Stones River National Battlefield
We will begin at 8:30am at the Stones River National Battlefield, just 30 minutes from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Known in the South simply as the “Battle of Murfreesboro”, the battle was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, and of the major battles of the Civil War, had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. We will tour the battlefield with Bill Potter and learn of the men — including the “Fighting Bishop” General Leonidas Polk — who engaged in this great struggle, along with the tactics they employed and the ideology that drove them.
Next we will move to Winstead Hill (box lunch provided). Here the Confederates launched a charge that was almost twice as long and far more deadly than the famous Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg a year earlier, costing them fourteen Confederate generals (six killed or mortally wounded, seven wounded, and one captured) and 55 regimental commanders. Here we will get an overview of the battle from the vantage point overlooking the town of Franklin, two miles to the south.
Carter House is our next stop. We will hear the remarkable story of the Carter family and their beloved son Todd who charged down from Winstead Hill to literally free his family from the Yankee command that had commandeered his house with his family locked in the basement. We will see the Carter farm office, the most bullet-riddled structure still standing from the War, and numerous other authentic relics from that turbulent time.
Carnton Plantation is our final stop. Beginning at 4pm on November 30, 1864, Carnton witnessed what is believed to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War, beginning with a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. On the morning of December 1, 1864 the bodies of four Confederate generals killed during the fighting (Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl), lay on Carnton’s back porch. The floors of the restored home are still stained with the blood of the men who were treated there. You will hear the remarkable accounts of bravery and valor by soldiers and citizens alike, as we culminate with a tour of America’s largest privately owned military cemetery and the remarkable story of how it came to be. Tour ends at 3:30pm. Opryland is 30 minutes away and the convention begins at 5pm.