Carnton - Franklin, Tennessee
Carnton - Franklin, Tennessee

Photo Credit: Visit Franklin
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Carnton Plantation

Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville mayor Randal McGavock. Throughout the nineteenth century it was frequently visited by those shaping Tennessee and American history, including President Andrew Jackson.

Carnton grew to become one of the premier farms in Williamson County. Randal McGavock’s son John inherited the farm upon his father’s death in 1843.

The Battle of Franklin

Beginning at 4 p.m. on November 30, 1864, the Civil War came to Carnton. The Confederate Army of Tennessee fought the Federal army along the southern edge of Franklin. The resulting battle, which took place in the dark and at close quarters, was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War. The Battle of Franklin lasted only five hours but 9,500 soldiers (nearly 7,000 were Confederate troops) were killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for wounded and dying Confederate soldiers. Several floors are still stained with the blood of the men who were treated at Carnton.

In early 1866, John and Carrie McGavock designated two acres of land adjacent to their family cemetery as a final burial place for the 1,480 Confederate soldiers killed during the battle. The cemetery, became know as the McGavock Confederate Cemetery.

Carnton Today

The McGavock family owned Carnton until 1911. In 1973, Carnton was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1977 the house and ten acres were donated to the Carnton Association, Inc. by Dr. and Mrs. W. D. Sugg. By that time the house had suffered from years of neglect and disrepair and since then the Association has been vital in restoring and maintaining the site through tours, gift shop sales, membership, special events, and generous donations.

The Battle of Franklin Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, manages both Carnton and Carter House - two historic sites that witnessed the 1864 Battle of Franklin. For more info:

Carnton Photo Gallery

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Carnton Tours, Contact Info and Location Map

Several types of tours, ranging from 60 to 90 minutes of the house, grounds, outbuildings, family cemetery, and gardens are offered.

For more information including tickets, see:

Phone: 615.794.0903

1345 Eastern Flank Circle
Franklin, Tennessee 37064 (click to view a map)
More info about Carnton and similar sites.
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