The Carter House – Summer 2016

Like the Lotz House, the Carter House survived the Civil War.  It is located across the street (about 110 steps) from the Lotz House (according to their site) in Franklin, TN.  Here’s the official link and here’s the Wikipedia link.  These 2 homes are intricately linked:  Lotz purchased the land to build his house from Carter;  during the battle, both families hid in the Carter House cellar for about 20 hours.

The front line of the Battle of Franklin occurred on the Carter property.  The street separating the 2 houses would take a traveler to Nashville.  The Union troops were attempting to keep the Confederate troops from reaching Nashville.  Many of the surviving troops went on to fight in the Battle of Nashville just 2 weeks later.

The sad part of the story of this family was that a son Tod Carter had joined the Confederate Army.  He was marching toward Nashville when this battle started brewing.  Imagine being in his shoes – your home is just a couple hundred yards ahead surrounded by the enemy and you haven’t been home for several years.  I would have had a few conflicting thoughts – continue to fight or check on the family.  After the battle, his father asked if Tod’s unit was present.  It was.  He and his daughters and daughter-in-laws started searching for him among the dead and wounded.  He was eventually found, taken home, and passed a few days later, never regaining consciousness.

Here’s a video I found on about Tod Carter.

Coincidentally, both homes survived the battle.  Here is a picture of a building about 20 yards from the home.  This wall was facing the Confederate troops.  Look at all these bullet holes!

South facing wall of the kitchen.  This building was on the Union side of the front-line facing the Confederate army.


South facing side of an office building.  It’s amazing that after 150+ years you can still see all the holes.  It has obviously been painted but the holes endure.
Battle grounds showing how close these 2 homes were to the front.


Here’s a video describing the battle in the front of the Carter House  I found on (pretty graphic)


This video describes the aftermath of the battle – how the city endures found on

Lotz House – Summer 2016

This was the summer of the Civil War.  We visited quite a few Civil War sites.  The Lotz House (here’s the official museum link and  here’s the Wikipedia link) is in Franklin, Tennessee about 20 miles south of Nashville.  It was one of the homes at the front line of the Battle of Franklin (here’s a Wikipedia link).

This location had special meaning for us – John’s 3x great-uncle fought in this battle for the Union forces (Indiana Calvary), was captured, and taken to Andersonville (Fort Sumter), GA.  Andersonville will be a separate post.  We have an original letter written by Nathan to his mother, John’s 3x great-grandmother.

Our tour guide told the amazing story of this family as we passed from room to room about Johann Lotz, his wife, and his children, most notably his daughter Matilda Lotz.


We can’t imagine what this family went through during this battle.  To take refuge in a neighbor’s cellar for about 20 hours, not knowing what is happening outside, yet hearing it all.  The sounds of soldiers fighting and dying must have been horrendous.  No wonder Matilda made peaceful animal scenes.

Battle of Franklin.  Location of Lotz House in relation to battle – basically at the front!  taken from Wikipedia

The woodwork by Johann in this house is amazing!  He was truly a master woodworker!  His artistic ability is evident throughout the house.  Upon entry, the staircase handrail catches your eye.  It’s BEAUTIFUL!!   Pictures were not allowed to be taken while we were in the house but many can be found on the museum web site and elsewhere on the internet.

If you decide to take this tour, you have to also do the Carter House across the street to finish the story.

The videos below were published by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and are a good representation of the house and information presented during the tour.  I found these on

These videos may look alike here but they are definitely parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 – Lotz House


Part 2 – Lotz House