A Yankee Learns about the Civil War

As an adult history intrigues. I love reading books about historical fiction even though I hated the subject in high school. Recently, while searching through my recommended movies on Amazon Prime, I found the PBS series, “Mercy Street“.  The show’s online description said, “Inspired by real people and events, Mercy Street goes beyond the front lines of the Civil War and into the chaotic world of the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia.” Happily, although not quite the replacement for my beloved Downton Abbey, I found a new series to fill the empty space left when the series ended. If you have an interest in the Civil War, this is an eye opening series to watch. However, as I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes get a little obsessed when I find something interesting. So, my Civil War search began. 

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The Carnton Plantation will always look over the cemetery.

On a recent trip to Tennessee, a state rich in Civil War, my husband Chris and I visited the quaint town of Franklin, TN. To look it at now, the more than a century old buildings are well cared for, the shops are exquisite and the food is spectacular. It’s eerie to think what happened there, on the same grounds I walked, more than 150 years ago. On November 30, 1864 The Battle of Franklin, which only lasted barely 5 hours, began. In the end,  9,500 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. The Carnton home served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers.

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Family members rest in a separate area.

Even with the limited, we spent one morning walking the peaceful grounds of the Carnton Plantation. The grand home with it’s enormous columns is the centerpiece of the plantation. However, since time didn’t permit a tour of the home, we strolled through the confederate cemetery, a final burial place for nearly 1,500 Confederate of the soldiers killed during the Battle of Franklin. Just the short walk added more questions I wanted answered. Who is buried in the family cemetary? What is the significance of the pennies on the gravestones? Do family still visit? All more reserach for when I arrived home.

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While pursuing the Carnton Plantation gift shop I found a beautiful display of books. Always in search of a great piece of historic fiction, I left the store with “The Widow of the South” by Robert Hicks. Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, it’s very entertaining so far.

The trees pay no heed to the grave markers.

Why am I telling you all this? I’m hoping to inspire you to search a little farther when you find something that interests you. If you are traveling, visit places that feed this interest. When there’s no time to travel, read and search for movies. Enjoy life and find your passions!

What are you favorite books or places to visit about the Civil War?


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