Civil War monuments have been in the news lately. In a recent conversation, the topic of Civil War sites came up. As I am a well-traveled history buff, I was asked my opinion. I didn’t hesitate. My favorite Civil War site is Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Murfreesboro has a paved loop road around a former battlefield. On the outer side of the loop is forested area. Walking along the trails, you can see original cannons that have collapsed onto the ground. Further afield, by a farm site, you can see the low stonewalls that saw some of the fighting.
Being the daydreamer I am, I could sense the cloud of smoke and the enemy stealth and the fear of young college students who had volunteered to serve and now were in deathly peril. Perhaps if all the front-line soldiers had been given the opportunity to talk it out, they would have been motivated to find common ground. I don’t envy them their “glory.”
The Stones River National Battlefield is the site of a bloody three-day battle in 1862. The union victors erected a monument, but I’ll bet many visitors overlook it. It is the battlefield itself that serves as a monument.
P.S. In August 2017, in response to the tragedy stemming from the white supremacy demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, the residents of Murfreesboro held a vigil for the victims of violence.
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