Some battlefields, like Gettysburg or Fort Fisher, I visit on a regular or at least annual schedule. Murfreesboro is not one of them. My first visit came in 1993 or 1994. A second visit came in October 2012. I stopped for the purpose of photographing the different spots that are associated with North Carolina regiments. There were three of them involved in the battle: the 29th NCT, 39th NCT, and 60th NCT.
Here are the words of Robert B. Vance, then colonel of the 29th NCT, and later brigadier general:
In the heat of the fire, Private David Patton, of the "Buncombe Life Guards," was killed by a shell which took his head off, and it [his head] lodged in the fork of a small tree.
While the regiment was in camp at Versailles, Ky., the Colonel of the Twenty-ninth got his meals at the house of Colonel Cotton, of the Sixth Kentucky (US). Mrs. Cotton was very bright and said she would make her colonel shoot ours if they met. Our colonel said: "We will shoot high on your account," but sadly enough, he was killed in front of our lines on the field of Murfreesboro or Stone's river.
After the fire had slackened on 31 December, 1862, our men saw a Federal Lieutenant-Colonel between the lines, seemingly fearfully wounded. At the risk of their lives our people formed a squad and went after him. The balls fell around them, but not one was struck.
I took this photo, over ground where the 29th NCT charged on December 31, 1862, in October 2012.