The Carter House and its Cellar Hideout
During the Battle of Franklin in 1864, the Carter House cellar was used as a hideout for both the Carter and the Lotz family. This once plentiful farm changed forever after the devastating events that took place nearby.
In 1823, Fountain Branch Carter married his wife Mary. Together they had 12 children. The house was finished in 1830 by Fountain. Several of its outbuildings stood nearby including the cotton gin. The cotton gin was important during the Battle of Franklin. In 1836, their son Samuel died in an accident when he fell from the staircase railing inside the home.
The Carter House was taken over by Union forces just before the battle in 1864. They set up their encampment around the house. The Carter’s son Tod, was off fighting in the Civil War for three years when he returned back to Franklin in 1864 for the deadly battle.
On November 30, 1864, the Carter family hid in their seller along with the neighbors of the Lotz Family. The Lotz family were fearful that their house may be destroyed. Although the Lotz House suffered damage it still stands today.
For hours the Carters and the Lotz hunkered in the cellar until finally the battle ended. Bodies were scattered amongst the fields and they immediately began helping find survivors. Tod Carter was found along with some others who had been severely wounded just 500 yards from the house. He was brought back to the Carter House where he died on December 2 from those injuries.
The Carter family was unable to afford the repairs done to their home from the battle. They were denied assistance from the government and were forced to sell off their extensive land to prevent losing the house.
The home was almost destroyed in the 1950s but was luckily saved by the Tennessee Historical Commission. Today it is part of the Battle of Franklin Trust and offers tours.
Violet Sky’s Visit
I noticed that if you are to inspect the home closely you will view the hundreds of bullets that are forever tucked away into the bricks of the home. It was shocking to think about how much that home would have been battered for the hours of the battle.
How to Visit
The Carter House is located at 1140 Columbia Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee. It is open for tours and admission is required to access the grounds. Reenactments are also done on occasion. For more information, please visit the official website here.
Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’.