A couple weeks ago Hubby and I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, where the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War took place on November 30, 1864.
However, the story really begins to the south at Spring Hill where Confederate troops were encamped at Rippavilla Plantation.
They were hoping to smash the Federal troops headed toward Franklin
Inexplicably, the Union army sneaked past General Hood's troops during the night, enraging Hood.
We got to tour this beautiful home but, once again, no pictures were allowed inside the house. However, our tour guide did take one photo for us.
Union and Confederate troops were converging on the small town of Franklin. The Albert Lotz family were hard-working immigrants who didn't even have any family member in the war, but had to seek shelter across the street at the Carter House. (No photos allowed inside!)
Fountain Branch Carter had three sons who enlisted to serve the Confederate State of America, but on this day the house was located just inside the center of the Union defensive perimeter.
Concerned for his family, Carter asked the Union commanders whether they should leave. Assured that the fighting would not come near the house, the Lotz and Carter families decided to take refuge in the basement of the Carter house.
Not long before sunset, two Confederate divisions overran the Union line just south of the Carter home. As the families huddled below, the yard soon became the epicenter of vicious hand-to-hand fighting.
Carter's son, Tod, led a charge against the Federal works and was hit by enemy fire nine times. He was found alive on the field the next morning and brought back to his home where he died.
The house is scarred by more than 1,000 bullet holes, still visible today.
The fighting lasted just five hours and resulted in some 9,500 casualties. The ground around the Carter House and stretching for hundreds of yards both east and west was a horrible spectacle.
When the families emerged, they found the bodies of dead and dying men heaped in piles. Screaming and crying wounded were found pinned beneath other bodies and some soldiers had died standing up because there wasn't room to fall down. When the bodies were finally moved they had to use shovels to clean up the piles and piles of spent bullets.
Next up: The Carnton Plantation