The Stones River National Battlefield was established as a way of remembering the Battle of Stones that took place from December 1862 to January 1863. The battle, which is also known as the Second Battle of Murfreesboro, was fought in Middle Tennessee as a result of the Stones River Campaign. A large number of casualties were reported on both sides. The Union’s Army did much to repel the Confederate attack, which led to their subsequent withdrawal. It resulted in boosting the Union’s morale, especially after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg (Fraley, 2005). This was a great victory since it ruined the hopes of the Confederates of controlling Middle Tennessee. This paper seeks to provide insight into the Stones River National Battlefield.
Preparation for the Visit
The visit was planned by the first examination of the information on the visitor center, which is found at the website www.nps.gov/stri. The platform contains much information on bookstores, films, and museum exhibits, which are quite helpful for understanding what services the center provides. This also gives individuals time to look through the relevant literature so that they can prepare some questions to be asked during the visit. The site also provides contact information, which made it easy to get the exact location of the museum.
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Factors that Make the Site Historic
The site is historic because this is the place of the hard-earned victory of the troops and soldiers that culminated in important political and military gains. In the fall of December 1962, Union and Confederate forces fought in the Battle for Stones River near Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Fraley, 2005). The Union forces were fighting to prevent the Confederate from further invasion into Tennessee. This battle changed the lives of the people living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The numerous graves represent the people that could not be cowed in their fight for Constitutional and Union rights. The battle appears to be one of the major events of the Civil War since it had the highest number of casualties on both sites. The structures built on the site were mainly initiated by the surviving soldiers who pulled their resources together since they did not want the world to forget about their fallen comrades (Fraley, 2005). The purpose has been achieved since the soldiers’ fight was not in vain as they are remembered through various aspects of the site, especially the cemetery and the monuments.
Most Important Aspects of the Site
The most important aspect of the site is the Fortress Rosecrans that was used as a shelter by the 15,000 troops. The fortress also had stores supplies that catered for 65,000 soldiers for several months. Furthermore, the site has the Hazen Brigade Monument that was built in memory of the men of Colonel William Hazen who did not stop to fight regardless of the horrible attacks. The survivors of these troops did not want the world to forget the soldiers who died in the battle. Another important aspect is Stones River National Cemetery where more than 6,100 Union soldiers were buried. The site also has the Evergreen Cemetery and the Artillery Monument that symbolizes the last attack in the battle (Fraley, 2005).
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My Impressions of the Site
Observing the site, I could see how devastating and destructive a war could be. The war is the cause of the establishment of this commemoration site. Visiting the museum, it becomes evident that this war was quite different from those that had been experienced in many parts of the world. On most battlefields, the transition period after the war is always short, and soldiers take the least time possible to proceed to other endeavors. The Stones River National Battlefield was different. Much time was taken to create a memorable place that will always remind of those people who had lost their lives in the battle. Many efforts were made to create monuments in memory of the fallen soldiers and the entire Army of the Cumberland.
Reasons for Recommending the Site to a Friend
The site is worth recommending to friends since it would give them a reason to realize the consequences of the destruction and the violence of the war. When people hear stories of how other people have been fighting and even losing their lives in the process of defending their people and what they represent, some may not see the importance of such courageous acts. Mere words do little in helping people to understand certain aspects such as the Great War and the reasons why people had to fight the war. However, when individuals visit such a historic site, they experience what they could only imagine before and what cannot be explained fully using mere words.
Reasons why the Site should be Preserved for Future Generations
The site is very important in the history of the American Civil War since the Battle of Stones is considered to be the most important battle that engaged over 81,000 soldiers. Many people lost their lives at this war, particularly the Union, and the number of deaths is bigger than in any other war in history (Fraley, 2005). Future generations must get a feel of the last Great War and understand what it means to go to war so that they may avoid the repetition of such a scenario by using alternative methods of solving problems. The site will also give the future generation a chance to be in a place where so many people fell gloriously in their efforts to defend the Union and the Constitution.
The resilience with which the troops and the soldiers fought is deeply etched in the memories that form the place that is known as the Stones River National Battlefield. Many people lost their lives but their efforts continue to exist in the development of the site and the monuments that represent various aspects of the war. Visiting the site, one can understand the devastating effects of war that would be essential in helping them to develop better solutions for similar situations than resorting to war. The site has also played a great role in ensuring that the fallen soldiers are not forgotten.