Bill Mellett Photography

Using my own life's experiences as the canvas for my work.

Cotton and Cannons

I was in Murfreesboro, Tennessee last fall. The fall leaves were turning and the weather was just starting to turn cool.

The Stones River Civil War battlefield was fairly close to my hotel. I decided to get up early and catch the morning light and see what was worth photographing.

You definitely get the sense that something important had happened here by the way the pristine chunk of meadow and woods was carved out of what is now Suburban America. Somehow the impact of the place is a little bit tempered by the sites of strip malls just beyond the 1860’s stone walls.

It’s sobering to think of all of the blood that was spilled here in stark contrast to the natural beauty of the morning light hitting the cotton and straw fields in 2009. I wonder if the people out for their morning jogs this morning ever even think about it. It would have been the same sun but a completely different scene in December of 1862 when the Union Army met the Confederate Army here.

There was a placard marking the Parsons Battery of the 4th US Artillery Companies “H” and “M” which explains why there were three cannons posing among the cotton plants.

This wasn’t my first time photographing cannons. Civil War cannons seem quaint and benign by today’s standards but, in their day they were the high-tech tools of war. I wonder what the people a hundred years from now will think of our now high tech lives.