Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Vaction Blog Contest Day 4--Plantations
Day four found us down the road and headed toward Nashville. But, we decided to take in some more history and visit a couple of plantations along the way. Our first stop was the historic Carnton Plantation, home of the New York bestseller, The Widow of the South, which is in my TBR pile! That was one of several reasons I wanted to visit Carnton. Again, like Shiloh, this place is steeped in history, and the magnitude of what happened here is unbelievable. In the intense heat and Tennessee humidity we learned that Carnton was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Franklin in late November 1864. Here, five hours of one of the bloodiest battles of the war was fought in complete darkness. Blood still stains the wooden floor boards on the second floor of the mansion from the 300 wounded and dying soldiers who occupied the house during and after the battle. We visited with a guy who used to live in the Franklin area and he said, one time he’d made a late night visit to the Confederate cemetery located on the property. He swore he saw the ghosts of many Confederates there! Oh, so many stories to write, so little time!
We then found our way to Belle Meade plantation just a few miles from the excitement of Nashville. This house is huge, and oh, so beautiful! And so is the carriage house. This plantation was known for its race horses and about 80% of all Thoroughbreds today are descended from the famous sires who once stood there---including two horses I own. Fortunately, Nashville and Belle Meade didn’t come under fire during the years of the Civil War, so they were spared the devastation.
A few years ago I visited Oak Alley plantation in Louisiana. All three of these historic sites are immaculately preserved and if you love history, a must-see! They are so beautiful that it is easy to imagine the ladies of the era strolling the large porches in their hoop skirts and flowing gowns.
Have you read The Widow of the South by chance? When I get home, it’s moving up in my TBR pile!