On a recent trip to Nashville, I took the time to visit the Stones River National Battlefield, at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, one of the Civil War’s biggest and bloodiest battles.
Like many others, I am a student of the Civil War. It was a dark moment in our history, but one that set the course for our united nation. And so, I like to visit Civil War sites when I get the chance. The Stones River battle lasted three days, beginning December 31, 1862 and ending January 2, 1863. Three days. Union and Confederate forces numbered about 81,000. According to Stone River Battlefield information, the Union had 13,249 casualties and the Confederate forces suffered 10,266, with the Union declaring victory as the Confederates retreated.
That’s nearly 24,000 casualties in three days of fierce battle. To put that in perspective, there were about 58,000 military fatal casualties in the entirety of the Vietnam Conflict, 1955-1975.
24,000 in three days. It was a blood bath on both sides with each side losing about one-third of their troops. Many of the Union soldiers who died are buried across the street from the Visitor’s Center in the National Cemetery.
It is a somber place to visit. Hallowed ground.
Until next time.
See you on the highway.