Nashville's 4 Must-See Civil War Battlegrounds

There are many Nashville things to do, and the draw to the city is undeniable. Nashville and the area surrounding it has a rich Civil War background. BBonline recommends four battlefields in particular that must be visited while in Nashville.

Stones River
3501 Old Nashville Highway
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
(615) 478-1035 / (615) 893-9501  

The Stones River Battlefield is located about 30 miles south of Nashville, which is a little over 35 minutes from your Nashville Bed and Breakfast. It's home to one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War. Visitors to the battleground can experience the history of Stones River in several ways. Guided tours are available from May through October. Most tours are caravan tours, in which visitors follow their tour guide in their vehicles. Bike and walking tours are also available. Two of the most popular areas to see are Fortress Rosecrans and the cemetery. The Hazen Brigade Monument marks the point where soldiers where held in a violent standoff. Hiking, jogging, walking and animal watching are among favorite activities. Trails vary depending on your skill level. Some are paved and other trails are of more difficult terrain. A short slide presentation is shown in the visitor's complex and a museum holds civil war artifacts. Stones River Battlefield is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, and it's free to enter.

Battle of Nashville
Granny White Pike & Battlefield Dr
Nashville, TN 37013
(615) 532-1550

The Battle of Nashville occurred in 1864 over the area that is now south and west of downtown Nashville. There is no battlefield or battlefield park because much of the land is now commercial or residential areas. Although the battleground is almost entirely gone, there are several sites with historical significance. Visitors can enjoy a driving tour of the sites. Maps and brochures of the battle sites are available at Nashville tourism facilities. Most of the places that the tour will take you are free to enter or cost a minimal price. Mansions and plantations that were once used as headquarters are on the tour. Several monuments, cemeteries, churches and lookout points can be seen. If you would like to view actual artifacts from the Battle of Nashville then you should make the Tennessee State Museum part of your itinerary. The museum holds uniforms, weapons and battle flags from the Civil War.

Battle of Franklin
1140 Columbia Ave
Franklin, TN 37064
(615) 791-1861

There are several individual sites that remain from the Battle of Franklin. All are located in Franklin, which is roughly a 30 minute drive from your Nashville Inn. The Carter House is an immense part of the history of the Battle of Franklin, and it played a unique role in the actual conflict. The house was a Union command post, but fighting took place directly in front of it. Hundreds of bullet holes can still be seen today. There are daily tours at the Carter House and the 8 acres of preserved battleground. A museum and video presentation are included in the tour. The Carnton Plantation holds significance to the Battle of Franklin as well. It was the largest field hospital during the battle, and blood stains can still be seen on the floors of the mansion. The garden, cemetery and mansion can be toured for $12. Carnton Plantation is open until 5:00 pm daily. There is even a ghost tour available at the historical site.

Battle of Hartsville
240 Broadway
Hartsville, TN 37074
(615) 374-9243

Hartsville should be on your list of things to do in the Nashville area. It's home to the battlefield of the Battle of Hartsville. This was considered one of the most successful cavalry raids of the entire war. A driving tour is available. Signs are located throughout the city describing the sites of importance to the battle. Visitors can explore sites that were used as hospitals, river crossings, cemeteries and rendezvous points. Headstones at the cemetery are in very good condition. There is also a memorial park detailing and commenorating the Battle of Hartsville with an interpretive trail. The tour is available daily and is free of charge.