Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
This "Precious Dust"
By April 1866 what Chaplain William Earnshaw called "the precious dust" of over 6,000 Union soldiers had been brought here for reburial. Included were not only soldiers killed at Stones River but others who had died elsewhere in Middle Tennessee. Of these, 2,562 are unknown. The Confederate dead, not eligible for burial in national cemeteries, were taken to their home towns or to public cemeteries in nearby Murfreesboro.
[These were] men who had given their lives for the country eager to strike the death blow to the rebellion, shouting and cheering as they passed to the front, where they fell in the van of the grand old Army of the Union, and now sleep beneath the green sod of our beautiful cemetery, on the immortal field of Stone's
Chaplain William Earnshaw
Chaplain William Earnshaw, first superintendent of Stones River National Cemetery, supervised the reburials of Union soldiers here in 1865-66. Stones River National Cemetery was established in 1864 after Congress provided for the creation of the National Cemetery System on July 17, 1862.
(Background photo caption): Burial parties are shown at work in this 1866 photograph of the Stones River National Cemetery. The rounded mounds mark the graves of recently interred Union soldiers.
Erected by Stones River National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the National Cemeteries series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 2, 1863.
Location. 35° 52.841′ N, 86° 25.993′ W. Marker is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker is on Old Nashville Highway, on the right when traveling north. Located in the Stones River National Cemetery on the Stones River National Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Murfreesboro TN 37129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Artillery Protects the Supply Line (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); U.S. Regulars Memorial The Charge Kept Coming, Coming Like the Sea (about 400 feet away); Passing Through Murfreesboro (about 400 feet away); Their Longest, Coldest New Year’s Eve (about 400 feet away); God has granted us a Happy New Year! (about 400 feet away); Why Fight Here? (about 400 feet away); Battle at Stones River (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Murfreesboro.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,490 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 6, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on March 13, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. 3, 4. submitted on November 6, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on March 13, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.