Flashback Friday - Carnton Plantation

We have traveled to many places and seen so many wonderful things over these last five years; but I've been only blogging for just about two years. I decided to start something called, "Flashback Friday", where I dig back in our pictures and bore, ahem, entertain you with some vacation stories and photos. Kind of like going over to the neighbor's house and seeing their slides from vacation, only dinner isn't included here. Sorry!

Back in November 2007 we passed through Nashville, TN. We did a lot of the touristy things, which I will leave for another time.

Today I want to share with you the Carnton Plantation.

This plantation is located in Franklin, TN, just outside of Nashville. It was built in 1826 by Randal McGavock, who had been the Mayor of Nashville at one time. Carnton was a prestigious plantation in the area. When Randal died, he left the house to his son, John. John married Carrie Elizabeth Winder and they had five children, three of whom died young.

Carrie Elizabeth Winder

photo courtesy of www.carnton.org

Back of Carnton Plantation

Back porch of plantation


This HUGE tree was next to the house. True, this is just a baby next to the tree, but you can still get the idea of just how large the tree really is!

The town of Franklin might not ring a bell with you, but it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles during the Civil War. The Battle of Franklin happened at 4 pm on November 30, 1864. The Confederate army quietly sneaked in the darkness of the night and attacked the Federal army that was entrenched around the southern edge of Franklin. A mere five hours later, over 9,000 solders were killed, wounded, captured or missing, the majority being Confederate soldiers.

The Carnton Plantation was very near to the battlefield and was used as a Confederate hospital.

"A staff officer later wrote that 'the wounded, in hundreds, were brought to [the house] during the battle, and all the night after. And when the noble old house could hold no more, the yard was appropriated until the wounded and dead filled that....'"

courtesy of www.carnton.org

The dead soldiers were buried right on the battlefield. When the war ended, the Union soldiers were dug up and buried in the National Cemetery in Nashville. The Confederate soldiers were left in the field.

Carrie McGavock had grown close to the soldiers during their care and stay at her house. She did not want them to stay in the field with unmarked graves. So she and her husband decided to bring the boys back home and bury the soldiers (almost 1,500) on their land. In 1886 they designated two acres of land for a Confederate Cemetery, which is the largest privately owned military cemetery in the nation.

One of the stories we were told on our tour of the plantation is that when a family found out that their son was killed in the war, and buried on the McGavock's land, the parent's were adamant that their son be buried in the dirt from his state. So they made the trip (I can't remember where the soldier was from), with a wagon full of red dirt, and when they arrived to the cemetery, they covered their son's grave with the dirt from "home".

The next three photos show the monuments for three different states, and the total casualties on each stone.

You may have heard about the book called, "The Widow of the South", by Robert Hicks.

This is a fiction novel, based on the events of the Battle of Franklin. Carrie McGavock IS the Widow of the South. It is a wonderful book. I listened to it on cd, and it was a marvelous adventure.

I have two videos for you to watch. The first one is quite interesting. It's a video of INSIDE the plantation and narrated by Robert Hicks, the author of The Widow of the South. You may notice that I did not have any photos of INSIDE the plantation because pictures were NOT allowed. So this video gives you a glimpse of inside.

This second video is just a quick one of the cemetery. It will probably bring tears to your eyes, as it did mine, because the music is moving, as are the pictures.

After a somber visit at the plantation, we stopped for a bite at the Loveless Cafe.

This little off-the-beaten-path is quite famous to both the locals AND the celebrity crowd. Here are just SOME of the pictures on the wall of people who have eaten here.

The inside is down-home and very informal. And the food? My mouth is just watering thinking about it. They start you off with home made biscuits. TO.DIE.FOR. They also give you two or three different kinds of home made jams. They have a wide range of food on their menu, but their specialty is fried chicken. That's what I had and it was delish!

Across the parking lot is the Loveless Market. You can buy a lot of treats and souvenirs there. If you are interested in their on-line catalog, click here.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour of Franklin, TN.
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