Mia wanted to write this one:
I've been struggling with the blog and that is my excuse for Taco not posting in almost 6 weeks, he's been waiting on me!
I'm not struggling with the historical facts of what happened or who this woman was. What I'm struggling with is: I want to be a woman of integrity as she was; and the minute I say it I will be holding myself to that standard.
And that is what I've been struggling with: Saying who it is I want to be, and am I willing to live up to my expectations of who I say that is?
The answer is YES I am creating my future, and I am a woman of integrity....
A Woman of Integrity.
Carrie Elizabeth Winder married John McGavock in 1848 when she was 19 years old. They lived in Franklin, TN on a farm, they were the richest people around (today's net worth around 6.5 million). She was a woman that ran the house, she had social engagements, slaves for work, and two young children (3 others had passed away) .
The American Civil War started in 1861, so the southern states were war wrecked by the time we pick up with Carrie for this inspiring and gruesome tale.
On November 30, 1864, now a 35 year old, Carrie was standing on her front porch mid afternoon when a confederate scout came up to her, out of her fields “requesting” the house for a field-hospital. Some would say the army took the house, and others would say they asked her, and she said yes use our home. I believe they asked and she said yes; many of the historical stories present it this way.
Obviously Carrie and John both opened their home to the army and both of them worked throughout the night, but I'll be focusing on Carrie.
At about 4 pm the battle began, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The battle only lasted five hours; in those few hours 9,500 soldiers were killed, and another (estimated) 500 were injured or missing. 300 hundred of which were cared for with in the McGavock home. Surgeons set up their tables in the living room and children's bedroom near the windows.
It is said she donated all the house linens, tablecloths, towels, John's shirts, and her undergarments so the doctors had fresh cotton cloth for the wounded. Carrie worked throughout the night doing what she could to ease the soldiers pain. She personally served drinks and helped with bandages.
“We thank thee for the... feeble knees she lifted up, for the many hearts she comforted, the needy ones she supplied, the sick she ministered unto, and the boys she found in abject want and mothered and reared into worthy manhood. In the last day they will rise up and call her blessed. Today she is not, because thou hast taken her; and we are left sorrow for the Good Samaritan of Williamson County, a name richly merited by her.” (quoted in Jacobson: McGavock, p. 37)
After the battle soldiers stayed in her home recovering, the last soldier finally left the home the next summer.
The McGavock's donated two acres of their land for the proper burial of the soldiers. John paid $5 per body to be transferred from the mass graves to individual spots in their grave yard. With thousands of bodies left unclaimed and unmarked there was the task of identifying the bodies and tracking the new burial sites. Carrie continued to maintain the records of another 40 years till she was in her 70's. The graveyard and records have been maintained privately since then.
So I tell you all about Carrie because she was an amazing woman. Not that I want to face the horrifying sight of hundreds of injured or thousands dead, or have to be a mother raising kids in a world battling around me. I do not wish for these scenarios.
I want to be a woman that can rise to her circumstances, and not just rise to them but to soar. To comfort others, and uplift others in their own moments of strife. I hope I have the strength of character, personal constitution, and grounding in principles to support me when I face my own times of being called to more than my everyday life.
Taco and I also had a wonderful time touring the Carnton Home. It was interesting seeing the bloodstains still on the floors and the tour guide did a magnificent job bring the family to life for all of us on the tour. It was well worth the drive out from Nashville to Franklin to see this historical place.