Play - Carrie’s Graveyard Book
Carrie’s Graveyard Book – Carrie Hassler
(Paula Breedlove, Mike Evans, and Mark “Brink” Brinkman)
Paulajon Music ASCAP/Mark Brinkman Songs – BMI
“Unaffrighted by the sight of blood, unawed by horrid wounds, unblanched by ghastly death, [Carrie] walked from room to room, from man to man, her very skirts stained in blood.” – Colonel W. D. Gale, in a letter to his wife.
The soldiers who fought in the Battle of Franklin in 1864 may have been far from home, but it took place right on Carrie McGavock’s doorstep. Her home plantation, Carnton, was commandeered as a field hospital, where she first treated the wounded, and after the battle, the dead. More than a thousand soldiers needed to be buried, and Carrie took it upon herself to make sure each boy rested peacefully in her graveyard. Until her death in 1905, she spent her time and fortune burying and recording each name in her graveyard book so that every family could know the fate of their husband, son, or brother.
With the loss of three children down in Franklin, Tennessee
Carrie McGavock was no stranger to tragedy and grief
So with rows of wounded soldiers lying on her blood-stained floor
She nursed them by the hundreds back in 1864.
In five hours the battle ended but for Carrie it lived on
For many long years after the winds of war grew calm
On the field of battle bones in danger of the plow Were moved to Carrie’s graveyard, they rest peacefully now.
In that two acre graveyard over fourteen hundred lay
And to honor every soldier Carrie kept a list of names
So they wouldn’t be forgotten like so many others would
And now they live forever…in Carrie’s Graveyard Book.
From all across the southland for years the letters came
From mothers, wives and fathers searching for a loved one’s name
And when that name was written with honor on a page
They’d come by horse and wagon to mourn upon his grave.