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Civil War Trust

  Battle of Stones River Tour: A “Hard Earned Victory” in Middle Tennessee (Thursday; Color Bearers Only)

Historian: Jim Lewis/Derek Frisby

Tour Description: Join our guides for a tour of the sites where one of the most important, but least known, battles of the Civil War raged more than 151 years ago. The trip will begin with a ride through the developed areas where Gen Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee opened the fighting on December 31, 1862 with a crushing attack against the Right Wing of Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Union Army of the Cumberland. Once inside the park, the group will walk the ground where Union forces struggled to delay the gray tide long enough for a new defensive line to form behind them protecting their vital connection to Nashville, a place that later became known as the Slaughter Pen. We will stand where Union infantry and artillery beat back wave after wave of Confederates as the last day of 1862 came to a close including the crucial anchor point of that line known today as Hell's Half Acre. We will conclude by moving to the banks of the Stones River where the final charge of the battle claimed more than 2,000 casualties in less than an hour.

Throughout the tour we will consider the crucial military, political, and social themes that led this costly battle, nearly 24,000 of the 81,000 soldiers engaged were killed wounded or captured, to become one of the most important Union victories of the war.

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