I have previously examined both those Civil War battles considered pivotal by historians as well as those of lesser importance, those fought on the margins of the war. However, there is yet another category of Civil War battle that bears some exploration. That category would include those battles that involved large armies in key theaters of the war, but that, for the most part, are not generally well known. These are engagements that have faded from memory because, while they were important at the time, they have been overshadowed by the “greater” events of the war. And, while Civil War historians know about these battles, the average American would not recognize their names if you mentioned them.
Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Of these battles, and the one I believe most noteworthy, occurred along the banks of Stone’s River, just outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee during the New Year’s holiday of 1862-1863. Fought during miserable weather that saw bitterly cold rain and sleet, the three-day battle would involve more than 80,000 soldiers and inflict staggering casualties, with over 23,500 men killed, wounded, or missing. The fighting would, at times, be some of the most brutal and ferocious of the