announced today the Civil War house museum will host American icon Ed Bearss for a country supper on the battlefield followed by a Twilight Tour of the Battle of Franklin on Thursday, August 22 as a fundraiser for the Foundation. The Franklin Civil War Roundtable is the presenting sponsor of the event.

In making the announcement, Thompson said, “This is an incredible opportunity for history enthusiasts to meet the father of modern day Civil War battlefield preservation, Ed Bearss. We’re honored to have him at the Lotz House to visit with guests and lead an insightful tour of the Battle of Franklin at twilight. He elicits a stream of consciousness and unwavering memory as he weaves the complex story of the battles and the soldiers who fought them.”

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Thomas Y. Cartwright to portray Civil War soldier Sam Watkins
Accompanied by musical artist Michael Holloway at
The Franklin Theatre November 28, 2012
A portion of the proceeds benefit The Heritage Foundation

(Franklin, Tenn.)—October 30, 2012—The Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce announced today Civil War historian Thomas Y. Cartwright will portray Confederate Civil Ear soldier Sam Watkins at The Franklin Theatre Wednesday, November 28 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Heritage Foundation. Tickets go on sale October 31.

In making the announcement, Pearce said, “We’re ecstatic to have Thomas Cartwright take the stage at The Franklin Theatre to share with us his depiction of one of the most memorable soldiers of the Civil War and who wrote Co. Aytch, a riveting recount of his life during the war. This date was chosen because its two days prior to the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin held November 30, 1864, which is significant to our rich history.

As a young boy, Cartwright read Co. Aytch and was so enthralled with it, he committed the book to memory. During the past 20 years, Cartwright has performed and portrayed Sam Watkins in numerous one man performances throughout the country. Now, for the first time, he’ll premiere his performance on stage with Holloway’s captivating music.

Cartwright, in conjunction with the Lotz House Civil War museum, has teamed with long-time music performer and entertainer Michael Holloway to take what Watkins began to write after the war, and what Cartwright memorized as a child, into the 21 century. Holloway wrote and will perform all original music to enhance the experience of the two hour portrayal. Halloway calls his music on the new CD “American music, by an American artist for an American story.”

Pearce added, “Thomas’ incredible ability to quote Sam Watkins off the top of his head is amazing and transcending. We’re excited to have this moving performance to share because it will leave everyone who hears it with the feeling they’ve heard Watkins’ story told first hand. Michael’s original music puts a huge exclamation point on the performance as it leads our imagination back to the 1860s.”

Robert Hicks, author of New York Times bestseller The Widow of the South said, "Thomas Cartwright has partnered up with Michael Holloway to give us Sam Watkins’ Co. Aytch and what a gift it will be. For those of us who have loved ol' Sam and his Co. Aytch, this is long overdue. For those who have never read Co. Aytch, it is the best introduction I can think of."

Hicks added, "In Sam's own words, Cartwright movingly retells the story of Sam's adventures in the service of the South. It is hard to imagine anyone that Sam would have rather had retell his story. Added to all of this is the wonderful music that Michael Holloway wrote and performed in accompaniment to Sam's words. Cartwright and Holloway have hit this one out of the park. This performance is a must for anyone who loves the rich history of the American Civil War."

Sam Watkins, originally from Maury County, served throughout the entire four year war despite being wounded several times. Of the 120 men who enlisted in “Company H” in 1861, Watkins was one of the few still in the ranks when the Confederate Army of Tennessee surrendered in April, 1865. After the war ended, Watkins began writing his memoir entitled Co. Aytch.

Watkins’ work today is recognized around the world and often used for teaching purposes. Co. Aytch is called by many historians one of the best Civil War memoirs written by a common soldier in the field. Clearly, Watkins engaging writing style captures the pride of the Civil War soldier.
Thomas Y. Cartwright is known as one of the leading authorities on the Civil War and the Battle of Franklin. He frequently appears on various documentaries for the History Channel, A&E, Travel Channel, CNN, Discovery, and Preservation Channel. For many years, he has lectured throughout most of the United States for Civil War Round Tables, corporations, preservation groups and heritage organizations. In addition, Cartwright authored several published articles and essays. He is currently authoring two books and he conducts battlefield walking tours of the Battle of Franklin from the Lotz House.
Holloway has a long and storied musical career. Growing up in Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta, his exposure to music came early, accompanying his father to blues jams with other workers in the pulp wood business.
Playing left-handed, Holloway learned the guitar on his own, playing his father's instrument upside down. In fact, the legendary Gibson Guitar even created a left-handed Dobro especially for Holloway to play. He has released two albums including Blues Travel Fast and Riding This Train which includes a cut called Feast or Famine with duet partner Gretchen Wilson. He’s toured the country as well as Europe and opened for such acts as BB King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter and Little Feat.
The doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:00 p.m. with a brief intermission. Tickets are $35 and $50 and go on sale October 31 and are available at www.FranklinTheatre.com or at The Franklin Theatre box office (615) 538-2076. After expenses, half of the proceeds benefit The Heritage Foundation earmarked for the Carter Cotton Park.

The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving our historic resources in Franklin and Williamson County, Tennessee. Among our programs are the award-winning Main Street Program, the Downtown Franklin Association, which promotes and revitalizes the 150 unique places to explore in the 15-block downtown National Register District.



(Franklin, Tenn.) – September 4, 2012--- The Lotz House has announced the official date for its Fourth Annual Fall Antiques Appraisal Fair, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 at the Civil War house museum located at 1111 Columbia Avenue across from The Carter House.

In making the announcement, Lotz House Executive Director J.T. Thompson said, “During these tough economic times many people are looking to sell some of their possessions. It is very important to know the value on an item before you approach potential buyers. We are happy to provide that service.”

This appraisal fair is open to the public and will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Guests are invited to bring their antiques to learn its value. The cost is $20 for the appraisal of one item, $25 for two items or $30 for three items. There is a maximum of three pieces allowed at a time. For each appraisal, guests will receive one free admission and guided tour of the Lotz House Museum.

Thompson added, “In addition to learning the value of an item, there is a really great experience tied to learning the item’s history. Understanding where these pieces came from and what kind of people originally owned them is a truly rewarding experience. These events are a blast because you really never know what treasures will show up on our lawn.”

For more than ten years, Thompson and his mother Sue Armstrong Thompson have been featured at various Antique Appraisal Fairs throughout Tennessee and the southeast including events for the Tennessee Backroads and the Jack Daniels Distillery to name a few. They have teamed up again for this event to benefit the Lotz House Foundation, a non profit organization.

J.T. Thompson is certified in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and Advisory Opinions (USPAP) and trained as a certified Personal Property Appraiser. He is also a member of the International Association of R.S. Prussia Collectors and The Society of Inkwell Collectors.

Sue Armstrong Thompson is often called the “One Woman Road Show,” as she has conducted numerous antique appraisal fairs for many years. As an independent appraiser, she has been involved in the art and antiques appraisal business for more than 45 years. She has been retained to do appraisals throughout the U.S., England and Germany. In the past, she has also been an art instructor in the Western Pacific Islands of Guam and Saipan.

Her international work and travel have enabled her to understand art on a global level. She is a noted antiquarian who works as a consultant to individuals and corporations and lectures on the subject of collecting as investment.

She is avid collector of American furniture and decorative arts. In fact, she was instrumental in finding and collecting many of the furnishings and decorative arts you see at the Lotz House today.

She has also been involved in the restoration of many of Middle Tennessee’s historical homes including Mooreland, Longview, Belmont Mansion, Belle Meade Mansion, Clover Bottom, White Hall and of course, the Lotz House.

Tennessee Backroads Heritage, Inc. Executive Director Dianne Murray said, "Our organization always receives praise for hosting the antique appraisal day events and that praise must be shared with J. T. and Sue Thompson. They are, without question, the most gentle and knowledgeable "Roadshow Team" to engage the audience in sharing stories and memories when appraising a person's heirloom. We value their expertise and the way they embrace the audience. Folks always feel good at the end of the day and want to know when the next event will be held."

The Lotz House, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976, is located in the heart of downtown historic Franklin, Tennessee at “epicenter” of the Battle of Franklin which was a pivotal battle in the Civil War on November 30, 1864.

The house is open Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment. Admission charged (free for Antique Appraisal Fair participants). The Lotz House is located at 1111 Columbia Avenue. For more information, call 615-790-7190 or visit the website is www.lotzhouse.com.


Thomas Cartwright's Battle of Franklin Guide - May, 2010

We are happy to announce the much anticipated ...
Thomas Cartwright's Battle of Franklin Guide! It's a new 2-CD set that is an indispensible guide of the Battle of Franklin. Disc one is Thomas describing November 30, 1864, in only the way Thomas can. 

Carefully edited with surround sound, period music and battle sounds, when you listen to it, you will feel you have transported to the battle field. 

The second cd is a driving tour of all the significant site on the Franklin Battlefield. Pop it into your player and Thomas will give you turn my turn directions to each site. It makes a great gift. 

Perfect for Civil War buffs as well as experts, great for students and teachers, this set is not be missed. The price is $24.99 plus shipping. 
Please call the Lotz House gift shop to order.

Civil War Sesquicentennial Kick Off - November 12-13

Friday, November 12th - 10:00 - 4:00 pm

Saturday, November 13th - 8:30 am - 4:00 pm