Civil War Talk Radio: September 29, 2006

Air Date: 092906
Subject: Carnton Plantation, Carrie McGavock, and the Battle of Franklin
Books:  The Widow of the South
Guest: Robert Hicks

Summary: Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South, talks about the remarkable fate of the Confederates killed at the battle of Franklin.

Brett’s Summary: Robert Hicks, a “long-time Carnton Association board member” and author of The Widow of the South, a novel about Carrie McGavock and the Confederate cemetery at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, was today’s guest on Civil War Talk Radio.

The first segment focused on Hick’s background as a 30 year resident of Franklin, his role on the board of the Carnton Association, and the entertainment business he runs.  Hicks told an interesting story of how he came to meet famous Civil War writer Shelby Foote while driving one day and spending one night talking over the war with him.

Hicks freely admits he has written a novel, but it seems apparent from the interview that he did his homework.  Hicks is very familiar with some of the historians who have written books on the Battle of Franklin, and mentioned Wiley Sword, James Lee McDonough, and Eric Jacobsen by name.  Ed Bearss has spent time at his log cabin in Franklin as well going over the battle with Hicks.

The author’s book The Widow of the South focuses on Carrie McGavock and her efforts to watch over the large private Confederate cemetery at Carnton, her family’s plantation.  Several years after the war, Confederates who had died at or after the Battle of Franklin were reinterred on the grounds of Carnton.  Hicks discovered long ago that Carrie McGavock hated being called “Caroline”, her given name.  However, she had been posthumously referred to as Caroline because one of the board members at Carnton disliked the name Carrie.  Hicks said he knew he had “won” when one of the board members disagreed with his characterization of Carrie but called her Carrie instead of Caroline.

The last part of the show was spent talking about Hicks’ work with Franklin’s Charge, an organization made up of representatives from all of the existing preservation and conservation organizations in Williamson County and dedicated to preserving as much about the Battle of Franklin as possible.

Civil War Talk Radio airs most Fridays at 12 PM Pacific on World Talk Radio Studio A. Host Gerry Prokopowicz, the History Chair at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, interviews a guest each week and discusses their interest in the Civil War. Most interviews center around a book or books if the guest is an author. Other guests over the years have included public historians such as park rangers and museum curators, wargamers, bloggers, and even a member of an American Civil War Round Table located in London, England.

In this series of blog entries, I will be posting air dates, subjects, and guests, and if I have time, I’ll provide a brief summary of the program. You can find all of the past episodes I’ve entered into the blog by clicking on the Civil War Talk Radio category. Each program should appear either on or near the date it was first broadcast.

Check out more summaries of Civil War Talk Radio at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog.

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