Event Summary

Join military Historian Bill Potter on this fascinating tour of the Civil War in Middle Tennessee. We will visit remarkable sites and tell the compelling and tragic stories of the brave, sacrificial men and the resilient, compassionate women swept up in the storm of war. Wednesday will include tours of three historic homes in Franklin and Spring Hill. Thursday we will follow the army’s path into Nashville and explore Fort Negley that commanded this capital city before transitioning down to interpret the monuments outside the capitol building and then explore the state museum on your own. We will end in time to make the opening session at the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention at the Opryland Hotel where Bill Potter will be speaking.


“I liked the fact that we could ride separately to the different venues. If we didn’t want to visit one, we didn’t have to. Or we could leave it early or stay longer. I liked the freedom we had to explore on our own or with the group. This tour went above and beyond my expectations. I can’t wait to participate in another one in the future.” —Carol R. (Civil War in the West Tour)

Included in This Tour



Historian Bill Potter


Sam Turley


Tennessee State Museum


Tennessee State Capitol 1


Carnton Plantation 2


McGavock Cemetery


The Carter House


Rippavilla Plantation


Christian Fellowship


Children’s Reenactment Charge


Fort Negley Park 3


Winstead Hill Park 4


Included in This Tour

  • Admission and guide fees at Rippavilla Plantation
  • Admission and guide fees at Carter House
  • Admission and guide fees at Carnton Plantation
  • All other venue admissions and guide fees throughout the tour
  • Wireless headset receiver for ease of hearing guides
  • Biblical/providential interpretation from Bill Potter
  • Rich fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Optional dinner and discussion Wednesday evening at Olive Garden (dinner cost not covered as part of tour)
Heritage Reclaimed Farm

Special Treat! Organic Lunch from Local Heritage Reclaimed Farm

We have partnered with our friends the Shough family to provide you a special treat for lunch on Wednesday. We will serve sandwiches made with delicious, locally-grown organic meat from their beautiful Heritage Reclaimed Farm.



Ticket Pricing



(5-12)
Full Event

$69

Wednesday Only $55
Thursday Only $25

(Over 12)
Full Event $119
Wednesday Only $99
Thursday Only $35

Image Credits: 1 Tennessee State Capitol; 2 Carnton Plantation; 3 Fort Negley Park; 4 Winstead Hill; 5 Winstead Hill Park; 6 Carter House;

Tour Highlights


Spring Hill

Spring Hill was the prelude to the Battle of Franklin. On the night of November 28, 1864, General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee marched toward Spring Hill to get astride Major General John M. Schofield’s Union army’s life line. November 29, during the night, the bulk of Schofield’s command passed from Columbia through Spring Hill to Franklin, right past the sleeping confederate army. This was, perhaps, Hood’s best chance to isolate and defeat the Union army.


Confederate General John Bell Hood


Rippavilla Plantation, Spring Hill, Tennessee


Winstead Hill

Next we will move to Winstead Hill (box lunch provided). Here the Confederates launched a charge that was almost twice as long as, and far more deadly than, the famous Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg a year earlier, costing them fourteen Confederate generals (six killed or mortally wounded, seven wounded, and one captured) and 55 regimental commanders. Here we will get an overview of the battle from the vantage point overlooking the town of Franklin, which is two miles to the north.


Winstead Hill Park, 2 Miles South of Franklin 4


Winstead Hill Monument Overlooking the Town of Franklin 5


Carter House

Carter House is our next stop. We will hear the remarkable story of the Carter family and their beloved son Todd who charged down from Winstead Hill to literally free his family from the Yankee command that had commandeered his house with his family locked in the basement. We will see the Carter farm office, the most bullet-riddled structure still standing from the War, and numerous other authentic relics from that turbulent time.


Home of Fountain Branch Carter 6


The Most Bullet-Riddled Structures Still Standing from the War


Carnton Plantation

Carnton Plantation is our final stop. Beginning at 4pm on November 30, 1864, Carnton witnessed what is believed to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War, beginning with a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. On the morning of December 1, 1864 the bodies of four Confederate generals killed during the fighting (Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl), lay on Carnton’s back porch. The floors of the restored home are still stained with the blood of the men who were treated there. You will hear the remarkable accounts of bravery and valor by soldiers and citizens alike, as we culminate with a tour of America’s largest privately owned military cemetery and the remarkable story of how it came to be. Tour ends at 3:30pm. Opryland is 30 minutes away and the convention begins at 5pm.


Carnton Plantation, Home of the McGavock Family 2


The McGavock Confederate Cemetery


Fort Negley

Fort Negley is the Large Civil War-era Union stone fort. After its capture in 1862, Nashville was developed by Union forces into the most fortified city in North America, second only to Washington, D.C. A series of forts ringed the city, the largest and southernmost being Fort Negley, named for U.S. Gen. James Scott Negley, provost marshal and commander of Federal forces in Nashville. Fort Negley was the largest fortification built by the occupying Union Army in Nashville and the largest inland stone fort built during the Civil War. Measuring 600 feet by 300 feet, Negley covered four acres and was constructed from October to December 1862. The stronghold was constructed by conscript laborers, both slaves and free blacks, of stone, logs, earth, and railroad iron. More than 2700 African American men worked to build Fort Negley; only 300 were paid for their labor.


Entrance to Fort Negley Park 3


Antique Postcard Aerial View of Fort Negley


Tennessee State Capitol and Museum


Tennessee State Capitol 1


Tennessee State Museum


Image Credits: 1 Tennessee State Capitol; 2 Carnton Plantation; 3 Fort Negley Park; 4 Winstead Hill; 5 Winstead Hill Park; 6 Carter House;

Event Speakers



Bill Potter

Historian Bill Potter

An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. Mr. Potter has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Mr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Bill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Georgia.


Sam Turley

Historian Sam Turley

Sam Turley has been an ardent student of history — especially Southern and Civil War history — for over ten years. His extensive study has instilled in him a great respect for our nation’s forefathers. This, combined with his time serving as a historical interpreter at The Battle of Franklin Trust (an organization dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who fought and died at the Battle of Franklin), has provided him with unique opportunities to speak to a variety of audiences on subjects related to 19th century history.

* Following the tour, Bill Potter will be speaking at the Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention in Nashvile. Those desiring to attend will need to register separately through the TTD web site.

Event Schedule

Note: Schedule times and venues subject to change.


Wednesday, March 29

Battle of Franklin

 

 

47 miles ≈ 45 mins. from Gaylord Opryland

9:00am

Rippavilla Plantation — Spring Hill
5700 Main Street, Spring Hill

 

 

13 miles ≈ 20 mins.

11:00am

Winstead Hill
4023 Columbia Avenue, Franklin

 

 

2 miles ≈ 5 mins.

 

Special Treat!
Organic lunch from local Heritage Reclaimed Farm

1:30pm

Carter House
1140 Columbia Avenue, Franklin

 

 

2 miles ≈ 5 mins.

3:00pm

Carnton Plantation
1345 Eastern Flank Circle, Franklin

 

 

19 miles ≈ 30 mins.

5:30pm

Olive Garden*
1098 Crossings Circle, Spring Hill
* Optional fellowship time

Thursday, March 30

Battle of Nashville

 

 

36 miles ≈ 45 mins. from Gaylord Opryland

9:00am

Shy’s Hill
Benton Smith Rd., Nashville, TN 37215

 

 

5 miles ≈ 18 mins.

10:30am

Fort Negley
1100 Fort Negley Blvd., Nashville

 

 

2 miles ≈ 12 mins.

2:30pm

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street, Nashville

 

Tennessee State Capitol
600 Charlotte Ave, Nashville

3:30pm

 

Conclusion of Tour
(Explore museum and capitol inside on your own)

 

 

10 miles ≈ 15 mins. back to Gaylord Opryland

Downtown parking available at 400 Charlotte in the Music City Central Garage — $5 Early Bird (6:30am - 6:30pm); $8 up to 2 hours; $10 2-4 hours; $12 daily max; special events as posted — Premier Parking (615) 238-2250.

Also check Library Garage, 151 6th Ave N. — misc rate(s): $1 first 1/2 hour; $1 each additional 1/2 hour; $10 daily max; $5 after 5pm and weekends.

Looks like the best surface lot for those with larger vehicles is 714 Church — $7 for 2 hours; $10 until 6pm; Premier Parking (615) 238-2250.

Here is a map for you with most parking options: ParkItDowntown.com

There are many clean, economical hotels in Spring Hill or near the Opryland Hotel at which you may choose to stay.

Bill Potter will be speaking at the Teach Them Diligently Convention at the Opryland Hotel, Thursday-Saturday (separate admission required).

Accommodations


For those attending the Teach Them Diligently conference at the Opryland, convention rates are available through Teach Them Diligently.

If you are coming exclusively for the tour, there is a wide variety of accommodations throughout the Nashville / Franklin area.

We suggest the Best Western Inn and Suites in Spring Hill (104 Kedron Pkwy, Spring Hill, TN 37174, (931)-486-1234)

Ticket Pricing Information


Note: Early Bird prices shown below valid through March 9.

Included in This Tour

  • Admission and guide fees at Rippavilla Plantation
  • Admission and guide fees at Carter House
  • Admission and guide fees at Carnton Plantation
  • All other venue admissions and guide fees throughout the tour
  • Wireless headset receiver for ease of hearing guides
  • Biblical/providential interpretation from Bill Potter
  • Rich fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Optional dinner and discussion Wednesday evening at Olive Garden (dinner cost not covered as part of tour)
Heritage Reclaimed Farm

Special Treat! Organic Lunch from Local Heritage Reclaimed Farm

We have partnered with our friends the Shough family to provide you a special treat for lunch on Wednesday. We will serve sandwiches made with delicious, locally-grown organic meat from their beautiful Heritage Reclaimed Farm.



Ticket Pricing



(5-12)
Full Event

$69

Wednesday Only $55
Thursday Only $25

(Over 12)
Full Event $119
Wednesday Only $99
Thursday Only $35

After the tour, Bill Potter will speaking at the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville March 30 - April 1. Separate registration required. Stop by our booth #TBA and register to win a complimentary registration on a future Landmark Events history tour!

Study Prep


Key People

Carrie McGavock
Gen. John Bell Hood
Gen. John Schofield
Gen. Patrick Cleburne
Capt. Tod Carter
Gen. George Thomas
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
Pvt. Sam Watkins
States Rights Gist

Key Issues and Locations

The Spring Hill Affair
The Battle of Franklin
Carrie McGavock and the reinterment of the Confederate Dead
Carnton Plantation
Rippavilla Plantation
The Battle of Nashville
Shy’s Hill
Fort Negley

Bibliography

The Battle of Franklin: When the Devil Had Full Possession of the Earth, by Jim Knight
For Cause and Country: A Study of the Affair at Spring Hill & the Battle of Franklin, by Eric Jacobson
Shrouds Of Glory: From Atlanta to Nashville, by Winston Groom
Stonewall Of the West: Patrick Cleburne and the Civil War, by Craig Symonds
“Co. Aytch” First Tennessee Regiment, by Sam Watkins
John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General, by Stephen Hood


Resources on LandmarkEvents.org

  1. Carrie McGavock — An American Heroine
  2. Personal Portraits of Franklin: Private Tod Carter
  3. Personal Portraits of Franklin: General Patrick Cleburne
  4. Personal Portraits of Franklin: General John Bell Hood
  5. Personal Portraits of Franklin: General John McAllister Schofield
  6. Personal Portraits of Franklin: Lieutenant Arthur MacArthur
  7. Personal Portraits of Franklin: Corporal Sam Watkins

This Tour Is Closed




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