Sunday, August 18, 2019

Stones River's Slaughter Pen: A study in black and white

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In this maze of limestone on Dec. 31, 1862, Union soldiers crouched low as bullets pinged off rocks and thudded into bodies. Wounded and dying men lay within this labyrinth of stone, natural trenches unique to a Civil War battlefield. Some of the Federals said the scene reminded them of the animal slaughter houses in Chicago. "The Slaughter Pen," they called this site in the woods on the Stones River (Tenn.) battlefield. On a hot and steamy afternoon, a lone battlefield visitor climbed among the boulders, trying to imagine the horrid scene on a frigid winter morning long ago.

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