Welcome to our adventures. I try as best as I can to document the happenings here in our family - everything from the shenanigans to the spiritual, from the kid to the kitchen, from the cat to the catastrophes. We believe that adventure can be found in everything we do...even in the mundane tasks of the day. When we set our minds on things above in gratitude to God, we find the strength to approach life with a sense of purpose & adventure. The adventure may not always be what we have planned...but isn't that what adventure is all about?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Today's Civil War tour took us to the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, which is about a 30 minute drive west from Murfreesboro. We really didn't intend to visit there, but after driving around the downtown area for awhile without stopping anywhere, we decided to follow our trusty Rand-McNally map and head out to the plantation. It was definitely worth the trip.

To get to the plantation, you have to drive thru a beautiful residential area with canopied streets and big brick southern mansions. The road (actually, it's a lane - Carnton Lane) eventually splits in two. To the right, is an unpaved road that goes right thru the middle of the plantation's field and takes you to the back of the house and to the visitor's center. To the left, is a private cemetery where 1,481 Confederate soldiers are buried - many of those who lost their lives in the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864.

After taking a few photos of the cemetery entrance, we headed up to the plantation house and checked out the visitor's center. Since the last tour of the house had started before we got there, we decided to walk around the outside of the house and surrounding area, which ended up being quite a nice little self-guided tour.

The house itself looks exactly how you see them in the movies...check out Kristin's pics to get the idea...antebellum style with porches on the 1st and 2nd levels at the back of the house, a nice garden to one side of the house, the little walkway leading up to the pillared front porch at the entrance, and several detached buildings on the other side of the house. The plantation is one of the most intact Civil War sites in Tennessee.

The garden to one side of the house was a mixture of vegetable plants, flowers, and small shrubs -- many of the plants were pre-1864 so they've been a part of history. And the garden is well taken care of -- in fact, there were three workmen that were busy trimming the trellis that had a grape vine growing on it.

On the other side of the house were the smaller buildings that were part of everyday life on a plantation. Closest to the house was the Smokehouse, which is where the meat was kept and preserved but it was more than that. It was a symbol of Southern identity to Southerners and outsiders alike.

Next was the small building which housed the slaves. Since Carnton was one of the county's largest plantations at that time, there were several such buildings on the farm, but only the one we saw today still remains. Just a small two-story brick building with a few windows, with two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. I can only imagine what the living conditions must have been like during that time.

Further down the small hillside from here was the Spring House, which was a source of fresh water and a place to preserve dairy and other food products, such as apples, peaches and vegetables. It's amazing to know that back then, people found ways to preserve food naturally - no preservatives, no additives, nothing!

As we stopped for a short rest and sat down on the back porch, I read more about the Battle of Franklin. It was obvious how important this plantation was as it became an impromptu field hospital for the Confederate wounded and dying. In fact, in the early hours of the morning after the battle, the bodies of four Confederate generals - John Adams, Hiram Granbury, Patrick Cleburne, and Otho Strahl - were laid out on the back porch as the men of the Army of Tennessee filed past and paid their last respects.

One last piece of plantation trivia: A farm was called a plantation only if the owner had more than 20 slaves. I never knew that until today...

I'd write more, but as usual, it's later than late and we have another big day ahead of us tomorrow. A few tours of some more "modern" houses with the realtor, followed by a short meeting with one of the staff at the World Outreach Church, then up to Nashville to pick up Eva who is arriving in town a few days in advance of Bonni and Michael (who arrive Friday!)...

Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I can say that this trip has been a great deal of fun...and more importantly, it's been a restful and peaceful one as well!


tapwaterdad said...


Edward said...

I was born and raised in Franklin and lived there until 1970. My sister returned there for college and never left. In fact, her home was just off Carnton Lane. It warms my heart that Franklin is now what seems like the center of the universe when in the 1960's, it was a very, very small town. Thanks for sharing your good thoughts about Franklin. You helped to show that the Southern charm that so many make fun of is very real. I long for that where I now live. Come back soon.