Saturday, June 2, 2012

Carnton Plantation

The family's smokehouse
My parents came down to Franklin to visit before I start my new job.  Dad's a big Civil War buff, so we made sure to spend a few hours at the Carnton Plantation, a gorgeous estate that once hosted hundreds of injured Confederate soldiers as a field hospital.

The story of the place, and its McGavock family, is just remarkable.  There's so much soul to the place... and even on a beautiful day like we had, an eerie ambience.  There are still blood stains in the wood floors, which were covered in carpet during the Battle of Franklin.  Those five hours were the bloodiest of the Civil War, with almost 10,000 casualties.  Most of those occurred within the first hour.  No wonder the Carnton Plantation is known as the most haunted building in Tennessee.

Mom and Dad in the back of the house

I can't imagine what it was like to see a battle happen from your front porch, and what it was like for the McGavock family to see the wounded and dying come into their house.  Six Confederate Generals died as a result of that single battle.  It was pretty fascinating to tour the house, and the grounds.

The Confederate cemetery at the plantation is almost a moving sight.  While I feel the values of the Union better match my own, I can't forget that these were brothers and fathers and friends fighting one another, all Americans.  They believed in something, and they died for their cause, some very young.  To know that there are almost 1500 soldiers buried there is unreal.

The Carnton Plantation came highly recommended as a sight to see in Franklin, and it did not disappoint.  I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of the trip for Dad!  What a fascinating way to spend a gorgeous morning in Tennessee.


  1. Have you read Widow of the South? It took place at Carnton Plantation. My book club at Campbell read it, since the plantation was so close. I love Franklin, it's such a cute little town! As for the book, I actually didn't really care for it, I found it to be a bit boring, but it's always nice to read about a spot you are familiar with!

  2. Megan, they had the book there, even a special display about it! I was wondering if it was a good read... The tour guide said the book had actually generated more visitors for them at the plantation, so that's good! :)


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