By the time the Spring of 1866 arrived the condition of the graves and markers of the fallen Franklin Confederate were in bad condition. Many of the wooden markers were beginning to be hard to read and some had been used as firewood unfortunately. The identities, names and stories of these brave men were in danger.
The McGavocks of Carnton donated two acres of their property to be used as a permanent resting place for the soldiers. Citizens of Franklin began raising funds to exhume and re-bury nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers, from where they lay on the field to the quiet field just northwest of the Carnton house. Enough money was raised to get started and a citizen named George Cuppett was placed in charge of the re-burial operation. He was paid $5.00 for each soldier. The work was “done in order to have removed from fields exposed to the plow-share, the remains of all those who were buried,” according to Col. John McGavock (quoted in Jacobson: McGavock, p. 24-25).
George was assisted by his brother, Marcellus, and two others. The entire operation took ten weeks and was completed in June 1866. Sadly, Marcellus, just 25 years old, fell ill during the process and died. He is buried at the head of the Texas section in the cemetery today. George Cuppett wrote, “My hole (sic) heart is with the brave & noble Confederate dead who fell whilst battling for their writes (sic) and Libertys (sic).” (Jacobson: McGavock, p. 25)
Soldiers from every Southern State in the Confederacy, except Virgina, are represented in the cemetery. Wooden headboards with the soldier’s personal identification were installed, as well as footboards in 1867.
Source: excerpted from the Wikipedia article (authored by Tellinghistory, the owner of this blog site)
Photo courtesy of the Carnton Foundation