The site of a bloody Civil War battle from December 31, 1862, to January 1863, the 350-acre Stones River National Battlefield was established as a national park in 1927, and it contains the Stones River National Cemetery, established in 1865.
With more than 23,000 estimated casualties during this four-day battle, it’s no wonder that many sites along the six-stop driving tour have been reported as haunted. Tourist stop number two is known as the “Slaughter Pen.” This rocky, wooded area full of sinkholes was the site of a horrific loss of life.
Many of the wounded and dead were not found after the battle was over, and they lay in the open air for days. Quite a few wounded here died for lack of prompt medical attention. It is at this stop that many visitors report hearing footsteps behind them as they walk the paths.
Some visitors have also reported seeing men in Civil War–era uniforms when no scheduled reenactments were taking place. Further along the trail at stop number six is the site of a park ranger’s run-in with a ghostly soldier. The ranger was camping near here with friends when he noticed his canteen was empty.
Heading to the administration building to refill it, he came around a bend in the path only to see a man standing behind some bushes. Thinking his friends were playing a joke, the ranger called out for the man to come out in the open. As the man approached him, he raised first one hand and then the other, as if to surrender.
Fearing for his safety at this point, the ranger called out to the man that he had a gun and would shoot. Just as he uttered the last word, the man fell to ground, disappearing into the darkness. Upon investigation of the site, no evidence of the man could be found—no footprints, not even a single broken twig.
Written by —Donna L. Marsh Founder, Adsagsona Paranormal Society
STONES RIVER NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD
3501 OLD NASHVILLE HIGHWAY
MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE 37129
TEL: 1 (615) 893-9501