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The Carter House is a historic house at 1140 Columbia Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee. In that house, the Carter family along with neighbors and servants hid in the basement waiting for the second Battle of Franklin to end. It is a Tennessee state historic site, and it is a contributing property and centerpiece of the Franklin Battlefield, a U.S. National Historic Landmark historic district.
Fountain Branch Carter completed construction of the house in 1830. The federal style brick farm house was accompanied by several other outbuildings such as the farm office, smokehouse, kitchen, and the largest cotton gin in Williamson County. Though the cotton gin no longer stands, the house and the other three buildings are still intact and illustrate the horror of the Civil War battle with over a thousand bullet holes still visible.
The Carter House played a very important role in the Second Battle of Franklin. Prior to the fight, the house was used as Federal headquarters and the breastworks were set up just south of the farm office and smokehouse. After the battle it was used as field hospital aiding both Federal and Confederate wounded.
The middle son of Fountain Branch Carter, Tod Carter, was mortally wounded in the battle. He was still alive the morning after the battle when he was found and brought to the house. There he lived for several more hours, surrounded by his distraught family. Tod Carter died of his wounds December 2, 1864, and was buried that day in Rest Haven Cemetery just north of town. He came home for the first time in over three years when he fought at the Battle of Franklin in the 20th Tennessee Infantry. The room where Tod Carter died is one of the highlights of the guided tour of the home today.
Tours of the Carter House and grounds are available daily and include a video about the Battle of Franklin as well as a museum with artifacts relating to the site. Though the State of Tennessee owns the house, the site is run by The Carter House Association, a non-profit organization.
- Carter, Rosalie. The Carter House in Photographs, Poems, and Paragraphs. Blue and Gray Press, 30 Nov, 1972.