After the Battle of Stones River, the Union army knew they were eventually going to have to move after General Bragg’s Confederate army. They decided to build a fort which would serve as a forward supply base and support center for their march southward. After six months of work, Fortress Rosecrans was completed. It was the largest fort built during the Civil War and was built to hold 50,000 troops and 90 days of supplies. The fortress covered about 200 acres and was built mostly of earth and timber. Union troops scoured the city and the surrounding area, tore down any unoccupied buildings and used the wood in the construction of the fort.
Today, almost none of the fort remains. Time and erosion combined with growth and development have eaten away all but 2 lunettes, 1 redoubt and 1 curtain wall. The National Parks Service has taken over and preserved what remains. Walking the remains, it is difficult to tell exactly what you’re looking at and how it may have looked nearly 150 years ago. However, I’ve recently come across an outstanding website that has a digital map of the fort, explanations of the parts of the fort and really nice graphics. Once you’ve looked through this site, a visit to the remaining fort is much improved. You get a clear understanding about what you’re looking at and how it all looked and worked. The map is a team effort from former student Floris Moriceau and Philip Loubere, assistant professor of journalism at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. The interactive map can be accessed at http://mtsujournalism.org/rosecrans/index.html.
- Rosecrans Gets a Surprising Victory in Murfreesboro (civilwarmurfreesboro.com)