Located just 20 minutes south of Nashville is the beautiful historic town of Franklin. It’s famous for its past, mainly the Civil War battle of 1864, and it’s present, with its old town charm being home to many country music stars. Visit Franklin and watch as the lines blur between past and present and what is old and new.
|Confederate cemetery at Carnton Plantation|
We start our journey by visiting the historic Carnton Plantation. Set on a scenic 50 acre estate, Carnton was the site of a confederate field hospital during the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864. The Battle of Franklin lasted only 5 hours but in all left behind nearly 10,000 casualties. This battle also saw 6 of 14 Confederate generals killed as well as half of all the men who fought in it. The battle is often referred to as Americas bloodiest hours. During the battle, Carnton Plantation and the yard surrounding the main house became a large hospital and triage where doctors worked hard to save the wounded and dying soldiers. Today when you tour the interior of the main house you can still see the blood stains on the floors left by doctors who fought to keep soldiers alive. There are several displays showing tools doctors used, including several examples of bone saws. Go outside and stroll the grounds and explore the trails that lead to the Confederate cemetery that is dotted with stone markers to honor the dead. There is also a garden next to the main house and gift shop for souvenirs with a museum off to the side. A visit to Carnton is free, however I highly recommend you pay for the informative guided tour, which is given by skilled guides who give detailed accounts of the battle and the history of the plantation. The tour cost is $15 for adults, $8 for children 6-12, and free for children under 6.
Up the road from Carnton is the Carter House which served as a Federal command post during the Battle of Franklin. Outside the Carter House there are reminders of the bloodshed here, as you can still see bullet holes left over from the Civil War.
A short walk from Carter House and you’re in beautiful downtown Franklin. There are many charming shops and restaurants and plenty of free parking and nice neighborhoods to walk around in. During my time there, I was able to go to a couple of really great restaurants. One of them was 55 South which has a New Orleans feel- it’s all about the creole cuisine. I tried the chicken gumbo, chicken and sausage jambalaya, and a creole style beans and rice dish. Of the three I highly recommend the gumbo. It was very good, leaving me coming back for more. Across the street at McCreary’s Irish Pub, I sampled a famous Irish dish called Bangers and Mash. They serve theirs with chicken and cheese sausage split over a piece of rustic bread with a variety of sliced cheeses and a scoop of old world mashed potatoes and spicy mustard. It was truly the best bangers and mash I have ever had. I do have to say, chicken sausage is a little different, but different is good! It was really great!
One day while exploring the neighborhoods south of Franklin on Columbia Ave., I stumbled across an Italian restaurant about 2 miles from downtown called Nicks Italian Deli and Pizzaria. I took one step through the doors of Nicks and I thought I was in New York. This place has one of the best, if not the best New York style pizzas I have ever had, and those of you that know me, know I have sampled a lot of pizza from all over the country. They have pizza by the slice, different varieties of Stromboli, sandwiches, and authentic Italian dishes. If you’re in the mood for a great pizza, stop by Nicks- you cant go wrong!
|Pizza at Nicks!|
When you drive around Franklin you will be awe-struck by the well groomed neighborhoods and huge mansions, that leave you wondering which famous person might be living there today. There are also open spaces where battles took place. You can really get a feel for what kind of terrain the soldiers were fighting on. All in all Franklin has many places to see and explore as well as things to do and great places to eat. Franklin is a short 20 minute drive from Nashville, so next time you are in this part of the country, be sure to add it as a destination. You wont be disappointed.
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And as always thanks for stopping by!!!