Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Lunette Thomas ~ 1863 - 1866

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° 50.995    W 086° 24.52
  35.84991666    -86.40866666
Waymark: None


[Our fortress] consists of a line of works called "lunettes" forming an irregular circle on both sides of Stones River. The "lunette" is a fortification having embankment, ditch, angles, and so forth in front, but open to the rear. Some of [the] smaller ... lunettes were defended at this opening by a stockade of hewn logs, but most of them are irregular half circles having no protection immediately behind them ... These works are all named for prominent Generals in this army...
Harvey Reid, corporal
22nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company A

This earthwork was named for Major General George H. Thomas, a native of Southhampton, Virginia. An 1840 West Point graduate, General Thomas commanded the XIVth corps of Rosecran's army in 1863.

No historic photographs of Fortress Rosecrans earthworks survives. This image shows trenches at Petersburg, Virginia in 1865.

Attention to orders
No one should be allowed to walk on the parapets, nor move or sit upon the gabions, barrels, or sandbags that may be placed upon them
by Order of.
Major General William S. Rosecrans, commanding
Army of the Cumberland, United States Army

You are standing near the dry ditch of Lunette Thomas. The tall earth mound to your left was once the main eastern wall of this Civil War defense. Imagine how long it took to build more than 14,000 feet of earthworks and ditches to protect Fortress Rosecrans. This stronghold could shelter 50,000 troops and warehouse the provisions they would need for up to 90 days.

Lunette Thomas is one of ten lunettes that made up Fortress Rosecrans.

Soldiers used sod to keep these earthen walls from eroding. The National Park Service continues that work by planting native grasses. These plants stabilize the earthworks while they improve the health of the park's wildlife.

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