Monday, May 25, 2015

Franklin TN, and what I've been stitching on this week ...

Won't be long now and I'll be done sharing my USA adventures, I'm having fun reliving my vacation with you, and I hope you'll indulge me a little longer.

After Memphis TN, we travelled a little further to Franklin TN, not too far from Nashville. The reason for Franklin? We wanted to visit the Carnton Plantation - my friends had visited before, but for me it was a new adventure, and having heard so much about the history, I knew I'd be fascinated.

Franklin was the location of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, and during the fighting the Carnton Plantation was taken over by the Confederate Army as a field hospital. We were able to tour the home and and it was incredibly eerie to be able to see blood stains soaked into the wooden floor boards in the areas surgeons were doing their work. Definitely visit the website to read about the history, and if you have a chance, read the book 'Widow of the South' which is based on events here.

This is actually the rear of the home, but the first view of the home as we came from the visitors centre. It's hard to explain, but you can just feel the weight of history as you're approaching. I understand the home is haunted, and I could well believe it.

The guided tour of the home's interior was just fabulous, but sadly no photographs were allowed. I really wish I could have taken pictures, the interior was delightful - I shall have to google and see if any exist - it was so special, and our guide was so knowledgeable.

This is the front of the home - hard to see with the foliage, but very stately looking.

I can't even imagine how the McGavock family felt when war broke out around them - apparently Carrie was in the front garden when Confederate Generals approached scouting for locations suitable for a field hospital. It's easy to imagine this happening while wandering around in the yard - the garden was so beautiful, and the area is preserved as a memory to all the fallen soldiers.

After we toured the home, we visited the cemetery which is right nearby. It was much larger than I expected, and incredibly moving. The loss of life and carnage was hard to fathom, but it was also difficult to imagine what the McGavock family must have witnessed - and then their dedication to giving rest to the soldiers that perished. Amazing.

In this picture you can see how close the cemetery is to the home - this is only a small portion of it, and there is a family cemetery on the other side of the trees there. The stone markers are very close together - according to our guide, it took some time after the battle for all the bodies to be re-interred, and given that time there was not a lot left to be buried, therefore the caskets were quite small.

Even though the Carnton Plantation was quite a sombre place to visit, it's also fascinating and very beautiful. Franklin is a gorgeous town, so very historic - after visiting the plantation we visited the quaint and picturesque downtown area, all the old shops and buildings were just darling. I'm a bandit for neglecting my camera while I'm sightseeing - I'll have to do better ... but I did manage to take a picture of this home that caught my eye:

We also visited a local quilt shop, called The Quilting Squares, it was very sweet. I have to admit that I didn't buy very much - just a couple of patterns - one sampler style quilt by Lori Smith, and a table runner pattern. Knowing that Paducah and a visit to Whittles Fabrics in Smiths Grove KY were around the corner had me watching my pennies somewhat ...

So, that's where I'll leave my travels for today.

This week I was super excited to start hand quilting on my Montmellick project, I'll share a picture of that soon - but I've just had to put that on hold for a short time. I wanted to put a few more spiderweb placemats together for the sweet ladies in my tennis team.

Even though there are two more games left for this season, two of the ladies will be playing their last matches this week, so I wanted to give them these mats before they head off on holidays. I'm absolutely certain they're not blog followers, so these should still be a surprise on Wednesday :-)

I have still to stitch down the binding on the reverse side, and then two more to complete for next week and I'm all good.

Ohh, and before I forget - I had a comment on my last post from Jane wondering if the Montmellick pattern was still available. I'm sorry I couldn't email you directly Jane, as your email address wasn't available to me - but I'm pretty sure the pattern is available at the Quilt Mania website. Hope this helps.

Well, that brings me somewhat up to date ... I'll check in again soon!


Missy Shay said...

I love historical places like that! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I have not visited the historic house and cemetery you mention, we have been through Tennessee numerous times in the past 40 years but have not heard of this one - I will do a search and bookmark it I'm sure it is a place DH would love to visit. Glad you had fun on your visit to the states.

Tired Teacher said...

The plantation home is gorgeous: I can imagine sitting on the large veranda doing handwork and sipping tea. I cannot imagine being a servant and all the cleaning, cooking, and maintenance that was required.

I doubt the family had much choice on the cemetery and its placement. It was probably so close to the house as a reminder of the South's defeat. I know that is why Arlington Natl. Cemetery was placed on the Lee estate in Washington DC. The first graves there were extremely close to the mansion.

Tired Teacher said...

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I confused the Confederate cemetery for a Union one. Pardon my blunder.

Shay said...

Carnton Plantation sounds fascinating . Steeped full of history and such a beautiful place. Your photos brought it all alive . You’re a wonderful tour guide in your own right.

Love your spider web placemats – Im sure the tennis ladies will be thrilled.

Lorraine said...

Oh I never tire of reading travel diaries! What a fascinating place to visit. Thanks for sharing! Hope to catch up soon!

Stella said...

I am now listening to the Widow of the South,so when I saw your pictures of that stately mansion,I could visualize some of the scenes.
thank you.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Thank you for sharing this delightful story on our Memorial Day! Hope the remainder of your trip is fantastic.

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I'm enjoying your recap of the trip--someday, I hope to do a Southern road trip. Your place mats are lovely--I know they will be appreciated!

Kyle said...

I loved reading about your visit to Franklin, TN. I was just there about a month ago. The story of the family and battle experience was truly a remarkable story's during a very tragic time in America's history.

Sherry said...

I am going to be in Sevierville, TN later this year. I'll have to check out how far I am from sounds like a lovely place to visit.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I live in Franklin! So glad you enjoyed your visit. For Civil War history buffs, there's a lot of history all over Tennessee. Sorry Sherry, Sevierville is in E TN; Franklin is in Middle TN.
Another place to visit is Carter House, a farm house caught in the middle of the battle, and the buildings have the holes to show it. The family huddled in the basement kitchen during the battle. The son of the house died from wounds in that battle.
I have enjoyed this blog for years. Thank you for all your inspiration! Sharon B in Franklin


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