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MURFREESBORO
(STONES RIVER)

PAGE 3 OF 6 PAGES











 


Cotton Field
Cotton Field - "No Man's Land"   (F)

Rail fences like this one kept free ranging livestock out of farm fields. These fences were quickly consumed by both armies for firewood and breastworks. Courageous Confederate infantry made several charges across the field from noon on the 31st until dusk. Union cannon posted to your right, and on the rise across Nashville Pike, made this crossing almost suicidal.

From that afternoon, through the evening of January 3, 1863, this cotton field was a no man's land occupied by the dead and wounded of both sides. Sharpshooters and skirmishers exchanged shots during the period making it dangerous to expose oneself. Federal artillery frequently shelled the woods seeking to harass the Confederates who occupied the crude breastworks behind you. On January 5, 1863, the grim work of burying the dead began.



Some of the hardest fighting took place in the area known as Round Forest, near the present day Hazen Monument, and at the junction of McFadden's (now Van Cleve) lane and the Nashville Pike. At times the noise was so loud that soldiers stuffed their ears with cotton.




Chicago Battery
Chicago Board of Trade Battery   (E)

Panic-stricken Union troops bolted out of the woods, closely pressed by cheering Texans. Canister from the battery's six guns, placed on this rise, forced back the attackers. Reinforced by a second battery, the Union artillerymen repulsed a second assault to save the Pike, their lifeline to Nashville, from capture.






Parsons's Battery
Parsons's Battery   (G)
4th U.S. Artillery Co. "H" & "M"

The most powerful federal battery on this field armed with four 3" Ordance rifles and four 12 pdr. howitzers. This battery of battle hardened regulars poured charge after charge of canister at less than 600 yards into the oncoming grey ranks - helping stifle attacks on the Round Forest and the Nashville Pike, on the morning and early afternoon of December 31, 1862. At times the Confederate Infantry were on three sides of the battery, but Lt. Charles C. Parsons gave no ground. During the entire battle, Parsons fired more than any battery, 2,299 rounds, and suffered very few casualities, due chiefly to the havoc caused by their deadly accurate fire. Parsons was promoted to the rank of captain for his herioc action at Stones River.



Current Day 
   Cotton Field near Parsons's Battery
Cotton Field near Parsons's Battery - 2002   (G)





Hazen's 
   Artillery
Hazen's Artillery   (C)

This section of guns represent Battery F, 1st Ohio Volunteer Artillery commanded by Lt. Norrel Osburn (four James Rifles & two 12 pdr. howitzers). Along with Capt. Jerome B. Cox's 10th Indiana Battery (four 10 pdr. Parrotts and two 12 pdr. howitzers) located across the railroad tracks to the north, this battery was able to hold its ground, helping Col. Hazen maintain his position during the crucial afternoon of December 31, 1862. The excellence of Union artillery saved the day for the Union army, by protecting the vital supply line on the Nashville Pike.
 




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