In close proximity to Middle Tennessee State University, lies the Stones River National Battlefield, Where students and others may enjoy exercising, viewing wildlife, or learning about the history behind this amazing place. Many men on both sides of the controversy died at this site. The park is in a beautiful setting that shows respect for the enormous sacrifices made by so many. Many trails have been made to allow visitors to walk through all areas of the battlefield while observing the abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery. An incredible museum depicting life during the Civil War years is the jewel of the battlefield. It is truly a hidden treasure that provides a unique opportunity to view and learn the history of the site. The museum is a tremendous asset to the area. The park rangers take immense price in maintaining the park and insuring the history of the battlefield is taught to the younger generation.
The date is December 31, 1862. All night Union soldiers have been kept awake by the Confederate Army planning their attack. At first light the Confederates attack out of nowhere wiping out hundreds of Union soldiers. The Union Army appears to be crippled and is driving back into what is now known as “Slaughter Pen”. In Slaughter Pen the Union Army found a way to rout together and hold off the Confederates until dusk. As dawn approached on the New Year, neither side rejoiced but began to tend to their wounded and rest for the inevitable next battle.
Early on the morning of January 2, 1863, General Braxton Bragg of the Confederate Army was confident that he had the Union Army beat and ordered the 4,500 Confederate troops to drive the remaining Union troops across the river in order for the Confederates to seize the high ground.
The assault began late afternoon. The Confederates gained ground on the Union infantry and forced the Union troops to retreat to the Stones River. Unfortunately, the Confederate troops ran