A Forgotten Turning Point
Stones River was a major battle of the American Civil War. It was the turning point for the Union, and ushered in the signing of the much elusive Emancipation Proclamation, that may not have ever surfaced had the Union not won this very significant battle. I stood on the same ground where my great great grandfather, Benjamin Henderman fought his first artillery battle, as a new member of the 4th U.S. Light Artillery. 155 years later, one of his sons would stand where he stood and reach out to touch him as he and his brother fought valiantly to save the Union and to free those enslaved by a conflicted and bitter nation.
Here are some images I shot from one of the reenactments at Stones River. It has taken multiple visits to really get my head wrapped around what actually happened here, and what Benjamin actually contributed. I was shocked, and I’ll do my best to tell you the stories.
You see that lone canon (field rifle)? Benjamin and his unit (I’ll tell you more about them a little later) were about 100 yards aft of that position when the first shots were fired that blistering cold day at the close of December 1862.