A Change in Plans, and a Battlefield Remembered

Well, our plans for today were to visit Belle Meade Plantation and the Cheekwood Art Gardens.

Note I say “were”. Upon checking the web pages for the sites, we discovered that the Cheekwood, like most art museums, was closed on Monday. So we swapped our plans around, and instead went to Franklin, TN and visited the Carnton Plantation. This was especially of interest to nsshere, as she read “The Widow of the South” earlier in the year, and that book was set at the planation and the Battle of Franklin. The plantation was small but interesting, and had details such as the original bloodstains on the wood floors from when it served as a Confederate Hospital. We also visited the co-located McGavock Confederate Cemetary. Franklin was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin (actually, the Second Battle of Franklin), where more men of the Confederate Army of Tennessee were killed in five hours than in two days at the Battle of Shiloh. The Confederates suffered 6,252 casualties, including 1,750 killed and 3,800 wounded. Their military leadership in the West was decimated, including the loss of such skilled generals as Patrick Cleburne. Fifteen Confederate generals were casualties (6 killed, 8 wounded, and 1 captured), and 65 field grade officers were lost. Union casualties were 189 killed, 1,033 wounded, 1,104 missing.

After the planation, we walked around historic downtown Franklin. We had a delightful lunch at Sandy’s Downtown Grille, stopped by The Quilting Squares quilt shop, found a wonderful tea shop, and had ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s.

After Franklin we returned to the hotel and rested a bit, and then went out to dinner at The Cracker Barrel. We like this restaurant quite a bit (yum, country fried steak)… but alas, there are none in California (or Oregon, or Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, or Maine). We were trying to figure out where they should open one. Our thoughts, in order, were Bakersfield, Fresno, Anaheim, and Stockton. What do you think?

Tomorrow, we will try today’s plans again: Belle Meade Plantation and the Cheekwood Art Gardens. On the 4th, we think we’ll be patriotic and visit President Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage. They are even planning some special events for that day.