Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville mayor Randal McGavock. His son, John, inherited the house in 1843. The McGavock family was also directly impacted by the Battle of Franklin and found their home used as a field hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. Carnton became the largest such hospital in the area following the battle. After the war John and his wife, Carrie, set aside nearly two acres of their own property so that the remains of Southern dead who died as a result of the Battle of Franklin might be properly buried. The house has been open to the public since the late 1970s and allows visitors to better understand the humanity which often appears in the midst of war.
Guided tours of Carnton are offered daily, and its Museum Store includes an array of books on the American Civil War, the Battle of Franklin, and other local interests; other items are available, from mugs and magnets to locally made artisan chocolate and Civil War relics. Learn about the history of Carnton here.