Robert Hurt

Pvt. John Atkinson

Pvt. John Atkinson
Killed in the Battle of Franklin
Age 22, from Arkansas
Buried as Unknown

McEwen Bivouac

McEwen Bivouac pictured at the Franklin Confederate Monument. The Bivouac were early caretakers of the Confederate Cemetery

The work required to maintain this historic treasure is an expensive endeavor. Your contributions are deeply appreciated and, of course, tax deductible.

Make check payable to McGavock Confederate Cemetery and mail donation to:

McGavock Confederate Cemetery Corp.
c/o First Farmers Bank
1536 W. McEwen Drive
Franklin, TN 37064

McGavock Cemetery
McGavock Cemetery
Photo Courtesy of Shannon Jenkins Photography.

McGavock Cemetery Trustees
Franklin Ch. 14 members and Cemetery Trustees at Memorial, 2017
  McGavock Cemetery, photo by Robin Hood
  McGavock Cemetery at sunrise
photo courtesy of Robin Hood, Photographer

After the November 30, 1864 Battle of Franklin, fallen Confederate soldiers were buried on the battlefield. Makeshift wooden markers were placed to identify the dead. Two years later, as the markers became increasingly difficult to read, the citizens of Franklin began raising funds to exhume and re-inter 1,480 soldiers on property donated by the McGavock family of Carnton. Veterans assisted in maintaining the graves, and in 1911 the deed to the cemetery and right-of-way from Lewisburg Pike was presented to the newly chartered McGavock Confederate Cemetery Corporation. The corporation continues to maintain and oversee the burial ground today.

After the Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864, the Union Army withdrew into Nashville leaving casualties of over 8,000 soldiers. Confederate General John Bell Hood left a burial detail in Franklin for two days. Confederate soldiers were buried near the Carter House breastworks with the graves arranged in plots according to the states from which the soldiers came. As winter wore on, many of the headboards were fading or were used for firewood by the poor. Seeing the great need, Colonel John McGavock and family donated two acres of land adjoining the family graveyard, to be used for a final resting place for the soldiers.

In April 1866, he and other citizens formed a committee and began raising money to remove the bodies. Again, each soldier was laid to rest by state and each known name was registered in the Book of the Dead. Colonel McGavock’s wife, Caroline Winder McGavock, continued to maintain the official register of the dead and welcome families and comrades of the fallen who wished to pay their respects. At the same time, the John L. McEwen Bivouac of Veterans assisted in maintaining the graves and in 1890 appointed a committee to maintain the cemetery and raise funds to replace the wooden headboards with the limestone markers you see today. In 1911 Mrs. Winder McGavock and Carnton owners, Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Shelton, presented the trustees of the newly chartered McGavock Confederate Cemetery, the deed to the cemetery and the right-of-way for light vehicles from the Lewisburg Pike along the 30-foot avenue leading to their property. While serving as President of the cemetery, W.D. Shelton gave an additional ten feet along the avenue making a “wide driveway from the Pike to the Cemetery.” The Trustees continued to maintain the cemetery and avenue and reported in the minute book in 1919 that the cost of the bridge repair was $275.00 and with the new permanent rock road, “nothing else will need to be done to it in our lifetime.” ln 1925 only three of the trustees were in attendance at their meeting and as these veterans passed away, the care of the cemetery devolved upon their wives who were active in the Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1926 the trustees voted to allow members elected by Franklin Chapter #14 to serve as such trustees. The chapter had been responsible for placing the statue of the Confederate Soldier in the town square in Franklin in 1899, developing Winstead Hill as a memorial park, and raising funds for the Confederate Veteran’s Home and the Confederate Memorial Hall on the Peabody Campus in Nashville.

In 1989 the Daughters published a small cemetery book in an effort to tell the history of the cemetery and offer the only published list of the dead that could be purchased. The list was copied from the 1947 printed “blue book.” Profits from the sale of the booklet would be used toward the upkeep of the cemetery. The booklet is now in its sixth publication.

In November 1989 the re-enactment of the Battle of Franklin brought a donation of $13,000 to the Daughters for the restoration needed in the cemetery. Graham Reed was persuaded to undertake the tedious process of restoring the stones and monuments. Since those original monies were donated, fund raising efforts have continued. Descendants, Civil War Round Tables, State organizations of Sons of Confederate Veterans, re-enactments, local banks, businesses, and the Franklin Memorial Association have contributed approximately $60,000 for the restoration of the stones, and repairs to the iron fence. The Tennessee Historical Commission contributed small grants toward ground maintenance and local Sons of the Confederate Veterans helped with maintenance and care in the past. The Order of the Southern Cross has contributed financial support as well.

Today, the McGavock Confederate Cemetery Corporation serves as the official organization that maintains the cemetery. Trustees are elected by the board and must be members of Franklin Chapter #14 UDC. Trustees serve today as when the original organization was formed in 1911. Each June the Daughters hold a memorial service to remember the fallen soldiers who gave their lives for their homeland and for a cause so dear.

A&S Restoration  
A&S Cleaning Unknown Soldier's monument
Donated Services by A&S for Memorial Day Service


In 1996 the cemetery trustees completed a $60,000 project with stonemason, Graham Reed. Repair was made to many of the damaged headstones, monuments and iron fence. Mr. Reed undertook much of the work at his own expense. In 2014 Dallas Upchurch with A&S Restoration again cleaned and sealed the stones. Mr. Upchurch has many years in the field of historic stone restoration.

Because of age, the letters on the top of many of the stones were still not legible and visitors to the cemetery were disappointed that they could not find the stones of their ancestors.

There are 12 sections in the cemetery where 1,256 soldiers are buried by the state for which they fought. The trustees have voted to place new 6 x 6 inch granite “cornerstones” in front of each of the present limestone gravestones with the same information that is on the limestone marker on the new granite ones.

In 2016, our trustees chose to start with the Tennessee Section and these stones were ordered and installed. (See pictures.)

All cornerstones for all states were in place by June 11, 2018. The trustees want to thank all the people and organizations that have made donations for this project. We want to thank the Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama and Missouri Divisions of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for paying for the stones in their section and also the Civil War Roundtables of Texas for paying for the Texas section.

We are indebted to Jean Bruce with Ensworth School for their TNGENWEB project survey to document all information on each headstone and sharing that information with us. We also want to thank Leoma Monument, Leoma, TN for making and installing these cornerstones for the cemetery.

The trustees appreciate the support received for this project. Efforts will continue to work to preserve and maintain the McGavock Confederate Cemetery.

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Visiting the McGavock Cemetery

The cemetery is open to the public during daylight hours.
Special events must be approved by the cemetery trustees.
Driving Directions: Located adjacent to Carnton Plantation,
off Lewisburg Pike, Franklin, TN 37064

McGavock Cemetery map

Annual Memorial Service

Each June Franklin Chapter #14, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the McGavock Confederate Cemetery Trustees hold a Memorial Service at the cemetery.

At our service on June 3, 2018, Matilda Speck, Tennessee Division President, attended and presented greetings. Louise Beauchamp and Marlene Holmes led us in a Dedication of the new Cornerstones in the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. Rick Warwick gave our address. Jason Dunn, Bag Piper, participated with our presentation and hymns.

On June 2, 2019, Jim Drury, Pipe Major, escorted the color guard and also later played Amazing Grace. Our program was entitled “Remembering the Fallen” and was presented by three of the McGavock Cemetery Trustees: Nancy Bassett, Melissa Jones and Lynn Garrett-Moss.

Both years, Confederate flags were placed on the graves of all soldiers by Boy Scout Troop #137.

Chad Gray, speaker for 2017 Memorial Service David Garrett, speaker for 2016 Memorial Service Drake Bassett, speaker for 2015 Memorial Service
Louise Beauchamp, 2017 Welcome Lynn Garrett-Moss presenting plaque to Chad Gray Susan Hardy presenting plaque to Jean Bruce and Greg Eubanks from Ensworth
2017, Maury Light Artillery, Camp 2286 2017, Jim Drury, Bagpiper (2018) Jason Bunn, Piper, leads in the color guard.
Rick Warwick, speaker for 2018 Memorial. Emily Robinson presents plaque for service to Lynn Garrett-Moss. Melissa Jones recognizes Susan Hardy who is retiring as treasurer of MCCC.
(2019) Louise Beauchamp, Welcome. Lynn Garrett-Moss, first speaker, for “Remembering the Fallen” Program. Melissa Jones, 2nd speaker.
Nancy Bassett, 3rd speaker. Recognition of the service of Mr. John Green and Boy Scout Troup #137. Taps is played at end of service.
McGavock Trustees 2012

2014 Board of Trustees

Left to right: Ann Moran, Virginia Bowman, Nancy Bassett, Louise Beauchamp, Bertha Maye Gathmann. Back Row: Jane Brophy, Marlene Holmes, Lynn Garrett-Moss, Susan Hardy
McGavock Confederate Cemetery
Corporation Trustees
  • Louise J. Beauchamp, Chairman
  • Nancy W. Bassett, Chairman Emeritus
  • Diane Plauche, Secretary
  • Marlene Holmes, Treasurer
  • Cynda Ferguson
  • Melissa Jones
  • Lynn Garrett-Moss
  • Pat McGraw

Highland Pipes, Jim Drury

Pipe Major, Jim Drury
Order online at


Battle of Franklin Trust

Heritage Foundation, Williamson County, TN

Save the Franklin Battlefield

Lotz House

© 2024 McGavock Confederate Cemetery Corporation • [email protected]

McGavock Cemetery