Friday, March 11, 2011

Historic Franklin

As my first official act of Spring Break 2011, I decided to go out to Franklin and take some pictures of the areas that were critical during the Battle of Franklin.  For a short history lesson, the Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 as a part of the Franklin-Nashville campaign and proved to be one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War in which six Confederate generals, 7,500 Confederate soldiers and 2,500 Federal troops lost their lives.  Both sides endured tragic losses, plantation homes became field hospitals while regular citizens were forced to witness this terrible struggle.  These sites which played host to such incredible events are now on the Historic Registry to pay homage to those who fought and gave their lives for a cause in which they so fervently believed. 

The Carter House lay right in the midst of the fighting.  The Carter family sought refuge in the cellar during the battle while bullet holes in the home's outer walls are still visible today.  The terror and fear that must have plagued the family as they listened, not knowing the outcome and wondering if the house, and they, would survive, must have been paralizing.

The Lotz House, not far from the Carter House, also endured the hand-to-hand combat of the Battle of Franklin.  Built by a German immigrant by the name of Johann Albert Lotz, it is a true testament to the skills and talents of its owner who built most of the home himself.  It is said that a canon ball came through the roof, through a second floor bedroom, down into the first floor and rolled leaving a burn mark in its wake which can still be seen today. 

Carnton Platation is one of my favorite historic sites to visit in Franklin for it was witness to some of the best and worst of humanity.  Through the front doors of this magestic home, Carrie McGavock and her family watched as the battle raged on in the yards surrounding the house.  Converted into a field hospital after the fighting ended, four Confederate Generals lay dead on the back porch.  The floors of this noble home still show the blood stains from the many who died, were operated on and bled profusley on its wooden floors.  Men had limbs amputated without anesthesia while others screamed in agony from their wounds inflicted during battle.  Doctors were in short supply so the family had to tend to the weak and dying.  The moans and cries that came from the house and fields surrounding it can still be felt today as you look out over what was once one of the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War.

After the trauma of the battle subsided and those who survived moved on, it was to those who did not survive that needed to be tended.  John McGavock set aside two acres of land in which the Confederate dead would be buried.  Carrie McGavock spent many agonizing months identifying the dead (those that could be identified) and notifying their families.  As families were told of their loss some decided to retrieve their loved one's bodies while others brought their own markers to the McGavock Cemetery and let their fallen heros remain interred and rest in peace in the ground where they died. There are approximately 1,500 Confederate soldiers buried in the McGavock Cemetery which remains today the largest, privately owned military cementery in the nation.

The McGavock family is also buried in the cemetery closest to the house.

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  1. Great pictures!!!!!!!! This made me wonder if you've read widow of the south? It's based on the story of carrie mcgavock. I haven't yet, but I keep meaning to! Anyways, I pulled out my copy for you. My mom said it's really good!

  2. I remember touring the Carter house when I was younger and being amazed that there was still a bullet stuck in one of the bullet holes on the porch.

    Great photos Ruth. Did you make it out the barn by sunrise? ;)

    So nice meeting you last night, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your spring break!