Covered by Cross Fires

Covered by Cross Fires (HMPCU)

Location: Murfreesboro, TN 37129 Rutherford County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 51.084', W 86° 24.581'

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To find such a wide break in a fort's wall seems strange to a person today. Yet the gap you see here - then called a sortie passage - is a carefully calculated part of the defenses of Fortress Rosecrans.

The area close to the walls was covered by cannon fire from many nearby angles. Enemy troops could not reach this point without suffering massive losses. With all the nearby trees and brush cleared away, Fortress Rosecrans had no blind spots. No enemy came close.

The Lunette [if] attacked repulses the enemy by its direct fire of musketry and artillery; the collateral Lunettes and curtains cross their fire in front of it [if] the enemy attack one of the curtains... the enemy is met by direct fire ... and cross fire from the ... Lunettes.
James St. Clair Morton, brigadier general
Chief Engineer, Army of the Cumberland

Civil War cannoneers could fire solid shot, exploding shells, or case shot at long ranges. When the enemy approached within 400 yards, the gunners switched to canister or grapeshot, sending a deadly shower of iron balls into their ranks.

The sortie passages ... are designed to admit, or give exit to, large masses of our own troops, in the case of a general engagement taking place...
General Morton
Placed ByStones River National Battlefield - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 7:50pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 553303 N 3967627
Decimal Degrees35.85140000, -86.40968333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 51.084', W 86° 24.581'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 51' 5.04" N, 86° 24' 34.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)615
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1012 Old Fort St, Murfreesboro TN 37129, US
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