Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville Mayor Randal McGavock (1768-1843). Throughout the nineteenth century, it was frequently visited by those shaping Tennessee and American history, including President Andrew Jackson. Carnton became one of the premier farms in Williamson County.
On the afternoon of November 30, 1864, Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. The Confederate Army of Tennessee furiously assaulted the Federal army entrenched along the southern edge of Franklin. The resulting battle involved a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers.
Today, the McGavock Confederate Cemetery is a lasting memorial honoring those fallen soldiers and the Battle of Franklin. It is the largest privately owned military cemetery in the nation. The house is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm, and on Sunday from noon to 5pm.
We encourage you to take some time after the game and visit the house and gardens.