Stones River


National Park Service

Master Planning

Graphics Production

The Stones River Civil War Battlefield Museum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee is one of the first of 1966 National Park Service Civil War battlefield museums to have a complete exhibit remodel. Many new interpretive devices were utilized to present the battle in a more visually dramatic and engaging way. 


Two life-sized dioramas are featured in the exhibit. The first presents a soldier sitting next to his candle lit tent, writing in his journal. A motion sensor illuminates the candle and activates an audio reading of his pre-battle concerns. The second diorama includes a soldier figure loading a cannon—a weapon that proved tide-turning in the battle.

An attractive wall mural battlefield sketch welcomes you into a mini-theater. A fiber optic map illuminates battle positions and there are several hand-on elements that make history a bit more tangible.

The battle at Stones River claimed 23,000 casualties. The Eight months after the battle President Lincoln wrote Gen. Rosecrans: “I can never forget, if I remember anything, that at the end of last year and the beginning of this, you gave us a hard earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the country scarcely could have lived over.”