Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Stone River Battlefield

I lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for almost two years.   It was a quiet, little Southern town that was just far enough away from Nashville to feel more small town than any place I had ever lived.   It was my first exposure to real Southern, small town life.   Adding to the distinctly Southern culture of this little town, was the Stone River Battlefield, where the Confederate Army won a small victory against Union troops.

Stone River Battlefield is a peaceful place.  There are walking trails and the Stone River has a pretty little walkways that leads up to the battlefield.   My family and I visited the battlefield on more than one occasion for a pleasant stroll on a lovely day.  The children climbed on the old cannons.  I hadn't read much about the civil war at the time so I didn't know that we were strolling across soil that had once been soaked with blood.  It was at The Stone River Battlefield that the Union forces led by General Rosencrans had faced off against General Bragg's Confederate forces at the very place. The Battle of Stones River occurred in late December of 1862 and lasted through January 2, 1863.  One of the bloodiest portions of the battle was fought by Union General Sheriden.  His men were pinned down in an area  that has been come to be know as "slaughter pen"  and killed.  I read the history as I walked through the battlefield, but I didn't know that the history I was reading about was said to be filled with more than was written on the pamphlets.

The field I was wandering was said to be filled with ghosts.   Visitors to the Stone River Battlefield claim to have seen many soldier ghosts there.  Numerous tales describe the sounds of cannons on silent nights and spectral visions of lonely soldiers.   The most haunted place on this battlefield is slaughter pen where many report finding a cold spot.  To be honest,  it was so cold when we went I don't remember one spot being more cold than the next, but  I could imagine the place might hold such a cold spot.  Slaughter pen is a wooded, rocky area that feels uncommonly quiet.   It is strange to think back on the terror that once was acted out there when you are surrounded by such peace, but easy to imagine that ghosts linger in the shadows, even if you don't seen them.

2 comments:

Brenda Hooser said...

Such a beautiful post, but how horrible all the death. Thank you for posting.

laughingwolf said...

felt chills down my back, reading this, jessica...