Carrie McGavock – Widow of the South – died 103 years ago



February 22, 2008, Marks the 103rd Anniversary of Carrie McGavock’s Death, TN … February 22nd, 2008 marks the 103rd anniversary of Carrie McGavock’s death.  Known best for her “unwavering loyalty to the Confederate cause, both in war and in peace,” and also for her caring heart and devotion to the Presbyterian Church, Carrie’s death was a loss for her county and her country.

            The funeral was held February 23, 1905 at Historic Carnton Plantation.  She passed away without suffering with family surrounding her.  She was 76.  Many family members and friends gathered to honor the woman who during the bloody Battle of Franklin had her home converted to a Confederate field hospital.

            The battle which left thousands of soldiers wounded, dead, and missing changed this Carrie to an advocate for the dead.  She inspired the movement of roughly 1,500 buried bodies to the private cemetery on her property.  Today, it is the largest privately owned Confederate cemetery in the nation.

            McGavock kept a small journal containing the names of those buried at Carnton.  It has served as a research tool for those looking for fallen soldiers for generations.  Still today, visitors come to the cemetery to visit the grave of fallen relatives from long ago generations.
            “Carrie McGavock was an ordinary woman thrown into extraordinary times, one who stepped up to the plate with extraordinary valor.  She is the centerpiece of Robert Hicks’ international bestseller, Widow of the South,” said Angela Calhoun, executive director of Carnton Plantation.

           Calhoun said Carnton will hold no special ceremonies or services on the anniversary of her death though the mirrors in the “Best Parlor” will be draped with black fabric to signify the loss of her life.

              “We do expect increased visitors that day, however.  Williamson County residents and visitors from across the nation will likely come here to honor the memory of this brave woman, the mistress of a home and the chief operating officer of the hospital it became,” Calhoun said.

         Historic Carnton Plantation is a private, non-profit historic site located in Franklin, Tennessee.  Today the site consists of 48 of the original 1,400 acres and includes the restored antebellum home, a recreated one-acre 1847 garden, slave quarters, smokehouse, springhouse, and the adjacent Confederate and family cemetery.

We invite the public to come and honor Carrie McGavock on the anniversary of her death.


For More Information contact: Joanna Stephens ( or Eric Jacobson ( or (615) 794.0903


Source: Official Carnton Plantation news release

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