Battle of Franklin Tour – You Are Here – Stop #7 – McGavock Confederate Cemetery
Stop #6 – Historic Carnton House | Stop #8 – The Eastern Flank
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. The McGavock’s maintained the cemetery until their respective deaths.
Today, about half of the Confederates buried at McGavock are forever unknown to the ages. Certainly not forgotten, but sadly unknown. There were 225 soldiers placed in an Unknown section. Not even their ‘State identity’ is even known.
Another 333 unknowns are spread out in respective State sections throughout the cemetery, their State identity known, but not their names. So, of the total of 1,481 Confederate soldiers buried here, 780 are identified positively. Another 143 graves have some sort of identification, genuine or otherwise.
Sleep Well Southern Boys
Half are unknown from 30 November.
Names that are lost, we no longer remember.
The Tennessee boys were all coming home.
Now buried in rows, hewn from ‘ole Carnton stone.
“We’ll make the fight,” said Cleburne to Govan.
“If today I’m to die, let me die like a man.”
‘Cross the valley of Harpeth, stride men on their steeds.
Giving orders to all, to those willing to bleed!
They march in the face of peril and danger.
With shells raining down, from the Blue guns of Granger.
Generals in Gray, like Adams and Strahl.
Leading their troops, and die where they fall.
The men came in columns, in oceans of waves.
Now resting in peace, in lone shallow graves.
Sleep well Southern boys, no longer in strife.
No greater love than to lay down one’s life.