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Carnton, Franklin

4.5
#2 of 23 in Things to do in Franklin
Historic Site Tourist Spot
Built as a typical plantation house, then transformed into an army hospital, Carnton is now a museum for Civil War enthusiasts. The museum is divided into three exhibits: the Battle of Franklin Trust, dedicated to the five bloodiest hours of the war; the Carter House, a brick home where one of the cruelest battles took place; and Carnton Plantation, property donated by the McGavock family as a memorial to the deceased. A nearby cemetery holds the graves of hundreds of soldiers. The Carter House is a setting in Robert Hicks’s novel "The Widow of the South." Put Carnton at the forefront of your travel plans using our Franklin vacation generator.
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Reviews
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1,229 reviews
Google
4.4
  • Truly an amazing story of the McGavock family and the care they took of the wounded soldiers and they history the wrote down that would live on to tell the story of the Battle of Franklin in their own...  more »
  • I've been here before a long time ago, but my friend hadn't, so I decided to go in again. We had a wonderful guide. If you are interested in history, I strongly recommend this place. The only complain...  more »
  • Carnton Plantation, held in private trust, sits adjacent to Eastern Flank Park, a city-owned public park, and therefore views surrounding the home remain almost as bucolic as they did at the time of t...  more »
Google
  • We visited the Franklin Battlefield. The Carnton house tour covered one of the last large battles of the civil war. The story was told from the prospective of the plantation and its family's selfless service to the south and its soldiers. The house tour takes 1 hour and about 30 mins to see the grounds. We recommend this as a quick and informative visit for those interested in the history of middle Tennessee.
  • Our tour guide Liz was very knowledgeable. Excellent job. I will definitely recommend the tour to all who are interested
  • The tour of Carnton Plantation gives a window into the opulent lifestyle of a wealthy slave holder in 1860. The decoration and furnishings of the building were researched and recreated with fidelity. The tour focuses on the battle of Franklin and the Carnton family's response to the storm that engulfed their lives. Modern southern culture was clearly evidenced by omissions in the narrative that was carefully crafted. Our knowledgeable guide rarely mentioned slavery. Her one reference to the institution was to say that the plantation owner had sent the Carnton slaves to Louisiana 'for their safety'. Much praise was directed on Carrie, the matron at Carnton, for her brave and unselfish support for the injured and slain confederate soldiers. There are lessons in the story of the death throes of a cruel, unsustainable, economic system that are relevant in 2014.
  • Interesting history. It's kind of cool to see what happened during the Civil War so close to home
  • We didn't arrive on time for the last tour. We were able to go through the museum and learn the history of the plantation, which helped us as we toured the outside grounds on our own. It was a beautiful area with a sad history.

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Where to stay in Franklin

With its brick buildings and small-town charm, the downtown area remains Franklin's biggest draw, but accommodation options here are limited to just a couple inns and bed and breakfasts. You will, however, find many national-chain hotels in the commercial district around where Murfreesboro Road meets Interstate 65. As an alternative, consider staying on a working farm just outside the town center for a more rustic experience.
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