Tennessee had its fair share of Civil War battles, and the small town of Franklin saw the destruction of the Army of Tennessee on November 30, 1864. More war generals were killed during the bloody five-hour battle of Franklin than any other battle of the Civil War. The final death toll was an estimated 9,500 men, over half of which were confederate soldiers. The Confederate stronghold was less than a mile of the Carnton Plantation, and during the battle the home was opened up by the McGavock family and used as a hospital for the battle weary men. Bullet holes and blood strains still remain in the home that is open for tours to the public.
After the battle was fought and the army’s moved toward Nashville, roughly 8,000 men were left behind for the town of Franklin to bury. John and Carrie McGavock of Carnton Plantation donated two acres of land beside their family cemetery for the burial of 2,500 soldiers. The Union soldiers were later re-interred in the Stones River National Cemetery. As of today 1,500 confederate soldiers, 558 unknown, are still buried in the largest privately owned Confederate Cemetery.