Stones River National Battlefield | BATTLEFIELD TOUR

Stones River National Battlefield map (click to enlarge)

Stones River National Battlefield map (click to enlarge)

Before embarking on a tour of the Stones River National Battlefield, be sure to pick up a park brochure and study the map. As you can see, only a small portion of the battlefield has been preserved, the rest having succumbed to the development of business and residential areas in Murfreesboro. In the above map, the dark grey area indicates the original battlefield while the green area is the boundary of the current park. The area you will be touring is where the fighting took place starting mid-morning on the first day of the battle, December 31, 1862, so it’s sort of like getting dropped right into the middle of things. Union forces had already been driven back a mile and a half by this time.

The tour covers six locations in the north-central section of the battlefield. Tour signs along the road point the way. Five of the stops are concentrated west of Old Nashville Highway, while the sixth, McFadden Farm, takes some maneuvering through the streets of Murfreesboro to reach. Because of this, the tour is best done in the car. If it weren’t for the McFadden Farm stop, you could walk or bike the tour.

At each tour stop are information panels that give a brief description of the location’s significance to the battle. You can also take advantage of the park’s Cell Phone Tour—look for the sign at each stop. If you dial the phone number and enter the stop number when prompted, you can listen to a short narrative about the events that took place at this location. Messages average a couple minutes in length. There is no charge to use the Cell Phone Tour.

In addition to the six tour stops, you can visit the headquarter locations of both Union General William Rosecrans and Confederate General Braxton Bragg. These locations are not part of the tour and require driving roughly a mile outside of the park boundaries.

A thorough tour of the battlefield takes about 3 hours, which includes hiking the trails at each stop (when applicable). Add another 30 minutes to visit the headquarter sites. Those less inclined to learn about the battle can breeze through the main tour area in about an hour.

For a virtual tour of the battlefield, National Park Planner has created a web page for each stop that includes a description and photos of what you will see. You can use the menu below to jump to a particular tour stop. A menu at the bottom of each page allows you to navigate to the next or previous stop.

Tour Stop 1:  Eve of Battle

Tour Stop 2: Slaughter Pen

Tour Stop 3: Cotton Field

Tour Stop 4: Defending Nashville Pike

Tour Stop 5: Round Forest

Tour Stop 6: McFadden Farm

Rosecran Headquarters

Bragg Headquarters

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With a few exceptions, use of any photograph on the National Park Planner website requires a paid Royalty Free Editorial Use License or Commercial Use License. See the Photo Usage page for details.
Last updated on March 10, 2020
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