Some say Civil War spy keeps Franklin in her sights - WSMV Channel 4

Some say Civil War spy keeps Franklin in her sights

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

The jack-o-lanterns are carved and the trick-or-treaters have all gone home, but Halloween is not complete without a good ghost story.

The people of Franklin have long shared the story of a Confederate spy and the mischief she still creates more than 100 years after her death.

"I've learned that this is a very haunted town. We have stories from most of the buildings on Third Avenue," said Margie Thessin, owner of Franklin on Foot.

"This street, in particular, is probably excessively haunted. We're a five-block town, and you can't walk on one of the blocks without having a story or something having been there," said tour guide Anna Anderson.

The guides with Franklin on Foot are now stopped in front 118 Third Ave. N, sharing a story of a war, a spy mission and the woman who guarded the home until the day she died, and beyond.

"This house was owned by a woman named Sallie Carter who lived here during the Civil War," Thessin said. "Nashville fell to the Union army. The army came down to occupy this town."

As the story goes, Sallie then decided to become a spy for the Confederacy.

"Sallie took on the attitude or the mindset of keeping her friends close but her enemies a little bit closer," Anderson said.

"She'd sashay her way over to that old courthouse and invite those officers over to her house for dinner," Thessin said.

The woman would then treat the officers to dinner and some whiskey, and the strategic information had a way of pouring out.

"They had given her way more information than they realized they had given and had answered questions they probably didn't realize they were being asked," Anderson said.

Sallie would then write all of that information on a piece of paper, roll it up and stuff it into a whiskey bottle that she tied and left hanging beneath her petticoat.

"Off she would go to some prearranged place in the country ,where she'd leave the whiskey bottle with the information and the supplies for other spies to find," Thessin said.

Sallie died in the house on Third Avenue in 1912 at 87 years old, but there are those who believe Sallie - the petticoat spy of the Confederacy - had a devotion to her state so strong she never left.

The home, now known as Shuff's Music, has had multiple reports of pictures suddenly flying off walls, perfume scents wafting the air from some bygone era and the story of what a local artist saw late one night.

"She opens the door and sees, sitting in the rocking chair behind the window, the spirit of a very old woman. The woman stopped rocking, turned and looked at her and said, 'I used to live in this house.' She says she knows, without a doubt, she saw Sallie Carter," Thessin said.

According to the guides with Franklin on Foot, it's important for someone to always keep these stories alive, like Sallie Carter's - if Sallie doesn't do it herself.

To schedule your historic tour with Franklin on Foot, visit: http://franklinonfoot.com/.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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