Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stones River National Battlefield

This morning Noelle and I awoke in our hotel in Nashville. We showered, ate breakfast (leftover biscuits from Loveless Cafe), then checked out. We headed south on Interstate 24 to the city of Murfeesboro, Tennessee. We were headed there to check out the Stones River National Battlefield and the Geographical Center of the State of Tennessee.
Geographic Center of Tennessee
The Geographic Center of Tennessee
Murfreesboro, turned out to be a much larger city than I had anticipated. While I knew that it was home to Middle Tennessee State University, I was not prepared for the type of sprawl that we witnessed there. New homes and retail stores were everywhere surrounding the National Battlefield. It was kind of depressing really, to see such development encroaching on hallowed ground. Stones River is, by the way, the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War.

While the city of Murfreesboro was quite sprawling, it is not an all bad city. As a matter of fact, the city offers what has to be one of the greatest trail systems for a city of its size. While we did not get to see much of this extensive trail system, it was encouraging to see that many of the battlefield sites were connected by it.

Our visit to Stones River National Battlefield was a great one as well.
Artillery Monument
The site is well interpreted, and we got to visit all the major units of the battlefield including two sections of what was once Fortress Rosecrans.
Fort Rosencrans
Fort Rosencrans Trail
Our hike of the main battlefield unit gave us a great glimpse not only of the sites of Federal and Rebel maneuvers,
Cotton Picker
Hazen Brigade Monument
Hazen's Brigade Monument
but also of some interesting karst topography and cedar glade scenery.
Canon in Pieces
The stop at the geo-center, while anti-climatic, was fun. How many people can say that they've been to the geographic center of Tennessee? I would bet that there aren't even many Tennesseeans who can say that.     

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip to Murfreesboro, home of the Blue Raiders. The Stones River Greenway is one of the jewels of our city. When done, it will connect the city of Murfeesboro with downtown Nashville. It encompasses about 8 miles along the river and spur trails.

Glad you ate at Loveless Cafe'. You will certainly gain some weight !!