The Battle of Franklin was the last great battle of the American Civil War. Fate and circumstance placed the small town of Franklin in the path of two great armies in late November 1864. On November 30, 1864, the Battle of Franklin raged across the fields south of town, scarring the landscape, claiming the lives of thousands and changing life on the Carnton and Carter farms forever.
Before daybreak Federal Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox woke the Carter family, took possession of the house and made the parlor his headquarters. The fighting began at 4 pm in the waning afternoon sunlight when 20,000 Confederates attacked a similar number of entrenched Federals. The Carter family, the Lotz family from across the street, and several Carter slaves took refuge in the north room of the basement as the battle raged around their home.
Fountain Branch Carter’s son Tod was serving as an aide to Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas Benton Smith during the Battle of Franklin and was mortally wounded in the fight. He was shot down leading a desperate charge just southwest of his childhood home. Tod was brought to the house where he died two days later.
VISIT THE CARTER HOUSE
The Carter House and Carnton Plantation are open daily for guided tours. Tours are offered throughout the day, and the last one begins at 4:00 pm. The guided tour at each site lasts approximately one hour, and we recommend spending an additional 30 to 60 minutes exploring the grounds and outbuildings. Use the map provided with the purchase of admission to explore the grounds and gardens of the historic houses before and after your tour. Original outbuildings are open at both locations. While we hope you have time to visit both historic houses, you may choose to visit just one.
We also offer specialty tours throughout the week: 90 minute Extended Tours at The Carter House and Carnton Plantation, a Battlefield Tour, and a Behind the Scenes Tour at Carnton. Please see our website, www.boft.org, for details on tour times.
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