Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Covered by Cross Fires
To find such a wide break in a fort's wall seems strange to a person today. Yet the gap you see here - then called a sortie passage - is a carefully calculated part of the defenses of Fortress Rosecrans.
The area close to the walls was covered by cannon fire from many nearby angles. Enemy troops could not reach this point without suffering massive losses. With all the nearby trees and brush cleared away, Fortress Rosecrans had no blind spots. No enemy came close.
The Lunette [if] attacked repulses the enemy by its direct fire of musketry and artillery; the collateral Lunettes and curtains cross their fire in front of it [if] the enemy attack one of the curtains... the enemy is met by direct fire ... and cross fire from the ... Lunettes.
James St. Clair Morton, brigadier general
Chief Engineer, Army of the Cumberland
Civil War cannoneers could fire solid shot, exploding shells, or case shot at long ranges. When the enemy approached within 400 yards, the gunners switched to canister or grapeshot, sending a deadly shower of iron balls into their ranks.
The sortie passages ... are designed to
Erected by Stones River National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, US Civil.
Location. 35° 51.084′ N, 86° 24.581′ W. Marker is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker can be reached from Golf Lane (Old Fort Street), on the right when traveling north. Located along the trail in the Fortress Rosecrans unit of 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. I Never Saw Anything Like Them Before (within shouting distance of this marker); New Citizen Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker); Toil and Mud (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Living Under the Guns (about 500 feet away); Lunette Thomas (about 600 feet away); Fortress Rosecrans (about 700 feet away); Defense of Fortress Rosecrans (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Fortress Rosecrans (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Murfreesboro.
Also see . . . Fortress Rosecrans . National Park Service Stones River National Battlefield website entry (Submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 716 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 14, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. 2. submitted on November 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.