Stones River National Battlefield

Hazen Brigade Monument

An 1869 drawing of the Hazen Monument.
Hazen Monument circa 1869
National Archives and Records Administration

Quick Facts

Location:
Murfreesboro, TN
Significance:
The Hazen Brigade Monument is the oldest Civil War monument still standing in its original location.
Designation:
National Park, National Register of Historic Places

The Hazen Brigade Monument is situated in the midst of the Stones River National Cemetery, where 6,850 Union soldiers are buried who died in the 1862-1863 Battle of Stones River. It is the oldest American Civil War monument still standing in its original location. There were two earlier Civil War monuments erected, but one - the 32nd Indiana Monument at Cave Hill National Cemetery - is now located at the Frasier International History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and the other at Manassas, Virginia no longer exists.

Col. William B. Hazen's brigade played a central role in the fighting at the Round Forest on the first day of the Battle of Stones River. During the battle, Hazen's Brigade held its position between the Nashville Pike and the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad through four Confederate attacks. The Brigade's determined resistance ended the advance of the Confederate Army of Tennessee and kept it from pushing the Union Army of the Cumberland back to Nashville.

After the battle, Hazen and Col. Isaac C. B. Suman, 9th Indiana Volunteers, felt there was a need for a monument to honor the soldiers who died at Stones River. Men from Suman's regiment built the monument within six months of the battle and buried 45 soldiers of the Brigade within a stone enclosure.

Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas formally established the larger cemetery in 1864. The many-thousands of additional graves were added between 1865 and 1867 when the 111th Regiment United States Colored Troops disinterred bodies from the battlefields of Stones River, Murfreesboro, Franklin, Shelbyville, Tullahoma and Cowan and moved them to Stones River.