The obligatory picture of myself, to prove I was there... This was not my favorite battlefield museum, but there were some great pieces and several that were connected to specific individuals, which added to their interest a great deal.
Private Sylvester N. Winchester carried this fife into battle and was killed on the first day.
The picture does not do this diorama any justice. It is a great blend between the painted background, the miniatures, lights, and sound effects.
There are a lot of "dug" artillery projectiles...
The wax soldiers were quite scary... as were the tourists!
...And now for something completely different. There was a random pile of shoes in one corner with no marker at all. I'm not sure what it was for but for a Civil War nerd such as myself it was as entertaining as the most well planned exhibit.
I REALLY wanted to get some good detail pictures of this, but due to an extremely old and cheap camera, poor lighting, and a bumbling photographer (I shouldn't have let my wife hold the camera) these are the best I got.
It's so incredible to be able to see these kinds of things up close.
This was an especially moving piece, a letter to Mrs. Hall in regards to her sons death:
Manchester, Tenn. Feb. 9th, 1863
Dear Mrs. Hall.
As an opportunity offers itself to send a letter through to you. I conclude to write you feeling it a duty to give you information in regard to Henry, who you have doubtless been informed met his fate on the field of Murfreesboro.
He was killed almost instantly by a cannon ball passing through both thighs, severing his legs from his body, on Friday the 2nd of January. It being almost dark and us being compelled to retire from the field, I am sorry to say his body fell in the hands of the enemy. I did not see him myself after he was killed, we was separated during the battle.
I heard he was killed before the battle was over and tried to recover his body, but could not find it. I was very much grieved to leave him on the field, but under the circumstances it could not be otherwise. Henry and myself have associated together for several years and I always found in him a kind and faithful friend.
You can imagine, Mrs. Hall, how much I am grieved for him, but we should not morn now he is dead. The hand of God has cut him down, and I hope, taken his soul from this world of sorrow to Himself above, where he may enjoy eternal bliss.
You must not grieve for Henry, but only think of the thousands of mothers in your condition made so by the implacable enemy who seeks to destroy our liberty and enslave us. Your son died a martyr, nobly laying down his life for his country. He was a good boy and a good soldier. He will ever live in the memory of his comrades, whose fortunes it may be to survive this bloody war.
I will close as I believe I have written all of which I know of the subject, painful as it is for me to speak or even think of. Virgil was wounded slightly, but has recovered entirely and is in good health.
From Yours Truly
H.F. Nuckols 4th KY
Another sad letter on display:
January 14, 1863
Mrs. Lieutenant Nix,
It becomes my sad duty to inform you of the death of your husband and our much esteemed friend and comrade. He fell on the 31st of December while repelling an attack of Rebel forces and died like a true soldier doing his duty to his country.
He was shot through the body and was taken to our Hospital which was soon after, taken by the enemy, who held it until the evacuation of Murfreesboro. He died on the 5th or 6th and was buried by Lieutenant Chase of our company with military honors.
I have his effects in my possession and shall forward them to you the first opportunity. I have his revolver, sword and money and other things belonging to him. You have lost your best friend of Earth, and we deeply feel with you in this sad bereavement, for we too have lost an Esteemed Friend and true soldier.
He did his duty up to the time he fell and was loved, and his true Qualities were appreciated by all that knew him. His name and his deeds will always be held in sacred remembers by me and the members under my commend.
Captain A. Philbrook
(The museum also has his sword, but I failed to get a clear picture of it)
Lieutenant Christian Nix's headstone from his initial burial on the battlefield. He was part of the 24th Wisconsin.
More artillery shells... these were found inside the Hazen Brigade monument in 1985.
This was an interesting piece: The Medal of Honor earned by Private Joseph R. Prentice. He received this award for a brave attempt to save his commanding officer's life. He was one of twelve men to earn the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Stones River.