Weekends are an excellent time to tour Carnton Plantation.
Hundreds of men were treated at Carnton, the largest Confederate field hospital during the November 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin, and blood from the wounded soldiers still stains the floors. The bodies of four of the six Confederate generals killed in the battle were gathered from the battlefield and transported to the back porch of Carnton to lie in state.
Margie Thessin, Carnton Interim Executive Director, says, “If you’ve never visited Carnton, now is a great opportunity to see and hear about this amazing piece of American history. Our excellent tour guides will make it all come alive for you as you tour the elegantly restored house.”
The mid-nineteenth century owners of the home, John and Carrie McGavock donated two acres of their land adjacent to their family cemetery as a burial ground for 1,491 of the Confederate soldiers killed in the battle. Today the Carnton cemetery exists as the largest private Confederate cemetery in the United States.
Carnton is the home of The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks, the New York Times bestselling novel, which centers on the life of Carrie McGavock and her role in the Battle of Franklin and the aftermath. Carnton is also part of the new Tennessee Civil War Trails program which directs visitors to important Battle of Franklin and Civil War sites.
All Tennessee residents including adults, seniors and children, are eligible for the two for one discount on Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. with a valid Tennessee ID. Regular price of admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for seniors, and $5.00 for children ages six to twelve. Children under five are free.
Top left photo by Eric Jacobson.