Randal McGavock (d. 1843) was a prominent local politician, even serving as Mayor of Nashville for a one-year term in 1824. Randal knew President James K. Polk and was good friends with President Andrew Jackson who stayed in the McGavock home on more than one occasion. Jackson gave a rocking chair to the McGavocks and it is one of the several original artifacts or pieces of furniture one can see when touring the home today.
The home was ready for the McGavock family to permanently occupy in the late 1820s. At the time it was 1400 acres of which 500 acres was used for farming. McGavock – in the 1830s – had 250 hogs, cattle and sheep.
Randal died in 1843 leaving his property to two sons, James and John (1815 – 1893). John (pictured right) took possession of the Carnton property. He continued to farm it until his death in 1893. John married Carrie Winder (1829 – 1905), who is famously known as the “Widow of the South” based on Robert Hicks’s novel.
Randal started renovating the home in the late 1840s preferring a Greek revival style to the Federal style it was birthed from. Thus, he added a two-story Greek revival portico and two dormers in the attic. In the 1850s McGavock added a two-story porch on to the rear of the home. It was on this porch that four Confederate Generals’ bodies – Patrick Cleburne, John Adams (Confederate Army officer), Otho F. Strahl and Hiram B. Granbury – were laid out for a few hours of the Battle of Franklin (November 30, 1864).
In December 1848 John married his cousin Carrie Winder of Ducros Plantation House in Thibaudaux, Louisiana. The couple had five children but only two would survive past 1864. McGavock sent his slaves to Alabama in 1862 so in 1864 there were no McGavock slaves present.
Source: excerpted from the Wikipedia article (authored by Tellinghistory, the owner of this blog site)
The famous back porch were the four Confederate Generals were laid out after the Battle of Franklin, the evening of November 30, 1864.