Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Fields of Fire

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: along the trail in the Fortress Rosecrans unit of the Stones River National Battlefield, Golf Lane (Old Fort Street), Murfreesboro, TN
County: Rutherford
Coordinates: N 35° 51.183    W 086° 24.789
  35.85305    -86.41315
Waymark: None


At the end of 1863, more than fifty cannon stood ready to defend Fortress Rosecrans. Five, including one 8-inch siege howitzer, were assigned to Lunette Palmer.

The lunettes of Fortress Rosecrans were primarily artillery platforms. The ground in front of the fort was cleared of trees, and every battery commander carefully sighted each of his guns on a variety of likely targets.

From Lunette Palmer, the gunners picked potential targets nearly a mile away, well beyond Stones River and modern Route 96. No Confederate troops ever came within range of Fortress Rosecrans's cannon.

This diagram, drawn by a Union engineer, shows some of the targets selected by the batteries in Fortress Rosecrans. Note that one battery near Lunette Thomas chose as a target the county courthouse in Murfreesboro, 1,770 yards away. The Federals threatened to shell the town in the Confederates attacked the fort.

A battery at drill. Though this photograph was taken at Stevenson, Alabama, the artillerymen here at Lunette Palmer performed identical tasks with similar equipment.

Erected by Stones River National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.