Stop #1 – Winstead Hill / Harrison House
The opening action was centered on the knobs of Winstead and Breezy Hills, just two miles south of Franklin where the Confederate army spread out east-west on the morning of November 30, 1864. You can stand atop Winstead Hill in an observation post and location CSA commanding General John Bell Hood stood on the eve of the battle. The Harpeth Valley lays open before you.
Keywords: Winstead Hill, Breezy Hill, Harrison House, Harpeth Valley
Sponsor: Landmark Booksellers
Stop #2 – Cleburne Park / Cotton Gin Site
A large portion of the Confederate Army of Tennessee led by General Patrick Cleburne assaulted the Union position at the Carter cotton gin. Generals Adams and Cleburne would fall near the gin and the Federal works at this location. Recent preservation efforts have purchased the land – now a Dominos and strip mall – and it will be returned to battlefield condition with the plans for a restored cotton gin in the near future.
Keywords: Carter Cotton Gin, Patrick Cleburne, John Adams
Stop #3 – Carter House
One of the best -preserved locations on the original battlefield is the Carter grounds. It contains several acres of land upon which sit the original Carter house and several period buildings. The Carter Visitor’s Center is accessible as well. You can take a paid tour of the house and grounds if desired. This is a must-stop.
Keywords: Carter House, Fountain Branch Carter, Carter Garden, Tod Carter, House museum
Stop #4 – Lotz House
Just a few yards southeast of the Carter grounds is the beautifully restored Lotz House Museum. It was owned by Johann Albert Lotz who purchased the land from F.B. Carter in the 1850s. The house museum contains world-class antiques and furniture from the antebellum period. A tour of the home is available for a fee. Reilly’s Federal brigade was positioned here and help to stem the tide of the Confederate assault upon the cotton gin just south of the Lotz House.
Keywords: Lotz House, Johann Albert Lotz, Civilian, House museum
Sponsor: The Lotz House Museum
Stop #5 – Fort Granger / Harpeth River
Though its not the easiest to get to, a visit atop Fort Granger Park will yield a richer understanding of the lay of the battlefield from the Union position just north of town. The Federals built this fort in the Spring of 1863 and placed artillery pieces in it to rain down shells upon the Confederate right flank as it made its way across the Eastern Flank portion of the battlefield. From this position one can appreciate the importance of the Harpeth River that snakes around the town and the Nashville-Decatur railroad that runs roughly north-south through Franklin.
Keywords: Fort Granger, Eastern Flank, Harpeth River, Nashville-Decatur Railroad
Stop #6 – Historic Carnton House
Another must-stop site on the battlefield, the Carnton Plantation sits just a mile southeast of downtown Franklin and was a vital part of the Franklin story. After the battle, hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to Carnton which served as a field hospital. The bodies of four Confederate Generals were laid on the back porch. A tour of the home is a must to understand the battle from the civilian perspective. The McGavock family cemetery and the McGavock Confederate Cemetery are close by the home.
Keywords: Carnton Plantation, Field hospital, Carrie McGavock, House museum, Eastern Flank
Stop #7 – McGavock Confederate Cemetery
Make sure you save 30 minutes or so to walk the two acre grounds of the McGavock Confederate Cemetery at Carnton, the resting place of almost 1,500 Confederate soldiers who died at Franklin. It is the largest privately own Confederate cemetery in the United States. The bodies of the soldiers were reinterred in the grounds in the Spring of 1866. Roughly half of all the soldiers are identified and known by name and State they served.
Keywords: McGavock Confederate Cemetery, Casualties
Stop #8 – The Eastern Flank
Formerly a golf course, the Franklin preservation community acquired this property several years ago. It is over 100 acres and is in the process of being restored to battlefield condition. It lies just in front of the Carnton Plantation and flows up to the southeastern border of Leesburg Pike. This is the furthest most eastern flank that a large portion of the Confederate army crossed on its way to assaulting the Federal position near downtown Franklin.
Keywords: Eastern Flank, Carnton Plantation
Stop #9 – Rest Haven Cemetery
In 1855, eminent Franklin lawyer, John Marshall gave a seven-acre lot for a new cemetery to be located immediately west of the City Cemetery. Numerous Confederate soldiers are buried here. Capt. “Tod” Carter, who was mortally wounded during the Battle of Franklin is buried here. One will also fund several Union soldiers buried here too. Don’t miss the marker to the Unknown Franklin Civil War soldier who was reinterred here in 2009.
Keywords: Rest Haven Cemetery, Unknown soldier, Tod Carter, James P. Brownlow
Stop #10 – Downtown Franklin
There are numerous downtown spots one will want to see to round out the Franklin story experience. The best way to do that is to take a walking tour with Franklin On Foot. The civilian experience in Franklin during the Civil War was much more than the Battle of Franklin. From the time of Tennessee’s secession and entry into the War, through Union occupation, through the November 30, 1864 Battle and aftermath, Franklin’s citizens were forever scarred by their experiences.
Keywords: Downtown Franklin, Walking Tour, Franklin On Foot, Courthouse, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Civilians
Sponsor: Franklin On Foot