Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Caught in the Middle
—Hood's Campaign —
In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood at Atlanta, Hood led the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman’s supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman’s “March to the Sea,” Hood moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield, detached from Sherman’s army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin. The bloodbath here on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas’s strong defenses. Hood’s campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16.
Randal McGavock, a prominent Nashville resident and a friend of Andrew Jackson, built Carnton in 1826. After McGavock’s death in 1843, his son John McGavock inherited the property and soon improved the house. Late on the afternoon of November 30, 1864, John McGavock, his wife, Carrie, and their two young children were caught up in one of the monumental conflicts of the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin. The McGavocks were trapped between almost 40,000 Confederate and Federal soldiers. At 4 P.M., the Confederate Army of Tennessee launched a massive frontal assault, at least as large as Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, and waves of soldiers smashed into
Carnton became a field hospital for Confederate Gen. William W. Loring’s division. By the middle of the night 300 suffering men jammed the house while hundreds of others spilled across the lawn and into outbuildings. Carrie McGavock’s sheets towels, tablecloths, and John McGavock’s shirts were torn up for bandages. Wounded men bled and died on the floors and under the stairs. By dawn, the bodies of four dead Confederate generals were laid out on the back porch: Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl.
In 1866, John and Carrie McGavock established what became known as the McGavock Confederate Cemetery nearby and reburied the remains of 1,481 Southern soldiers from their temporary graves south of town. The McGavocks maintained the cemetery until their own deaths in 1893 and 1905, respectively.
Carnton, back porch where the generals’ bodies were laid Courtesy Carnton Plantation
John McGavock Courtesy Carnton Plantation
Carrie McGavock Courtesy Carnton Plantation
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 54.204′ N, 86° 51.5′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker can be reached from Carnton Lane 0.6 miles south of Brandon Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Maj. Gen. William W. Loring's Division (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); McGavock Family Cemetery (about 500 feet away); The Final Campaign 1864 (about 600 feet away); The Battle of Franklin (about 600 feet away); Hood's Retreat (about 600 feet away); Standing at the Crossroads 1861 (about 600 feet away); Becoming the Front Line 1862 (about 600 feet away); A Crucial War Zone 1863 (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Also see . . . Carnton Plantation & Battlefield. Battle of Franklin Trust (Submitted on October 6, 2013.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 5, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 482 times since then and 50 times this year. Last updated on May 12, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 5, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. 4. submitted on July 4, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.