Nashville Day 2: Carnton House

This was the first thing I saw there. Later at the Grand Ole Opry, I’m pretty sure it was this same couple who raised their hands because they were celebrating 50 years together.
Married 50 Years

It’s so beautiful and peaceful there now, it’s hard to believe this was home to the 5 bloodiest hours of the Civil War. This poor woman, Carrie, and her family watched it all unfold in their front yard. The home became the battle’s hospital and hundreds of wounded were treated there while the family did what they could to help. Carrie was written about by many of the soldiers as an angel ministering to them through the night and in the following days.

Carnton Porch

Trained Arch

Although the guide said there were no ghosts hanging around, I definitely felt chills multiple times as she talked about the surgeons who set up their sawhorse tables at each southern window to work on hundreds of soldiers and as she showed us where the blood still marks the floors near the operating tables and in the corner where the amputated limbs were stacked and near a fireplace where a general or colonel with both missing legs screamed until he died.
Civil War Blood

Carnton Confederate Cemetary

I was also struck as she spoke about the children of the family, 9 year old Hattie and her younger brother, Winder who were there during the battle and aftermath.  Later interviewed as an adult, Hattie said the most memorable and horrifying thing about that night was the smell of blood throughout the house.  It gave me a chill to think about it and made me wonder why humans must do things like this to each other.


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