Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee

Trip Start Dec 02, 2005
Trip End Mar 05, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, January 13, 2006

We arrived in Franklin, Tennessee at about 5.00 pm, Thursday January 12, to stay with Elizabeth Aldrich, daughter of Barbara's cousin Doug and wife Colleen. Elizabeth lived with us in 2000 and first half of 2001.

In between Roswell, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee, we visited the Chickamauga Civil War site, just south of Chattanooga. This was the first Civil War site that was made into a park of remembrance and is one of four of the original parks, which we stumbled upon. There was a Visitor Center with a lot of information, film and relics. We then drove around the battlefield using a guide map that took us to 8 places to describe events. The whole site is so extensive, you could spend a day riding a bicycle around and reading the information. They maintain the site so that woods and fields exist as in the War. They have canons in place where artillery positions were held. This is typical of the quality of American national parks and special places.

That evening we drove down Franklin Road passed large plantation homes and large modern new homes into Nashville where we enjoyed a southern dinner at the Wildhorse Saloon. We ate deep fried pickles, pork spare ribs, pulled pork and beef briskets, listened to a live country rock band and Barbara and I took part in the line dancing lesson.

Friday January 13 we went to Carter House around which the bloody Franklin Civil War battle took place. The tour guide graphically described examples who was shot, bayoneted and butted around the home. One of the wooden outhouses has 277 bullet holes. A post on the home's back porch still contains the bullet shell in a bullet hole. The family sheltered in the basement while the battle raged all afternoon and then attended the wounded and dying of both sides during the night. Their own son was mortally wounded, brought to their home and died two days later.

We ate a yummy lunch at the Dumplings cafe in downtown Franklin. Then we visited the Carnton Plantation Home that stood behind Confederate lines and was used as a hospital (as were numerous other homes) after the battle. The Confederates suffered huge losses and were finally defeated a couple of weeks later in Nashville, spelling the end of the western front of the Civil War. Meanwhile the McGavock family nursed the wounded and dying, some of them for months. Blood stains remain visible in some of the rooms. The home and farm is now a privately run monument (like Carter House). Mr McGavock gave land and financed a Confederate cemetery near his home, which was the largest privately funded Civil War cemetery.

We next met Elizabeth back at her home and headed passed the mansions in the daylight to Opryland where there is a gigantic hotel and convention complex with large atriums of tropical plants surrounded by hotel buildings containing inward and outward facing rooms. We looked in the Opryland theater used for Grand Ole Opry concerts and enjoyed another southern meal at the Alabam Bar & Grill which was part of the large shopping mall.

Then we headed for the Friday night Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Theater in downtown Nashville. The Opry is live country music radio broadcasts rather than a place. Started in 1925 it is the world's longest continuing live radio program. We were part of 4 half hour shows from 8.00 to 10.00 pm. Great to see how it was done and hear good to excellent country music of all styles in the World Capital of Country Music - a dream fulfilled.
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