Carrie McGavock’s labor of love . . . she is blessed!

George Cuppett wrote the names and information related to the identity of each soldier in the McGavock cemetery book (Jacobson: McGavock, pp. 39-44). After he finished the re-burials in mid 1866 he turned over the care of the book, and the dead, to the McGavock’s. Wood headboards were replaced with granite markers in 1896 by the John McEweb Bivouac veterans organization. The ongoing responsibility of maintaining the cemetery would fall on to the able and compassionate hands of Carrie McGavock, a labor of love she shouldered until her death in 1905. The original book is on display upstairs in Carnton.

It would fall to the McGavock’s to care for the nearly 1,500 Confederate dead for the remainder of their lives. John died in 1893 and Carrie in 1905. Carrie’s shepherding of the fallen of Franklin lasted 41 years. Rev. John W. Hanner was quoted in The Confederate Veteran magazine praying, mentioning about Carrie in 1905 (CV 30, p. 448):

We thank thee for the . . . feeble knees she lifted up, for the many hearts she comforted, the needy ones she supplied, the sick she ministered unto, and the boys she found in abject want and mothered and reared into worthy manhood. In the last day they will rise up and call her blessed. Today she is not, because thou hast taken her; and we are left to sorrow for the Good Samaritan of Williamson County, a name richly merited by her. (Quoted in Jacobson:McGavock, p. 37)

Time has not been favorable to the identities of the soldiers though. Today 780 Confederate soldiers’ identities are positively identified, leaving some 558 as officially listed as unknown.

Today, the McGavock Confederate Cemetery is the largest privately owned-maintained military cemetery in the United States. The Franklin Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy have maintained the cemetery now since 1905.

Source: excerpted from the Wikipedia article (authored by Tellinghistory, the owner of this blog site)

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