156th Anniversary of the Battle of Stones River
156 years ago, the fields and forests near Murfreesboro saw one of the bloodiest and most important battles of the American Civil War. Join park rangers and volunteers for a variety of programs that tell the story of this tragic event that affected the lives of thousands and continues to affect our lives today.
December 26-28, 2018
11 AM - The Approaching Thunder - Join a ranger at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce visitor center as they use the outdoor map to explain the Stones River Campaign events that played out 156 years ago to the day. (30 minutes)
1 PM - Stones River Stories - Listen as a park ranger tells the story of a soldier or unit on the ground where they fought in the Battle of Stones River. Check in at the visitor center to find the program location. (30 minutes)
2 PM - Battlefield Caravan Tour - Follow a ranger in your car and stop at several key locations as you explore the places and people that make up the Battle of Stones River story. (90 minutes)
December 29-30, 2018 - Living History Programs
9 AM - The Approaching Thunder - Join a ranger at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce visitor center and use the outdoor map to visualize the Stones River Campaign events that played out 156 years ago to the day. (30 minutes)
The remainder of the day will feature living history programs focusing on the events that occurred here on December 31, 1862.
11 AM - The Slaughter Pen - Walk through one of the deadliest places on the battlefield and hear the stories of soldiers who fought there while watching musket and cannon firing demonstrations. (45 minutes)
1 PM - Hell's Half Acre - Walk the deadly space where Union forces beat back four Confederate attacks anchoring the Federal line defending the Nashville Pike. This program will feature musket and cannon firing demonstrations. (45 minutes)
3 PM - The Line That Wouldn't Break - Take a 3/4 mile walk around the fields where the climactic fighting of December 31, 1862 raged and watch as Confederate and Union soldiers fire muskets and cannons. (45 minutes)
December 31, 2018 - Real Time Walks
Explore key points on the battlefield with a ranger at the same time as Confederate and Union soldiers on each site 156 years ago. All programs will begin at the park visitor center.
11 AM - The Slaughter Pen
1 PM - Hell's Half Acre
3 PM - Fighting for the Nashville Pike
January 1, 2019
10 AM - The Eye of the Storm - Learn about the quiet but critical events of New Year's Day that shaped the outcome of the Battle of Stones River. (30 minutes)
11 AM - Forever Free - The Battle of Stones River provided a victory to support the Emancipation Proclamation. Join a discussion of that document and how it shaped the outcome and aftermath of our Civil War. (30 minutes)
1 PM - William Holland's Story - Hear the story of William Holland's transformation from slave to property owner that helps us understand the connection between the Civil War, the Battle of Stones River and our nation's ongoing work to define the meaning of freedom and civil rights. (30 minutes)
2 PM - Rising From the Ashes - Take a walk through the heart of the battlefield and learn about the Freedmen's Community known as Cemetery that emerged here as a result of the "new birth of freedom" that grew out of the Civil War. (60 minutes)
January 2, 2019
All programs will take place at the McFadden Farm Unit located at 2600 Van Cleve Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.
11 AM - River Running Red - Meet a park ranger and walk down historic McFadden Lane as you hear the store of the final attack that sealed the Union victory 156 years ago.
“The Very Forest Seemed to Fall”
Join living historians as they present artillery demonstrations and talks highlighting the final attack of the battle of Stones River and its bloody consequences.
Cannon firing demonstrations will take place at 1, 2, 3 & 4 PM.
Last updated: December 14, 2018