About The Battle of Franklin Trust

The mission of The Battle of Franklin Trust is to preserve, understand, and interpret the story of a people forever impacted by the American Civil War.

The Battle of Franklin Trust is a 501(c)(3) organization. We manage two historic sites in Franklin, Tennessee, that witnessed the 1864 Battle of Franklin: Carter House and Carnton.

The Battle of Franklin

Fate and circumstance placed Franklin in the path of two great armies in late November 1864. Federal troops arrived in Franklin around dawn on November 30, 1864. Federal Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox set up his headquarters at the Carter House after waking the family around dawn. The Confederate troops, commanded by Gen. John Bell Hood, began to arrive on the southern edge of Franklin around 1 pm.

The battle began at 4 pm with roughly 20,000 Confederate soldiers moving forward toward a similar number of Federal troops. The two armies came into close contact shortly before 4:30 pm and the fighting soon became brutal and fiendishly savage. The sun set soon after the battle reached its apex and it was completely dark, except for the flashing of the guns, only a few minutes after 5 pm. Around midnight the Federal army withdrew from the battlefield. Left behind was a small town and a battered Confederate army.

Altogether, some 10,000 American soldiers became casualties at Franklin and about three-fourths of that number were Confederates. About 2,300 men died, some 7,000 were wounded, and roughly 1,000 were taken prisoner. When recollecting the battle years later one man said simply, “It was as if the devil had full possession of the earth.”


Carnton was built in 1826 by Randal McGavock. His son, John, inherited the house in 1843. The McGavock family was directly impacted by the Battle of Franklin and found their home used as a field hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. Carnton became the largest hospital in the area following the battle. After the war John and his wife, Carrie, set aside nearly two acres of their property so that the remains of Southern dead who died in the battle might be properly buried. The National Historic Landmark has been open to the public since the late 1970s and allows visitors to better understand the humanity which often appears in the midst of war.

Carter House

Carter House was built in 1830 by Fountain Branch Carter. The home and family witnessed one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War on November 30, 1864. The modest brick home was commandeered and used as a Federal command post while the Carter family, their slaves, and a neighboring family sought refuge in the basement during the fighting which erupted on their property. This National Historic Landmark has been open to the public since 1953.


Board of Directors

  • Gary Rosenthal - Chair

  • Kelly Gilfillan - Vice-Chair

  • Laura Holder - Secretary

  • Barry Allen - Treasurer

  • Hunter Battle

  • Kimberly Clutsam

  • Walker Entwistle

  • Lyn Knopf

  • Jeff Ledbetter

  • Eric Mannino

  • Alma McLemore

  • Jim Roberts

  • Amanda Rose

  • Greg Wade

  • Deborah Warnick


Eric A. Jacobson
Chief Executive Officer

Tracy Barnes
Business Manager

Joanna Stephens

Beth Trescott
Collections Manager

Elizabeth Harbin
Design and Media Coordinator

Laurie McPeak
Director of Development

Frances Regan
Membership Coordinator

Sarah Falck
Education Coordinator

Kristi Farrow
Executive Assistant and Genealogist

Will Pogue
Gift Shop Manager

Hannah Jacobs
Event & Group Tour Coordinator


Historical Interpreters

Lisa Billingsley
Ethan Castelo
Lily Grace Castle
Carrie Craddock
Cliff Coss
Mike Eaton
Bobby Hargrove
Lyle Ihde
Braxie Jacobson
Brad Kinnison
Trey Kirby
Jim Knight
Shelia Mullican
Olivia Munsch
Ron Novak
Randy Purcell
James Redford
Jim Shapiro
David Stumpfl
Luke Truxal
Leah Van Driest
David Van Dyke