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 (17)

  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 !

  7. I lived a few miles north… about 2 mi south of the 840 overpass on the east side of the road. I was awakened a few times to murmuring voices in the walls and a lady who used to visit frequently late at night. The second bedroom contained an extreemly unsettled angry energy that would cause disturbances but only in that room when the door was closed( which it pretty much alwsys stayed) i lived by myself but i never felt alone. I still drive by that house a lot and reflect on my experiences there… sometimes it feels like it calls to me

  8. We took visiting friends out there and heard a four count drum beat – we were the only ones in the park that day. Also, in another area; we did a three point turn around and the people in the back freaked out because they thought we almost ran over a woman in a hoop dress. Needless to say, there was no one there. Nearby is a small creek and I drove through an apparition of a soldier one night – the soldier seemed to be following the upper edge of the creek bank. I could clearly see his bed roll folded over the top of his back pack.

  9. My uncle lives down the street from this battlefield. We went to visit him and he gave us a tour of this battlefield. My uncle brought his dog and he walked beside us, as we got to certain areas of the battlefield, the dog became spooked. He didn’t want to go any further and hesitated when we continued walking. He looked around like something was there. I didn’t see anything, but the dog certainly did. He kept staring into the woods and began to whimper. We then started to hear screaming from afar. We heard,” Mollie Pitcher,Mollie Pitcher!” Then we heard a black man’s voice say,” I’ll clean your horse for tree fiddy.” It was weird, but interesting at the same time.I highly recommend you visit this place, bring a pet dog with you. They can detect spirits.

  10. I’m Sushi Roll (my channel name) and i live in murfreesboro. i am currently in 5th grade and took a field trip to stones river. while we were in the slaughter pen, i fell off a high rock and a strong tug pulled me up. a boy in my class was behind me and i thanked him. i freaked out when he said : “what did i do? why are you thanking me?”. I looked to my left and saw a shadowy figure with what seemed like a uniform on leaning against a tree. i could make out 2 eyes that winked at me. then it disappeared into thin air. that was before fall break. it is almost summer and i’m still having nightmares every, single, night.

  11. Lived in Franklin but used to walk the trails here while my daughter practiced soccer in Murfreesboro. Heard phantom cannon fire in the distance on several occasions, frequently caught movement in and out of the trees via the corner of my eye, and one time lost the car keys near the Slaughter Pen (only know that because a worker found it there later)… forcing us to sneak back into the site in the dark with a spare key to pick up the car… beyond creepy in the dark.

  12. We were on a family vacation in mid 2000s at Stones River. It was a very rainy, gloomy day and almost no one was there. After going into Slaughter Pen and returning to our car, we met a young girl around 7 to 10 years old. She walked right past us on the very narrow path. We moved over to let her pass and she did not even look at us only straight ahead. She went into the woods and never came back out. We waited for at least half an hour in which it rained hard but she never came out. There was no way she could have left without use seeing her unless she crossed the river. My daughter said she didn’t think the girl was real and we left .To this day I can’t explain it.

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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.