Saturday, November 24, 2007

Carter House #2

Today's view of Carter House, while not the most beautiful, serves the purpose of showing you the position of the house in relation to other buildings around it. The house, of course, is the two-story building in front. The small, brick building directly behind it ( which I showed in yesterday's post) was the kitchen. The three buildings on the right side of the photo are, from left to right in the photo at right, the farm office, smoke house, and slave cabin. Except for the slave cabin, all the buildings are original to the site.

A note about the kitchen: Because of the climate and social conventions in the south, the kitchens of the home were normally in a separate building that sat behind the house or mansion. Fireplaces were the main source of "cooking fuel" at the time, and in the south's warm climate, the heat thrown from the fires would make the homes very hot and uncomfortable in the summer. In addition, since slaves did the cooking, social standards dictated that they not work where the master of the house lived.

Fountain Branch Carter did have slaves, but he gave them their freedom at the time of the war. Several left, but several stayed on and were with the family throughout and after the Civil War.

The Battle of Franklin: There were actually two Battles of Franklin. The Union had controlled Franklin and Williamson County since early in 1862. In April, 1863, the Confederates tried to take back control, but lost and retreated back to Spring Hill (south of Franklin). In September, 1864, Sherman's forces won control of Atlanta and started to plan their "march to the sea." The majority of the divisions in that area stayed with Sherman, but General Schofield and a regiment from Ohio headed back to Tennessee and Nashville.

And, in November, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood was determined to stop the Union soldiers from getting back to Nashville. In the early morning of November 30, 1864, Union General Jacob Cox woke the Carter family and took over Carter House as the field headquarters for the upcoming battle. Cox's men built breastworks (fortifications) about 100 yards south of the house. The inner breastworks sat 60 feet from the main house, right next to the farm office, smoke house, and slave cabins.

The Carter family asked Cox if they should flee the property, but Cox assured them they would be all right and should probably stay to claim their property after the battle. At the time, there were 23 people in the home, including Fountain Branch Carter, his oldest son Moscow, Moscow's family, and assorted other relatives and neighbors.

Tomorrow, we'll take a closer look at the Battle of Franklin's affect on the Carters and their property.


Jim said...

You have us all hooked. Keep it up. Great pics and history.

isabella said...

Wasn't the battle of Franklin one of the bloodiest of the Civil War?

I learned about the separate kitchens from (where else?) "Roots"...

Nice series, Chris.

quintarantino said...

Som eore great photos and more historical facts. I like it.

Felicia said...

Oh boo hoo, this is not looking good for the family.

Web-OJ said...

It was nice of Carter to release the slaves.