Stones River National Battlefield

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The Civil War Battle of Stones River was fought from late December 1862 until January 2, 1863. The Stones River National Battlefield includes the Stones River National Cemetery and Stop No. 4, the “Slaughter Pen,” where Union General Phil Sheridan did his best to hold back the Confederates in a heavy forest. The brutal battle ended with a high death toll on both sides. One night after fighting has ended, the two troops had another sort of battle with music across the forest. As one side played “Dixie,” the other tried to drown it out with “Yankee Doodle.” But eventually one side played “Home, Sweet Home,” and the other side joined in as Blue and Gray soldiers both joined in singing. Today, the area is haunted by a soldier’s ghost who appears around re-enactors’ campfires, standing in the shadows, or leaning against a tree. Rangers say the area is colder than the surrounding areas, and witnesses have reported footsteps following them after dark. One story says a re-enactor was going for some water during the night when he saw who he thought was an intruder in the bushes. When he called for the man to come out, it was a soldier in period uniform, with his hand raised in surrender. The re-enactor thought it was another re-enactor having some fun, so he raised his rifle to the man, and as he did, the man fell down and simply vanished.

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Geographic Information

1563 North Thompson Lane
Murfreesboro, TN
United States

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35.87312979747947, -86.43412044819337
Rutherford County, Tennessee
Nearest Towns:
Murfreesboro, TN (3.1 mi.)
Walterhill, TN (6.2 mi.)
Smyrna, TN (8.9 mi.)
La Vergne, TN (12.9 mi.)
Plainview, TN (13.0 mi.)
Nolensville, TN (14.3 mi.)
Eagleville, TN (15.1 mi.)
Rural Hill, TN (17.0 mi.)
Unionville, TN (19.5 mi.)
Auburntown, TN (19.5 mi.)


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Comments (9)

  1. They’ve changed the trails around since the tornado hit a few years back. But you can still walk the trails and catch the occasional ghostly soldier on camera. I’ve gotten plenty of them.

  2. I used to live about 2 miles from here. We would go down there all the time. I was with my kids one day and we all watched a soldier walk across the walking trail and vanish into the field and it was awesome!

  3. in the picture above there is more than one face. there is another one in the top right corner! i went for a hike with my fiance. we visited the slaughter house and walked the whole park. the whole time my fiance felt that he was being watched. We both heard footsteps following us many times throughout the 3 hrs. I plan on going back and hopefully catching pictures like the one above. maybe together we can help these soldiers move on. god bless

  4. This happened over 30 years ago. This was well before the improvements that have been made. We owned property that was actually part of the battlefield. My sister was coming home late one evening on Manson (Wilkinson) Pike, when a teen age boy stumbled out of the Slaughter Pen area into the road, trying to flag her down. He had bandages with blood stains around his head and upper body. She told my dad and he and the police went there looking for this young man. The interesting thing is that there was a fence all along the road and he had come through the fence! Of course, no one was found.

  5. on a summer night in August many years ago, I was with four friends at night. We were walking the paths, having only two flashlights. We became lost and emerged after a while at the ‘back door’ of the slaughter pen. Each one of us had our own episode. I forget what happened to myself; but when I ‘came to’ as it were, the two women were crying. We had to pull one of the women away, as she claimed that she had to stay and help the poor injured men. We managed to leave and head back to our car, but not before something from the air swooped down on our group. I would describe it as large wings, and we all ducked down to the road.

  6. I live just several miles down the road and our property must have had a skirmish on it ! We took this picture at home and did not see anything until three or four months later !

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.