We left Edmonton at 11:00am, flew to Seattle, then to LA and then through the night to Nashville, TN in order to make it to the Landry Academy in Franklin at 8:00am. It was a LONG day! Our room wouldn’t be ready until after noon. So we grabbed some breakfast, Chris went off to his convention and I jumped in the rental car (the very nice upgraded to a Lincoln rental car) and went to do some sightseeing to stay awake.
I was in the South, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone by visiting a plantation that was also a famous Civil War battlefield: Carnton Plantation.
To be more accurate, Carnton wasn’t actually the battlefield but was used as a field hospital for the Battle of Franklin, known as the “bloodiest five hours of the Civil War”. There were about 8,000 casualties on both sides when the battle was done. There are still blood stains on the floors of the house…
the family’s cemetary
the cemetery for the slaves
inside the slaves’ quarters
After leaving Carnton, I drove into Franklin to tour the Carter and Lotz Houses. These houses were in the heart of the Battle of Franklin. The families huddled in the cellar while the battle raged above them, killing Tod Carter.
The houses and outbuildings still bear the bullet holes and cannon damage. Thousands upon thousands of cannonballs and musket balls have been excavated from the site. (I just had to buy one.) Reports are that 1500 men died or were wounded in the small space of the backyard of the Carter House and that they were packed in so tightly, that the bodies didn’t even fall to the ground but remained standing, propped up against one another where they stood!
I also toured the Lotz House across the street. It was full of stunning antiques and private collections!
All of the tours and tour guides were amazing and gifted storytellers! I had no trouble at all staying awake and we so excited that I drove Chris back out there to just see them after dinner…
I kind of feel bad about how excited I was about such a tragic and horrible moment in American history. But it is that kind of passion that keeps American history alive and real even today!