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Dark Destinations > Locations - C > Carnton Plantation

Carnton Plantation Other destinations within a
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Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Historical Locations > The Civil War
Paranormal Hot Spots > Haunted Houses
Paranormal Hot Spots > Tours/Ghost Walks
Added By: TheCabinet
Added On: June 01, 2007 - 06:30 PM UTC
Last Modified: July 10, 2007 - 09:49 PM UTC
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1345 Carnton Ln, Franklin, TN 37064, USA (Franklin, Tennessee)
The Carnton Plantation
Then-Nashville mayor Randal McGavock built the house on this property in 1826.  The property had a sad early history as three children born to McGavock's son, John, and wife Carrie, died at an early age after prolonged illnesses.  Carrie McGavock was said to have slipped into a heavy depression over the losses.  At the time, she had no idea that things were going to get much, much worse.

The Battle of Franklin
On November 30, 1864, the Civil War arrived in Franklin, Tennessee.  The Battle of Franklin was one of the few night battles of the war and was also the beginning of the end for the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  As the battle raged nearby, the dead and wounded were brought to Carnton Plantation.  The family did their best to help and opened their house to wounded soldiers from both sides.  The beds quickly filled up and soon so did the floors.  As the battle continue to rage, the house and all of the outbuildings were so full of wounded soldiers, that others would be placed on the property grounds outside the house.  Mrs. McGavock supplied old linens when the doctors ran out of bandages, but soon had to supply her towels, napkins, sheets, tablecloths, clothes and even her own undergarments to keep up with the amount of wounded soldiers brought in.

A bedroom upstairs was converted into a makeshift surgery room and a stack of amputated limbs began to fill the yard outside.  It is said that the bodies of five Confederate Generals were placed on the porch outside, as they awaited burial.  Today, there are red stains throughout the house that are believed to be the stains of blood of wounded and/or dying soldiers.

In 1866, two years after the devastating battle, the McGavock's donated two acres of their plantation as a cemetery for the Confederate soldiers that lost their life.  They raised money and actively participated in the exhumation and re-interment of nearly 1,500 Confederate troops that had been buried where they died on the battlefield.  Today, the cemetery is still on the Plantation's ground and is known as the McGavock Confederate Cemetery.  After the war was over, the McGavock family continued to live on the plantation until 1911.  Carrie McGavock's efforts to treat the soldiers during the battle, subsequent mourning for those that their lives, and efforts to see to their proper burial earned her the nickname of "The Widow of the South".  Her story was the basis for the historical fictional novel, The Widow of the South, by author Robert Hicks that was published in 2005.

The Ghosts of the Past
The Carnton Foundation saved the house and property from years of neglect and disrepair in 1978.  They restored the house and reopened it to the general public as a museum, which it remains today.  Some of the ghosts of the past are said to still haunt the grounds.  Ghosts of a woman, children, soldiers and even a Confederate General (who is said to pace about the porch) have been reported.  Similarly, the sounds of horses charging are heard over an empty field, as well as ghostly moans and cries.  A candlelight ghost tour is offered on occasion at night.  For information on this and all general information regarding the Plantation, please visit the site below.
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Related Sites
The Historic Carnton Plantation
The official site of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. The house has been called the "most haunted building in Tennessee" and even has its own ghost tour.
Franklin on Foot
The official site of Franklin on Foot. The company offers walking tours of Franklin, Tennessee. Tours include Haunted Franklin and Ghosts and Gore Tour.
Prairie Ghosts: The Carnton Mansion
Prairie Ghosts' entry for the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. The site served as a make-shift hospital in the Civil War and is said to be haunted ever since.
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Anchuca Mansion
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See Also on
Blog: Battle of Franklin (Part 2/2): Carnton Plantation (12/01/08)
Available from
Carnton Plantation Ghost Stories: True Tales of the Unexplained From Tennessee's Most Haunted Civil War House
Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War: Authentic Accounts of the Strange and Unexplained
Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground: Authentic Accounts of Restless Spirits, Haunted Honky Tonks, and Eerie Events in Tennessee
Ghosts of War: Restless Spirits of Soldiers, Spies, And Saboteurs
Haunted Places in the American South
Haunted Houses: Chilling Tales from 24 American Homes, Third Edition
Haunted Houses U.S.A.
Hattie's Carnton: Plantation Life in the Generation of the Civil War
The Widow of the South
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Carnton Plantation Entrance
The entrance to the allegedly haunted Carnton Plantation of Franklin, Tennessee in June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
The Mansion on Carnton Plantation
The mansion on the property of Carnton Plantation in June 2007. Allegedly hosts various ghosts.
From: TheCabinet
Another Angle of Mansion on Carnton Plantation
June 2007 angle of mansion on Carnton Plantation. The porch is haunted by a Confederate General.
From: TheCabinet
Marker for Confederate Cemetery
A historical marker at the Confederate Cemetery at the Carnton Plantation in June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

There are 2 comments in the database.  
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Shadowman Sep 21 2008, 11:43 PM UTC
Yes great place if you go in afternoon, I have several evps taken from cemetery and carnton grounds around the same time as the battle of Franklin began
PRMT CelticBurnZ Apr 27 2008, 01:15 AM UTC
A must visit. Ive personally witnessed the sounds of the battle there, horses, soldiers running, gun and cannon fire, and witnessed along with a local police officer a soldier on the back balcony, the cemetery behind the mansion has alot of activity aswell.
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