Haunted History – The Carnton Plantation

Let’s talk about the Haunted Carnton Plantation in Franklin TN where from time to time, Carrie McGavock is seen on the back porch that overlooks a historic Civil War cemetery. There’s a couple of odd things about seeing Carrie though.  People always wonder why Carrie wears a long white dress all the time, even in the hot summer months.  There’s also the fact that she’s been dead since 1905.

Let me hook you guys up with a little of the Family History here. Carnton was built in 1826 by A former mayor of Nashville named Randall McGavock, it quickly became one of the prominent farms in Williamson County.

Randall’s son John inherited the plantation and married Carrie in December of 1848. The couple had 5 children 3 of which died young. A couple of decades later the Civil War was going down and in November of 1864, The Battle of Franklin was fought in the vicinity of the plantation.

This was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Over 9,500 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or counted as missing. 7,000 of these soldiers were Confederates. The Carnton mansion, used as a military hospital, it served thousands of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers. Needless to say, the McGavock family was traumatized by the things they saw and experienced.

After the war in 1866, when they noticed the need for a larger cemetery for the fallen soldiers they donated 2 acres of their land near their family plot to accommodate an additional 1500 soldiers. The family oversaw and maintained the graves of the soldiers with as much dedication as they did those in their family plot.

According to Margie Thessin, a tour guide at the mansion, Carrie still watches over the graves. Typical reports include her sitting on her back porch where there is a good view of the cemetery. But sometimes shes seen floating around in the back yard wearing a white dress. As you’ve probably already guessed, Carrie isn’t alone there at the plantation. She’s in good company. There are frequent reports of the ghosts of Confederate soldiers seen all about the grounds there but it said that they are more active there during the Fall months at dusk, when of course, is when the battle of Franklin went down.

A descendant of one of these fallen soldiers visited the plantation recently. He gets there in the late afternoon, after the mansion was closed to visitors. So, he decides to walk around and winds up on this path that leads to the back of the property. He looks up and sees the silhouette of a man dressed in uniform about to mount a horse. He stands there watching and as soon as the man hops onto the horse, they vanished. He looks around and sees this other man dressed as a Confederate officer sitting on the back porch so, he walks up and asked, “What happened to his horse?”

The soldier then explained that the horse had been shot out from under this soldier like his had been earlier. This officer went on to explain to him that without their horses they were at the mercy of the enemy. The soldier then tells him that if he was going to stay he better have a pistol or he wouldn’t last long.

So then he asked the soldier what kind of gun he used. The soldier starts explaining his weapon. As he’s describing why he used this particular weapon, the dude starts to realize that these men were not Civil War enactors.

When the soldier found out that the dude didn’t have a gun, he started kind of freaking out and told him that he should quickly leave for the town–to get out of harm’s way. The soldier then turned to another spirit that stood nearby. “Well if we are going to die, let us die like men.” He then threw his hat in the air forcefully and vanished.


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