“The largest privately-owned military cemetery in the country”
Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville mayor Randal McGavock (1768-1843). Throughout the nineteenth century it was frequently visited by those shaping Tennessee and American history, including President Andrew Jackson. Carnton grew to become one of the premier farms in Williamson County, Tennessee. Randal McGavock’s son John (1815-1893) inherited the farm upon his father’s death. John McGavock married Carrie Elizabeth Winder (1829-1905) in December 1848 and they had five children during the subsequent years, three of whom died at young ages - Martha (1849-1862), Mary Elizabeth (1851-1858), and John Randal (1854). The surviving children, Winder (1857-1907) and Hattie (1855-1932), are pictured (left) circa 1865. Beginning at 4 p.m. on November 30, 1864, Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. Everything the McGavock family ever knew was forever changed. The Confederate Army of Tennessee furiously assaulted the Federal army entrenched along the southern edge of Franklin. The resulting battle, believed to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War, involved a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers
I happen to be in Hurricane Mills the day before, decided to see Franklin, Tenn., when I happened upon a sign that said "Historic Carnton Plantation". It opens at noon on Sunday, I got there at 10 am and noticed a lot of battle field signs so I walked the grounds that appeared to be an old golf course, which it was turned into before they bought it back and turned it into a Civil War Battlefield.
I look at Road Trippers and read a bit about this place. I bought a ticket for $30, which included a tour of " The Carter House" and another home in the area during the war.
It's a place you do not want to miss. It's simple amazing when it comes to Historic Civil War tours. They take you into the home where you see where the house was used as a Plantation and had slaves during and before the war.
What's amazing is the fact it has some original items inside and the blood stains on the floors because every room had wounded or dead soldiers inside including a room where the surgeons would amputate limbs and there's even a stain on the floor where the surgeon stood and the ring on the floor where the can of formaldehyde was.
This place is a Must See. The price of $30.00 is not bad at all considering what you get, plus the money goes to them buying land that is so important to this historic place of Battle.
Couldn't believe that where do many people died during this Battle of Franklin they had built a golf course ( they bought back) and have a Dominos Pizza on the land where the line was where the confide rates attacked the Union. So $30.00 is well worth it in so many ways..
You'll love this place and Carter House.
Great tour! You can walk the battlefield, and the gardens. Inside you can see the blood stains from the wounded soldiers. Very moving.
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Historic Carnton Plantation
- Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 am - 5:00 pm
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