147th Anniversary Programs Planned At Stones River National Battlefield

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From December 26, 2009 through January 3, 2010, park rangers and volunteers will present programs to commemorate the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Stones River. The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest and most significant battles in the Western Theater of the Civil War. After three days of intense fighting, nearly one-third of the 81,000 men who fought here became casualties. It was the first step in a campaign that would see the capture of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia and end in Sherman’s “March to the Sea.”

Program Schedule for Saturday and Sunday, December 26-27, 2009: Programs are a mixture of ranger-led and living history programs.

10 AM - The Approaching Thunder - Join a ranger for a talk focusing on the events of the Stones River Campaign 147 years ago to the day. (30 minutes)

11 AM - A Soldier's Story - Experience the Battle of Stones River through the eyes of one of the 81,000 soldiers who fought here. The program will include a musket or cannon demonstration. (30 minutes)

1 PM -We Fought at Stones River - Listen to the story of one of the regiments or batteries that fought in the Battle of Stones River. The program will include a musket or cannon demonstration. (30 minutes)

2 PM - Battlefield Caravan Tour - Visitors will follow a ranger in their vehicles and stop at four sites to learn about the events and people that are part of the story of the Battle of Stones River. (1 1/2 hours)

Program Schedule for Monday – Friday, December 28, 2009 - January 1, 2010: Park rangers will present programs that tell the story of the Stones River Campaign. Each day will begin at 11 AM with a half hour talk. At 1 PM, a ranger will guide visitors on a one-hour battlefield walk. At 2 PM each day, visitors are invited to tour the battlefield with a ranger.

Program Schedule for Saturday – Sunday, January 2 - 3, 2010: Morning programs will feature Confederate and Union infantry demonstrations at 10 AM and 11 AM. Afternoon programs are designed to help visitors understand the battle from multiple viewpoints. These programs begin at 1 PM, 1:30 PM, 2 PM and 2:30 PM each day and can be viewed individually or visitors can choose to follow the ranger to each program and take a living history tour of the battlefield.

1 PM (Visitor Center) - They Had Abandoned Everything- A Confederate soldier will share his experiences during the opening attack of the battle followed by a demonstration featuring Confederate infantry and artillery. (20 minutes)

1:30 PM (Tour Stop 2) - The Slaughter Pen - Listen to two soldiers talk about their experiences in one of the deadliest places on the battlefield and then watch Union infantry fire from the limestone boulders that were at once a refuge and a death trap. (20 minutes)

2 PM (Tour Stop 3) - The Cotton Field - A Union and Confederate soldier will tell the story of the terrible fighting along the Nashville Pike followed by Confederate infantry making a firing advance into the field only to be stopped by Federal cannon fire. (20 minutes)

2:30 PM (Visitor Center) - Breckinridge`s Charge - Two soldiers will tell their tales of the bloody climax of the battle and then Union infantry and artillery will demonstrate their martial skills. (20 minutes)

At 3:15 and 3:30 PM on Saturday January 2, 2010, park rangers and volunteers will present a special anniversary edition of Hallowed Ground: A Lantern Tour of Stones River National Battlefield. Visitors will learn about the terrible cost of the Civil War through the stories of soldiers buried in Stones River National Cemetery. Reservations are required for this program, and must be made by calling 615-893-9501 starting at 9 AM on Monday December 28, 2009. (1 hour)

A detailed schedule of these programs is available at http://www.nps.gov/stri/planyourvisit/events.htm. These programs are part of a series of interpretive programs offered at the battlefield during the year. Stones River National Battlefield is located on the Old Nashville Highway, northwest of Murfreesboro. Additional information is available at the visitor center, by calling (615) 893-9501 or at the park website (http://www.nps.gov/stri).
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