Murfreesboro Things to Do

  • Exhibit shows items recovered from Hazen Monument
    Exhibit shows items recovered from Hazen...
    by mtncorg
  • Battles lying ahead of Stones River
    Battles lying ahead of Stones River
    by mtncorg
  • Visitor Center from the Nashville Pike
    Visitor Center from the Nashville Pike
    by mtncorg

Most Recent Things to Do in Murfreesboro

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    HAZEN’S MONUMENT

    by mtncorg Updated Jul 7, 2014
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    Two Federal groups put monuments up here at Stones River but this one was by a long ways the first erected. In fact, this monument remembering the efforts of the Second Brigade/Colonel William Hazen – 2nd Division Brigadier General John Palmer – is the oldest formal effort to honor Civil War dead. Hazen’s brigade was the only Federal brigade to not be forced to change its position on Dec 31. Their defense of the Union center at the Round Forest went a long way to thwart the Confederate efforts, stopping four separate attacks during the day from 10 am on. The area where they fought was nicknamed “Hell’s Half Acre”. It was close by here that General Rosecrans’ chief of staff, Colonel Julius Garesché, literally lost his head when he was decapitated by a Confederate cannon ball. Cuban by birth and a West Pointer, Garesché was a personal friend of Rosecrans and was partially responsible for Rosecrans’ conversion to the Catholic faith.

    After the battle and Bragg’s army left Murfreesboro to the Union forces, the Federals worked on building Fortress Rosecrans to serve as a protected supply depot to use for future campaigns. It was during this period, in the spring of 1863, that men of Hazen’s Brigade built this memorial within which they lay some of their fallen comrades, names inscribed on the walls of the monument.

    In 1985, the NPS restored the monument and discovered nine objects within, arranged in a possibly meaningful pattern. The objects can be viewed at the Visitor Center still in the same positions in which they were recovered. Hazen’s regiments have erected separate monuments at both Shiloh and at Chickamauga.

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    MCFADDEN’S FORD

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
    Tablet explains troubles of the Orphan Brigade
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    McFadden’s Ford is the site where General William Rosecrans was going to shuttle across Major General Thomas Crittenden’s Left Wing on Dec 31, 1862 in order to bash in the Confederate right flank. Crittenden had begun to get his troops across with Van Cleve’s division in front when it became apparent that the Confederates had beaten the Federals to the punch by smashing the Federals on the other end of the line. Crittenden’s Wing was recalled and would serve as a vital reserve used throughout the day going into action in separate pieces as Rosecrans deemed necessary.

    At the end of Dec 31, the Federals maintained dozens of cannons on the rise above the west bank of the ford protecting the Union left. Rosecrans sent Van Cleve’s division – now under the command of Brigadier General Sam Beatty after Van Cleve had been wounded in the fighting of Dec 31 - back across the river to secure the high ground on the east bank. Bragg found out about this on the afternoon of Jan 2. He had already declared victory to Richmond in a wire on the night of Dec 31, fully expecting Rosecrans to withdraw during that night. When Rosecrans did not retreat, Bragg was forced to continue the fight. In order to do so, he needed to regain the high ground on the east bank and he ordered Breckinridge to attack with his division. Breckinridge and his subordinates knew of the strong Union artillery positions that awaited them and were aghast, but the attack went ahead at 4 pm.

    As the Confederates began rolling into position, Mendenhall scurried more cannons onto the hill above McFadden’s Ford on the west side; forty-five cannons atop the hill and another dozen in support close by. As the Rebel attack began, the Federal guns first concentrated on the Confederate cannons supporting Breckinridge’s infantry. Given a free initial hand, the Rebels pushed Beatty’s men back to the river. In an instant the tide turned as the 57 guns now concentrated on the Confederate soldiers. Clouds of canister ripped the Rebel ranks apart and the attack faltered. General --- Negley’s brigades now moved without orders across the river to counterattack the now shaken Confederate ranks. Breckinridge was forced to retreat. Low ammunition supplies and darkness halted the Federal attack.

    Breckinridge broke into tears when he saw what was left of his Orphan Brigade – his original command from Kentucky commanded this day by Brigadier Roger Hanson whom also lost his life in the attack. He cried out, “My poor Orphans! My poor Orphan Brigade! They have cut it to pieces!” Breckinridge lost 1800 men – 38% of his command – in the attack. With the bloody setback, Bragg opted to retreat down the railway to Tullahoma, halfway to Chattanooga. The winter campaign was over.

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    RAIL MONUMENT

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
    Rail monument above McFadden's Ford
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    The large white obelisk atop the slight rise remembers the point at which Captain John Mendenhall amassed some 57 Federal cannons which effectively snuffed out the Confederate attack on Jan 2 by Breckinridge’s division. Erected in 1908 by the Nashville, Chattanooga and St Louis Railway, the monument is not necessarily in honor of the Union guns, the railroad’s president, John Thomas had been a keen supporter of the Confederacy and was an active supporter of the United Confederate Veterans. The monument simply marks a prominent battlefield site – no more and no less. The railway was simply trying to drum up business along its line in the form of history tourism a la early 20th century. To commemorate the battle of Stones River, the railroad put up several informational plaques which could be seen from the trains. For example, one tablet noted the spot where Union chief of staff Colonel Julius Garesché was killed. Also, alongside the east bank of the Stones River Redoubt Brannan, one of the fortifications that made up the 1863-65 Fortress Rosecrans – a Federal supply depot was purchased by the railroad with signage again alerting travelers to its importance. The present railway lies on the same bed as the wartime line.

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    CEMETERY

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
    Grave of Sergeant Holland
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    Many men of the 111th U.S. Colored Infantry stayed on in the Murfreesboro area after they finished their work of reburying the Federal dead. The local community was aptly named Cemetery. Church, store and even a rail stop were all here. One of the former soldiers, Sergeant William Holland, is buried just outside the walls of the Hazen Monument.

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    STONES RIVER NATIONAL CEMETERY

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
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    In 1865, Union dead were gathered from the area around Murfreesboro – there were several other battles besides this one – by soldiers of the 111th U.S. Colored Infantry. Over 6,100 soldiers are buried in the cemetery with the identity of some 2,500 of the men still unknown. After the battle, the Federal and Confederate dead were placed in mass graves. Later the Confederates were removed – many to Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro.

    There is a monument erected across from the central flagpole to the Regular Army – the 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th Regular Army regiments as well as Battery H 5th U.S. Artillery. A cannon sits nearby showing the position of Battery H/5th U.S. from where support to the shortened Union line along the Nashville Pike was given. The Regular regiments fought under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Shepherd. Positioned on the right of Sheridan’s division in the late morning of Dec 31, when Sheridan’s position collapsed, Shepherd’s men were ordered to regroup on the Nashville Pike serving as a last reserve. . The different battalions also erected separate monuments on the battlefield of Chickamauga, as well.

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    COTTON FIELD – TOUR STOP #3

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
    The field of death awaited the late Rebel charges

    As with tour stop 4 and the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, here cannons figured strongly in arresting the Confederate advance midmorning Dec 31, 1862. As Sheridan’s division finally came apart around noon, Batteries H & M of the 4th U.S. Artillery – artillery batteries with history in service dating back to the Mexican War – were placed in a cotton field just a quarter of a mile to the southeast of the Chicago Board of Trade cannons. The batteries were commanded by Lieutenant Charles Parsons, a West Pointer of recent vintage – 1861 – who had earlier distinguished himself at the battle of Perryville. Parsons would gain brevet promotions to Captain and major as a result of his actions here at Stones River. Batteries H & M/4th U.S. along with the guns of the 8th Indiana on the left helped to restructure the frayed Union line. The battery fired some 2,199 rounds repelling six separate Confederate assaults – one in which Brigadier General James Rains was killed – helping the Federals to hold on to the Nashville Pike.

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    CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE BATTERY – TOUR STOP #4

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
    Caisson and cannon at Chicago Board of Trade
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    The old brochure mislabeled the actions here as occurring at 8 am whereas they were ongoing from noon until the end of battle on Dec 31. Tour stop #1 is now #4. Either way, the stop is located just across the park road from the Visitor Center to the west, consisting of artillery and caissons. The explanatory tablet explains both about the artillery’s role as well as its parent organization in finally stopping the Rebel left wing just short of the Nashville Pike on Dec 31, 1862.
    The Chicago Board of Trade was responsible for raising several Illinois units during the course of the Civil War. This battery mustered into the army on August 1, 1862 with Captain James Stoke – an old West Pointer from Virginia – as the battery commander. With six James rifled six pound cannons - four of which would be exchanged for smoothbore six pounders – the battery was assigned to General Don Buell and took to the field just before the battle of Perryville. They saw some action at nearby Lawrenceburg but Stones River was the battery’s first significant action.
    The battery was attached to the Pioneer Brigade, a unique engineer unit that had been shortly before by Rosecrans. The brigade had been building bridges two days before the battle at Stones River. They were tasked with improving the area around McFadden’s Ford – where Rosecrans hoped to make the main Federal effort – just before the battle.

    When the Federal right was rolled back and especially as Sheridan’s division finally gave way around 11 am, Rosecrans, himself, placed the battery and the brigade at the east edge of the field where you see the guns today. Supplemented by the cannons of the Pennsylvania Battery B/26th, the Chicago Board of Trade fired some 30 rounds per minute above the head of fleeing Federal troops and into the grey clouds on the other edge of the field. Three Confederate attacks were met with canister shells cutting down the Rebel ranks each time. “By 11 o’clock the enemy had learned that neither bravery nor numbers could carry the battery in the front, and all was quiet’ remembered the battery’s historian. General Rosecrans, after the battle, gave the battery the special privilege of carrying not only a stand of U.S. colors but a battery flag, as well. This was a first in army history for an artillery battery. The battery would be changed in May 1863 from filed artillery to horse artillery – ‘flying artillery’ – which was another first. They would fight with the Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Cumberland through the rest of the war mustering out in Chicago on July 3, 1865.

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    VISITOR CENTER

    by mtncorg Written May 30, 2014
    Exhibit shows items recovered from Hazen Monument
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    The Visitor Center is always a nice place to start from. It is located just off the Old Nashville Highway by the old entrance – today’s tour stop #4 if you come into the park off I-24 and the new entrance on Thompson Lane – Tennessee route 268. Pick up a brochure which goes a way to explaining the battle and its significance. The brochure is much better in that regard than the old one I picked up in 1988 – which included some major mistakes. Exhibits, maps, rangers and an explanatory movie add more to your education.

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    St. Paul's Episcopal Church

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 4, 2014

    Lovely church! I have never been here before!!
    Tony and I used our GPS to help locate the church in downtown Murfreesboro, Tn. I had located an ad of theirs on http://Craigslist.com for the "Annual White Elephant" Sale..it was extremely crowded and had tons of great items.
    The church building itself is very lovely. We were able to go into many rooms and down corridors for the various rooms where there was merchandise and we were able to see many lovely rooms.

    The proceeds went to a good cause..the Church and they also had food items that they were selling as well, coffee, soda, water, tea, chili, sandwiches, very good time and a great location. I couldn't believe how large the church truly was until I got to wander around the complex.

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    Stones River National Battlefield Visitors Center

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 3, 2014
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    After our lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings in Smyrna, we decided to drive down "Old Nash" Highway into Murfreesboro to go to the Stones River National Battlefield and Cemetery.
    We have never been here before so we enjoyed it.

    We went into the Visitors Center and looked around. There was a lot of to check out. Inside of the Center, there was a lot of items on display, a theater to watch a short film and a gift shop in the center.
    They will give you a brochure to see the entire park and all the hiking trails. Outside there are many cannons and markers. Across the street in the Cemetery where over 3,000 soldiers are buried from this Battle..

    After we walked around. We drove to a few other sites to check out the markers and sites and then we drove over to the McFaden Farm part of the Stones River National Battlefield.
    It is a great place to walk around the rivers edge and the paths.
    EVERYTHING is FREE!!!

    A great place to walk around. Take your kids and your pups..There is plenty of places to walk your family around and enjoy the afternoons. I will definitely go back to hike around some of the different hiking trails.
    I highly recommend this park for everyone!!!

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    Stone River National Cemetery

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 3, 2014

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    Tony and I went to the Stone River National Cemetery located across the street from the Visitors Center. It is very nice place to walk around and enjoy the quietness and feel their lost souls. Over 3,000 soldiers both Confederate and Union lost their lives here and are buried.
    In the visitors center you can find where certain family members may be buried.
    Helps you locate them easier than wondering around looking. But if you prefer to do it that way, it is nice too!!

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    Hazen Brigade Monument

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 3, 2014
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    The Hazen Brigade Monument, built in early 1863, is the oldest, intact Civil War monument in the nation...The NATION!!! Here in our backyard!!!

    Tony and I went to Stones River National Battlefield and this Monument is located on the same side of the road as the National Cemetery just a few yards down the road from the Visitors Center.
    Its a monument with an Iron gate and stone wall around several graves.
    There is also some cannons located in park along with the marker signs.

    If you want to go on a nice walk with your kids or animals..to enjoy a great walk during the afternoon and learning some Great Historical facts...you must go here !!!
    I highly recommend this area, even if you are NOT a history Buff, like me!!! IT's Ideal just for a great hour or two or longer of enjoying God's Backyard and the beauty of Nature..
    I am going again, and again ....and AGAIN !!!

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    Stones River National Battlefield

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 3, 2014
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    Located on Thompson Lane, off Northwest Broad Street, this trailhead provides access to the historic McFadden farm property.This was the site of one of the bloodiest engagements in the Battle of Stones River and is marked with an artillery monument. A 60-car parking area at this Northern terminus of the Murfreesboro Greenway System allows users to enter the 12-foot wide asphalt trail for walking, jogging, in-line skating, and bicycling. Access for small watercraft is available from this location

    Tony and I went hiking here on Saturday, March 30th, to enjoy the historic value, the River beauty and the battlefield. I am such a history buff and this is my type of thing. I love it. There are cannons, a lovely river, old spring site and a monument, as well as hiking trails and part of the GREENWAY...while we were there, visitors were fishing and climbing on rocks..It was such a lovely afternoon and a great way to enjoy Natures Free Playground and learn something at the same time!!

    I will go again and I hope you check it also..

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    Go USA Funpark

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 3, 2014

    I can't believe that this place doesn't serve food!!! It's all games, putt putt, go karts and batting cage. The kids like the place but couldn't believe NO pizza or anything..if they served food it would be really good.

    There isn't a lot to do for the smaller ones here, but for teenagers and pre-teens, its a wonderland of fun and excitement.
    I would go here again with my daughter once she arrives but my little nephews and nieces not so much!!!
    I still saty it was definitely a four star establishment...What do you guys think?

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    rutherford county courthouse

    by doug48 Updated May 25, 2011

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    rutherford county courthouse

    the rutherford county courthouse was built in 1859 in the classical revival style. the rutherford county courthouse is one of seven courthouses that predate the civil war in the state of tennessee. the rutherford county courthouse is listed on the national register of historic places. for those interested in history and architecture the courthouse is worth a look when in downtown murfreesboro.

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