The Carter House

The Carter House (HM29IT)

Location: Franklin, TN 37064 Williamson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 55.023', W 86° 52.407'

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—Hood's Campaign —

In September 1864, after Union Gen. William T. Sherman defeated Confederate Gen. John Bell Hool at Atlanta, Hood let the Army of Tennessee northwest against Sherman's supply lines. Rather than contest Sherman's "March to the Sea," Hood then moved north into Tennessee. Gen. John M. Schofield detached from Sherman's army, delayed Hood at Columbia and Spring Hill before falling back to Franklin. The bloodbath here on November 30 crippled the Confederates, but they followed Schofield to the outskirts of Nashville and Union Gen. George H. Thomas's strong defenses. Hood's campaign ended when Thomas crushed his army on December 15-16.

(main text)
When the Civil War began, Fountain B. Carter was a widower. His wife, Polly, had died in 1852. At the onset of the war, all three of Carter's sons joined the Confederate army. By late 1862, the oldest, Moscow, had returned home to help his father with the farm. The other sons, Tod and Francis, continued to fight.

On November 30, 1864, The Battle of Franklin was centered on the Carter property. Before sunrise Union General Jacob D. Cox arrived and set up his headquarters in the Carter House to oversee the construction of the Federal line of defense.
At 4 P.M. that afternoon, Confederate Gen. John B. Hood's army attacked the Federal position and

briefly broke through the line. The fighting quickly became incredibly violent, and hand-to-hand combat swirled all around the Carter house and across the farm. The Carter family, as well as the Albert Lotz family from across the road, sought refuge in the basement of the house.

The Confederate breakthrough was soon shattered and the Federal army regained the upper hand. Horrific casualties were inflicted on Hood's army and by 9 P.M. nearly 10,000 soldiers from both sides were dead, wounded, or captured. Among the casualties was Tod Carter, who was found after midnight just southwest of the house. He died in the home in which he was raised on December 2.

"We were so badly mixed up with old soldiers going forward, new soldiers going back, and Rebs running both ways...I could not tell...which were prisoners, the Rebs or ourselves—each ordering the other to surrender and many on each clubbing their guns and chasing each other around the {Carter} houses."—Union soldier

Fountain Branch Carter built this house in about 1829. Over the next thirty years, he purchased various tracts until he owned nearly 300 acres. Carter grew corn and grain and raised livestock for many years. Sometimes after 1850 he also began growing cotton and constructed a cotton gin southeast of the house on the other side of Columbia Pike.

Like so many similarly sized Southern farms slavery was integral to the growth of Carter's agricultural operation. By 1860 he owned a total of 28 slaves, varying in age from infancy to the mid-60s.
HM NumberHM29IT
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 19th, 2018 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 511417 N 3974755
Decimal Degrees35.91705000, -86.87345000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 55.023', W 86° 52.407'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 55' 1.3800000000002" N, 86° 52' 24.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)615
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1140 Columbia Ave, Franklin TN 37064, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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