This month I toured the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee for my 30 minutes project. This historic plantation is located only a few miles away from my parents’ home, and they suggested we all check it out while I was visiting them. It was such a wonderful tour and our tour guide was a genealogist who was so passionate about the McGavock family’s important role in the Battle of Franklin. In late November 1864, the Union and Confederate troops met by chance in the small town of Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville, and engaged in the bloodiest 5 hour battle of the entire Civil War. Over 10,000 troops died that day, and the amazingly generous McGavock Family offered the use of their plantation as a makeshift hospital for all the hundreds of wounded soldiers left to die on the battlefield.
Throughout the short tour, we were led around the different rooms of the plantation home, where there were actual bloodstains left on the hardwood floors, remnants of the Confederate soldiers who were squeezed inside every square inch of the warm home. (These bloodstained floors can be seen in the photo below featuring the makeshift surgery table placed on two sawhorses). The lady of the house, Carrie McGavock, tenderly cared for each and every soldier, trying to make them all as comfortable as possible, and took the time to help write letters to their loved ones to say their final goodbyes. The two small children who lived there brought tea and food to the soldiers who were well enough to eat and drink, and lived amongst these hundreds of soldiers for at least 7 months until they were all buried or well enough to travel home. Thousands of the fallen Confederate soldiers were buried in a cemetery adjacent to the McGavock family plot, organized in groups of soldiers from the same states. Carrie McGavock wrote down in a journal which plot each identified soldier was buried in, and was able to show some of the soldiers’ families to their sons’ burial place when they would come to visit.
As most of you know, I am a huge history buff, and I just love visiting places that really bring history to life. Touring this family’s home and the graveyard they altruistically allowed on their land had me choking back tears. One last thing: my mom tells me that locals often talk about how haunted this land is. There have been so many ghost sightings that there’s even a ghost tour in tiny Franklin, TN! In two of my photos towards the bottom, you’ll notice some green flare. Is this from the sun, or from the spirits that have stuck around Carnton Plantation? 🙂
Psst! Now that you’ve finished exploring The Carnton Plantation, go check out the next photographer in our group’s take on the “30 minutes” project! She’s an awesome photographer from Florida: Sharleen N Stuart