The Carnton Plantation

Carnton Plantation | Main House and Garden
Carnton Plantation
Carnton Plantation
Carnton Plantation
Carnton Plantation
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Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville mayor Randal McGavock (1768-1843). Throughout the nineteenth century it was frequently visited by those shaping Tennessee and American history, including President Andrew Jackson. Following the Battle of Franklin, Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers. In early 1866, John and Carrie McGavock designated two acres of land adjacent to their family cemetery as a final burial place for nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Franklin. The McGavocks maintained the cemetery until their respective deaths. Today, the McGavock Confederate Cemetery is a lasting memorial honoring those fallen soldiers and the Battle of Franklin. 

The McGavock family owned Carnton until 1911 when Susie Lee McGavock, widow of Winder McGavock, sold it. In 1973 Carnton was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1977 the house and ten acres were donated to the Carnton Association, Inc. by Dr. and Mrs. W. D. Sugg. By that time the house had suffered from years of neglect and disrepair and since then the Association has been vital in restoring and maintaining the site through tours, gift shop sales, membership, special events, and generous donations. The Williamson County Master Gardeners Association volunteers its time throughout the year to help maintain the slave and other historic period gardens at Carnton.

Read about the Aunt Lou's Underground Railroad heirloom tomato grown in the slave garden.

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