Many people are familiar with the name of the famous Carter Cotton Gin that stood within 150 yards south-east of the Carter family house in 1864. I thought it would be a good idea to ask David Fraley to give us a little more detail about the Cotton Gin.
What size was it?
It measured roughly 36’ by 36’ and was 2.5 stories high but we’re not sure who built it.
Was it completely destroyed during the Battle of Franklin (30 November 1864)?
It was not completely destroyed during the battle. Some weather boarding was removed, as were other portions of it, but largely, it remained intact. Obviously, the bullet damage was substantial, but apparently there was no major structural damage.
Was a new version built after the war?
“Lint sheds” were built on to either flank of the structure, but otherwise, I believe it remained largely the same.
Are there any extant pieces that still remain from the original Cotton Gin?
Yes. A few poplar beams remain, and they can be seen in the Carter House visitor’s center.
How important was the action that centered around the Cotton Gin during the Battle of Franklin?
It was vital. Had that portion of the Federal line not held, I believe it would have been a dramatically different battle. The 104th O.V.I., and the units supporting it, deserve alot of credit for holding against the likes of General Cleburne’s division.