The Carter House was the center of the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War. There is a lot of history here and lots to see. I want to start by saying this was one of the least child friendly tours we were on. We just walked in the door and were told if our kids weren’t quite we’d have to leave the tour, no refunds….. Our kids are good kids we keep in ‘under control’ and my son listens and normally has great questions to ask. That being said they are ages 1, 3, 5 and 6 and there were another set of kids on the tour as well, looked about 7 and 9. This also happened to be the day my 1 year old got very vocal…. Yeah. Read on!
So we got to the Carter House, the parking lot as you later find out is where the slave quarters used to be.
Once you check in there is a museum in the check in building or you can go roam the grounds until your tour begins. You walk out the back of the building and you are right in the Franklin Battlefield.
They do offer battlefield tours we chose just a house our and read the signs on the battle field.
The Carter Family had 3 sons in the war.
The loss associated with the Battle of Franklin was staggering. **ATTENTION WEAK STOMACHS SKIP TO THE PICTURE** We were told at one point you would walk outside and your feet would never touch the ground it would just walk on all bodies.
The grounds and the house are beautiful but what a story it has to tell. If you believe in ghosts or not this area gives you chills just thinking about all the lives lost where you are standing.
The house was owned and built by Fountain Branch Carter and his wife Mary Armistead Atkinson. It started as just 19 acres and at its peak was 288 acres! My kiddos were excited for the tour (they always are!)
They have 2 canon displays on the property of what the cannons would have looked like and been used during the war. These things are NOT light and I would hate to be the people who had to move them from battle to battle!
Walking up the trail the first building you come to is the brown log cabin. This used to be the slave quarters, remember they were down at the parking lot.
These cabins had 3 distinct areas. A working area like seen above. Seen below is the kitchen/living area.
The 3rd as seen below is the sleeping area. These cabins were smaller than most of the rooms in our houses now a days.
We also took a look at the smoke house. Set up pretty much the same as the others we have seen on the floor is the pit to smoke the wood used.
On the ceiling you could see where they would hang the meat.
From here our tour began. Our guide was great at making it personable, he asked where were all from, what states were represented and pointing out those states significance (if any) during the tour.
As we headed into the house you were able to see the bullet holes from the war.
Take a look at this close up shot!
I wasn’t able to take pictures inside, but that’s where most of the stories were told. We weren’t allowed upstairs but we saw the both sitting rooms. Oddly enough this is where my 1 year old decided to be vocal and it was just the normal cooing other people on the tour looked over and gave the ‘goo goo baby eyes’ and awwws at her and the tour guide stopped the speech and said she was too much and had my husband who was holding her step out to the hall way. I didn’t hear much of the speech after that, I was in mom mode keeping the other 3 silent and the other 2 kids on the tour looked bored as well. The tour wasn’t very interactive and we were talked AT. When we moved to the next room the tour guide apologized he said the baby was making him lose his place. To me it seemed he was made to memorize a script to read off to us over the course of the tour hour. We also got to see the bedroom at the back of the house and then sat on the porch for a few to hear how the war progressed. This was the first time the tour grabbed my kid’s attention.
From there we went to the basement to see where the family hid during the 12 hours or so of the war.
We walked the rest of the grounds after the tour, my kids didn’t like the basement at the end of the tour, they were acting weird, and I just felt strange, if you believe in ghosts that’s where I’d say we ran into one or two of them.
We then walked the rest of the grounds, We started with what was Mr. Carter’s office.
You can see the bullet holes where on many cases the bullet went right though the building. This building s the most bullet damaged building still standing from the Civil War.
You can see it on the bricks of the smoke house as well.
You can see it on the kitchen wall as well
You can see how the candles for the house would have been made, the items used to cook food, how the butter is made and more. It made a great lesson on how things used to be done.
The original well is on the property too.