mcfadden cemeteryAccording to the NPS Stones River Facebook page:

“We’re sorry to report that the tree shading the McFadden cemetery sustained major storm damage last week. Not only is this tree one of the most photogenic features of the McFadden Farm landscape, it may also be a rare “witness tree.” The cemetery dates back at least 20 years prior to the Civil War.

We hope the part of the tree that remains standing will continue to be a part of visitors’ experiences for many years to come.”

A witness tree is defined as Prominent trees were called witness trees. They were used by surveyors to locate corners of original grants or surveys. A mark would be cut into the trunk and location of the witness tree noted in the surveyor’s field report.