National Park Service
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.”