- $30 for admission for one to The Carter House, Carnton Plantation, and Lotz House Museum ($40 value)
The three historical sites introduce visitors to the role they and the town of Franklin played in the Civil War. The Carter House and Carnton Plantation are shown by guided tour. The hours of operation are Monday–Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Each tour lasts about one hour and the last tour of each day is at 4pm. Admission includes a brochure with a map and information about the grounds and outbuildings, which visitors may explore on their own.
The Lotz House Civil War museum, located directly across from The Carter House, is also shown by guided tour. Visitors learn about the Lotz family and see historic furnishings, fine art, and antiques. Tours last 30–60 minutes and run Monday–Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Guests do not have to visit all three sites in one day.
The Carter House, Carnton Plantation, and Lotz House Museum
On the evening of November 30, 1864, the town of Franklin, Tennessee, bore witness to more than five hours of carnage as Confederate forces under the command of General John Bell Hood assaulted an entrenched corps of Federal troops led by General John M. Schofield. The heaviest fighting entailed a frontal attack on the Federal lines—incorporating about 20,000 soldiers on each side, or more soldiers than Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. General Hood hoped this attack would dislodge the Federal forces and that he would be able to eventually recapture Nashville.
Over the course of the next five hours, this charge resulted in a staggering number of casualties and General Schofield steadily withdrew his forces toward Nashville, leaving behind a battle-scarred town as well as a battered Confederate force. Today, the Battle of Franklin Trust allows visitors to learn more about this key battle by visiting and taking guided tours of several sites that played integral roles in the events that took place on and around November 30, 1864.
The Carter House served as the command post for General Jacob D. Cox, a Federal officer tasked with overseeing the construction of defensive positions as the Confederate forces advanced. These defenses were constructed within 300 feet of the home, and guests have the opportunity to explore the grounds as well as the home, including the basement where the Carter family and roughly two dozen civilians sought shelter from the battle being fought outside their doors.
One of those civilians was Albert Lotz, whose own home still stands 110 steps away from the Carter residence. The Lotz House bears its own battle scars, too, including a charred indentation in the wood flooring that was caused by an errant cannonball.
Located one mile away from the two houses, the McGavock family's Carnton Plantation also welcomes guests, providing them with tours of the site that served as the area's largest field hospital after the fighting ceased. The plantation features two acres of land that the McGavocks offered as the final burial site for approximately 1,500 Confederate soldiers who died at the Battle of Franklin, making it the largest privately owned military cemetery in the nation.