Battlefield opens new gate

The Murfreesboro Post, November 13, 2011

Stones River National Battlefield Superintendent Stuart Johnson announced the new entrance to the park will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the gate on Thompson Lane across from the New Vision Baptist Church.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which will be followed by a reception at the visitor center.

The new entrance and tour road construction completes the second phase of a project to improve visitors’ experience of the battlefield.

The first phase included a new visitor center parking lot, accessible trails in the visitor center area and repaving part of the park’s tour road.

The new entrance is located at 1563 N. Thompson Lane.

Visitors will still be able to enter the park at the original entrance at 3501 Old Nashville Highway.

The Battle of Stones River was one of the most significant battles of the Civil War, fought over nearly 4,000 acres and resulting in Union control of Middle Tennessee.

The battle will be remembered in late December in a series of events and educational programs, which tell the story of the tragic events that affected the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Programs include:

• They Retreated in Great Confusion, where visitors walk with a ranger near the south end of the park and relive the the crushing Confederate attack on the morning of Dec. 31, 1862.

• The Slaughter Pen, which highlights  one the deadliest places on the battlefield.

• Hell’s Half Acre, where rangers speak about the men of Colonel William B. Hazen’s Brigade and their stand against four Confederate attacks.

• Breckinridge’s Charge, which teaches visitors more about the bloody climax of the battle.

• Voices of Stones River, a special ranger-led caravan tour featuring descriptions of the Battle of Stones River as written by the soldiers who were lucky enough to survive the carnage.

At each stop, visitors will see infantry and artillery demonstrations that help bring the soldiers’ stories to life.

• The Very Forest Seemed to Fall, where re-enactors demonstrate the power of Union artillery and visitors experience the battle’s boody climax through the stories of the cannoneers.

Stones River National Battlefield can be entered at 1563 N. Thompson Lane or at 3501 Old Nashville Highway, about three miles northwest of downtown Murfreesboro.

Additional information is available at the visitor center, by calling 615-893-9501, or at the park website,

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