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Franklin's "Carnton", the McGavock House and Confederate Cemetery

Discussion in 'Post Civil War History, The Reconstruction Period' started by James N., May 26, 2013.

  1. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Following the disastrous Battle of Franklin, Tenn., Nov. 30, 1864, the small community of 750 was left with some 9,500 casualties, including some 2,000 dead. Residences and other buildings in and around the town and battlefield had been turned into vast charnel-houses as field hospitals whose inmates often occupied for months during their recovery. One such was Carnton, the home of John and Carrie McGavock, which sat on the extreme eastern side of the battlefield fairly near a bend in the Harpeth River, across which Federal artillery from Ft. Granger had shelled the Confederate advance.

    Carrie McGavock had recognized Rev. Thomas Markham among the advancing troops, inviting him to use her home as a hospital for Gen. William Loring's Division. According to Confederate Col. W. D. Gale, in a letter to his wife,

    The wounded in hundreds were brought to [Carnton] during the battle and all the night after. Every room was filled, every bed had two poor bleeding fellows, every spare space, nick and corner, under the stairs, in the Hall, everywhere, but one room for her and family - and when the noble old house could hold no more, the yard was appropriated until the wounded and dead filled that.

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    According to the current house folder,

    In the early hours of the next morning, the bodies of Confederate Generals John Adams, Hiram Granbury, Patrick Cleburne, and Otho Strahl were laid out on the back porch as the men of the Army of Tennessee filed past and paid their last respects. The floors of the home are still stained with the blood of the men treated there.

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    Evident in the two upstairs west-facing bedrooms are places before the windows where makeshift operating tables once stood, the opposite corners of the rooms darkened with the blood from piles of amputated limbs stacked there. Bloody footprints attest to surgeons spending long hours shuffling in dripped blood as they amputated countless limbs throughout that night and the following day. Though the house has been otherwise beautifully restored, the floors have been left as mute witnesses to what happened here; unfortunately, photography is not allowed within the house itself.

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    Again, from the current house brochure:

    The Confederate Cemetery, created in 1866, is the final resting place of 1,481 men killed during the Battle of Franklin. When the cemetery was established, all graves were marked with wooden head and foot boards. As these began to deteriorate, money was raised and the stone markers seen today were erected in 1890.

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    Fortunately for posterity, although these low markers bear only numbers, they correspond to a journal displayed inside the house that documents the names of those who lie beneath them. ( Readers will certainly recognize Carnton and its cemetery as the setting of the recent best-selling novel Widow Of the South. )

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    In the final photo, notice Carnton House in the extreme right background; and an EARTH-MOVER on the extreme left! Happily, what was once the Franklin Country Club is well on its way to reclamation as Franklin Battlefield Park, with the former clubhouse as the new visitor center. Though currently making access to the house and its cemetery difficult, necessitating a round-about detour, the forecast is for this transformation to be complete by this fall and well before the 150th anniversary of the battle in 2014.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015

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  3. BelleBlackburn

    BelleBlackburn Sergeant

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    Great pictures! This is my stomping ground.
     
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  4. redbob

    redbob 1st Lieutenant

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    Along with the Carter House, a must see when in Franklin.
     
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  5. east tennessee roots

    east tennessee roots 1st Lieutenant

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    Great Photos !

    http://www.goddidntchoosesides.com/im-almost-home/

    http://www.goddidntchoosesides.com/carries-graveyard-book/
     
  6. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    As the Sesquicentennial of the battle is upon us this weekend, I'm resurrecting this thread, along with two others on Franklin and Fort Granger.
     
  7. 7th Mississippi Infantry

    7th Mississippi Infantry Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    Thanks for resurrecting the thread.
     
  8. BelleBlackburn

    BelleBlackburn Sergeant

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    Was anybody in the 1984 reenactment in Franklin? I took black and white pictures then.
     
  9. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    No, but I would LOVE to see photos of the reenactment, if you have a way to scan and post them!
     
  10. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw 2nd Lieutenant

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    Thanks for the pictures.
     
  11. BelleBlackburn

    BelleBlackburn Sergeant

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    The problem is the pictures are in black and white, which we thought would be nifty since it would look old timey (no instagram then) and you can't see much detail.
     
  12. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    A day late for the battle's anniversary, but here's a *bump* for this thread!
     
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  13. bdtex

    bdtex Brigadier General Moderator

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    I posted a video of the cemetery in this thread:

    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/hello-from-illinois.118397/#post-1212424

    Some of the trees in the cemetery have grown so big that some stones have been displaced. At the 0:34 mark in the video it shows one tree's base/roots wrapping around a stone marker.
     
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  14. Private Watkins

    Private Watkins 2nd Lieutenant

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    Very much appreciate the resurrection & bump... had not seen this thread before and had missed the anniversary; great photos & descriptions!

    I have read somewhere, can't recall where, that the house is reportedly quite the hot spot for paranormal activity... has anyone else read, heard, or experienced that...? I'm neither pro nor con on that type of stuff... just curious...
     
  15. War Horse

    War Horse Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2016 Member of the Year

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    Great stuff as usual James N. Thank you
     
  16. Private Watkins

    Private Watkins 2nd Lieutenant

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    Great book by the way... picked it up on my Nook earlier this week after seeing your reference to it and can't put it down.
     
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  17. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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  18. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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  19. mofederal

    mofederal First Sergeant

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    I was at the reenact in 1994. The one where there were two people who died. One Federal reenactor who had a heart attack and died of exposure, the other a sutler who got drunk, passed out and froze to death after the ball. If we had a birth we would have pretty much seen it all that weekend. It was **** cold that last Sat. night. We also had a hell of a fire to fight in our camp. A strange weekend.
     
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  20. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    I remember hearing about those incidents but had forgotten them and where they had occurred - happily, there were fewer such problems at our 2004 event I linked to above, although I was thrown out of a buggy and someone else had to be rushed to the hospital for some injury or medical-related incident. Welcome to the forums!
     
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  21. BelleBlackburn

    BelleBlackburn Sergeant

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    I have pictures from the Franklin reenactment from around 1985-86. I regret that they are in black and white. I thought it might look more authentic but color would have better. Were any of you in that?
     
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