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Heading to Murfreesboro to Tour the Field of Battle at Stones River - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 12:29 am
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Here Come the Rebels!
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Hey Y'all ~

I've been researching the Battle at Stones River, and have a trip planned to go visit the battlefield for a couple of days.  I am seeking any information that you might have on these areas of interest:

1) I am looking for a top-notch historian who really knows information about the battlefield itself.  How did the landscape dictate the progress of the battle?  Where are the ravines...( lots of questions I have )

2) Places of local interest that may be lesser-known, yet well worth the time taken to discover.

3) Restaurants that should not be missed.

4) Recommendations for places to stay.

5) Letting me know that which I don't even have the understanding to ask ~ yet should be asking anyway.

6) Any additional insight and information would be greatly appreciated.

With great thanks!

Will



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 01:19 am
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Scout
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Where will you be coming from?

I think most of this will fall under No. 6 of your outline. One local paper that this site often has links to in the daily news section is the Murfreesboro Post. It would be a great place to start on some of the less known character studies and events.

As you research the battle you'll find that landscape played a huge role in the battle. Several key aspects, including the Stones River bisecting the Confederate line. The cedar brakes and limestone outcropppings made it very difficult for artillery to manuevar in the woods and also provided great natural defensive barriers. The key focal point of the Confederate attack after crumbling the Union right was to take the Nashville Pike. For several reasons this was not accomplished.

One thing to note is that the battlefield is only partially preserved. It is very well interpreted and in all less than 700 acres have been preserved of a battle that raged over more than 4,000. The visitor center is located in rear of the final Union line. near the railroad and the Old Nashville Pike. Not far from this location is where the battle came to a close as furious rebel attacks were ably handeled by the strong federal line of batteries and infantry support.

Most of the ground over which the Federals were pushed is in private hands and is in the process of being developed along the new Medical Center Parkway. However, famous areas of the slaughter pen, cotton field, hells half acre, and the place where Sheridan's men fought back-to-back are within the park. Check the NPS site as Stones River has been having living history events several of the last weekends.

Good luck! when I have been there have been plenty of rangers to help out.



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 02:03 am
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Here Come the Rebels!
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Hey Scout,

Thanks for the input.  I am coming out from California.  I'll check out the link to the Post, and keep my eye out for info about the living history events.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the depth of the cedars, and the limestone outcroppings.

Hopefully, someone local will be able to weigh in with regards to the 'local questions'.

Cheers,

Will



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 02:37 am
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A member of the round table I belong to (the Rocky Mountain CW Round Table) wrote a very nice book about Stones River. His name is Matt Spruill, and published by the University of Tennessee Press, the book is titled "Winter Lightning, A Guide to the Battle of Stones River". Matt convinced me through his book and a through a couple of lectures that, although much of the battlefield is lost, Stones River would be a great place to visit. I would certainly recommend having this book handy during a visit.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 03:23 am
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Here Come the Rebels!
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Hey Tim,

I have just finished reading that book.  It is a tremendous resource with an incredible amount of insight, 1st hand accounts, and specific places that 'held power' during the several days of fighting.

Thanks for the tip!

Will



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 02:31 pm
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calcav1
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Will,

You might want to see Park Ranger Jim Lewis. Call or email him first to see if he will have some free time during your visit. You want knowledge, he's the man.

Tom



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 03:26 pm
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Here Come the Rebels!
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Tom,

He may be the man...yet you're The Man for pointing me in his direction!  This is exactly the tip I was looking for.  Greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Will



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 05:20 pm
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izzy
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Here Come the Rebels,

I followed the book: Winter Lightning, A Guide to the Battle of Stones River this spring.  It is an excellent guide.  I found it even more helpful to get the 'Stones River Battlefield Troop Movement Map' at the park visitors center to supplement the book's information.  Do this driving tour very early.  The crack of dawn on a weekend is the best time because the book covers a section of the battlefield whose front line is now a 4 lane highway lined with strip malls.  It gets too difficult to enjoy that section of the battlefield once the traffic picks up.

I also recommend the Murfreesboro Post.  They have a wonderful columnist writing about the Civil War.

Have a great time! :)



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 05:34 pm
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David White
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Ft. Rosecrans is well preserved and worth the time to explore. A very extensive set of fortifications for the Federal supply depot established at Murfreesboro after the battle.



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 07:29 pm
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Here Come the Rebels!
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Izzy,

Thanks for the tip on the 'Stones River Battlefield Troop Movement Map'.  The 'Early morning' suggestion is also appreciated.  I'll be there during the middle of the week, hopefully the traffic won't pick up till after 8am.

I'm really looking forward to this trip!

Cheers,

Will



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 08:09 pm
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izzy
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Here Come the Rebels,

If you have Co. Aytch, 1st TN Regiment by Sam Watkins, you may like to read his description of the battle, and then use the 'Troop Movement Map' to find his location on the battlefield.



 Posted: Tue Jul 29th, 2008 09:30 pm
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Here Come the Rebels!
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I've read about that book, yet haven't read it...maybe this is the time.  Thanks again.



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