Description - A fierce battle took place at Stones River between December 31, 1862 and January 2, 1863. General Bragg's Confederates withdrew after the battle, allowing General Rosecrans and the Union army to control middle Tennessee. Although the battle was tactically indecisive, it provided a much-needed boost to the North after the defeat at Fredericksburg. Lincoln later wrote to General Rosecrans, "I can never forget [...] you gave us a hard-earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over."
The 450-acre National Battlefield includes Stones River National Cemetery, established in 1865, with more than 6,000 Union graves, and the Hazen Monument, believed to be the oldest Civil War monument. Portions of Fortress Rosecrans, a large earthen fort constructed after the battle, still stand and are preserved and interpreted by the National Park Service.
- The best place to start your visit to this federal property is the visitor center. The slide show and museum at this information center will help you understand the story of the Stones River Battle and its consequences. Visitors should obtain a park folder with a tour map and an optional audio tape tour at the visitor center. This pamphlet will allow the visitor to our the battlefield by car or foot, learning the significant points of the battle. Fortress Rosecrans may be seen along a paved trail.
Recreation - Visitors to Stones River National Battlefield can participate in ranger-led tours of the battlefield during the summer months. Throughout the year biking, walking, viewing exhibits and scenic driving are popular recreation pursuits.
Climate - In Murfreesburo, Tennessee, summer weather is hot and humid with highs above 90 degrees F. Spring and fall bring the most pleasant temperatures and conditions for traveling. Winter temperatures are variable and usually mild, but may drop below freezing with occasional snow.
This National Battlefield lies within Murfreesburo, Tennessee, in the central portion of the state, approximately 35 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Interstate 24 passes through Murfreesburo and provides access to the battlefield. To reach the battlefield from Interstate 24 follow exit 78B to Tennessee State Highway 96 and turn eastward. Follow Tennessee State Highway 96 to its intersection with U.S. Highway 41/70. Turn left and take U.S. Highway 41/70 northward to Thompson Lane. Turn left on to Thompson Lane and follow it to the Old Nashville Highway, following signs to the Visitor Center.