The Battle of Stones River: The Slaughter Pen

StonesRiverSmashedCannonsThe Slaughter Pen
Stones River National Battlefield

As Phil Sheridan’s division mounted a stiff defense this area, the limestone outcroppings did as much to stymie the Confederate advance as Sheridan’s men.

I can’t help but consider comparisons between this “Slaughter Pen” and the open attack field at Fredericksburg that also became known as the Slaughter Pen. I also think about the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania Court House, which some soldiers called “The Slaughter Pen of Spotsylvania.” The nature of those three fights were vastly different, yet I cannot help but wonder at the nature of slaughter itself, and how horrific those fights must have been, and how the peaceful ground today belies those terrible stories.


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