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Battlefield Tours


For decades the Carter House and Carnton have welcomed guests from across the country, and the world, and provided a brief window into the pageantry, bravery, and tragedy of that long ago day in 1864. Now it is time to take the next logical step. The Battle of Franklin Trust, which manages the Carter House and Carnton, is set to begin offering comprehensive tours of the Franklin battlefield. The tours will begin in mid-March and will be conducted at 10 am and 3pm every Tuesday through Saturday. Eventually the tours will also be offered on Mondays. The battlefield tour will last about 90 minutes and the cost is $25 per person.

This tour will be unlike anything ever previously offered in Franklin. Guests will walk to at least seven different locations on the battlefield and learn about the different elements of this often misunderstood battle. Battlefield guides will explain why the Battle of Franklin occurred, detail the arrival of the Federal and Confederate armies, and explain the rationale behind John Bell Hood’s decision to launch what became one of the greatest single assaults of the entire Civil War.

Guests will also hear about how the Confederates exploited an error in the Federal defensive posture, which resulted in the battle’s epic tipping point, and how the Southern troops came so close to achieving a smashing victory. Additionally, the battlefield guides will explain in detail the savage fighting that swirled around the Carter cotton gin, across the Carter garden, and how troops led by men such as Patrick Cleburne did everything humanly possible to achieve their ordered objective. Guests will be provided with a detailed look into the efforts by some newly recruited Federal troops to stem the Confederate breakthrough, and also how Emerson Opdycke’s Brigade, contrary to popular thought, did not “save the day” singlehandedly.

In the months to come, other battlefield tours will be added, including one that covers the vicious fighting on the east side of the field, especially along the railroad tracks where Confederate troops charged headlong into destruction. Also being planned for later in the year is a much more lengthy tour that will take guests to Spring Hill and then up to Franklin, and cover a roughly 36 hour stretch of time.

We are thrilled to have John Marler as the primary battlefield guide. John has much prior experience conducting battlefield tours, especially at Petersburg, Virginia. Also, on occasion, Eric A. Jacobson, who has authored three books related to the Battle of Franklin, will be conducting tours.

Those interested in taking a battlefield tour can simply sign up at The Carter House on the day that they arrive for their visit.
Reservations may also be made in advance and contact information and other details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Battlefield tours do not include a tour of The Carter House. Tickets for a house tour must be purchased separately.

We are truly excited to finally begin offering battlefield tours in Franklin, especially as we approach the 150th anniversary of the battle. We hope to see you very soon!!



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