Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/992

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966
STONE RIVER, BATTLE OF—STONY POINT

the smoothest and flattest surface of the stones composing the chambers always turned inwards. Moreover, cup marks and other primitive markings, when found on capstones, are almost invariably on their underside, as at the dolmens of Keria- val, Kercado and Dol ar Marchant. Also, all the six stones forming the three-sided chamber of the great tumulus of Gavr'inis (Morbihan) and most of those in the sides of its long entrance passage (44 ft.), are elaborately sculptured with primitive incised patterns, perfectly analogous to those on the walls of the chamber of New Grange (Ireland). From its position in the centre of a large circular enclosure, as uniformly even as a garden lawn, no dolmen could be more suggestive as a place of sacrifice than that within the Giant's Ring near Belfast; yet nothing could be more inappropriate for such a purpose that its capstone, which, in fact, is nothing more than a large granite boulder presenting on its upper side an unusually rounded surface.

No chronological sequence has been detected in the construc- tion and evolution of these primitive stone monuments; nor can their existence and special forms in different countries be said to indicate contemporaneity. The dolmens of Africa are often found to contain objects peculiar to the Iron Age, and it is said that in some parts of India the people are still in the habit of erecting menhirs, cromlechs, dolmens and other megalithic monuments. Scandinavian archaeologists assign their dolmens exclusively to the Stone Age. It would appear that, subsequent to the great chambered cairns of the Stone Age, a period of degradation in this kind of architecture occurred in Britain when the Bronze Age barrows replaced the dolmens, and these again gave way to simple burial in the earth. In Scandinavia the megalithic chamber seems to have been dis- carded in the Iron Age for burials, either by cremation or inhumation under huge tumuli, as may be seen in the three great mounds of Thor, Odin and Freya at Gamla Upsala, and the ship-barrow at Gokstad on the Sandefiord, the scene of the discovery of the Viking ship now exhibited in the museum at Christiania.

Just on the borderland between the works of nature and art comes the so-called Rocking-Stone (Logan, or Loggan, stone, French, pierre branlante), which usually is nothing more than an erratic, ice-transported boulder, poised so nicely over a rocky bed that gentle pressure with the hand may cause it to rock or oscillate. Such stones appear to be sparsely distributed over the whole area occupied by the primitive stone monu- ments, and, being very large, they were pre-eminently cal- culated to awaken astonishment in the minds of the worship- pers of the mysterious works of nature. Hence the important position assigned to them in the Druidical worship invented by Stukely and other antiquaries of the 18th century. Some rocking-stones are evidently artificial, having had the rock cut underneath them, leaving in each a pivot-like prominence on which the block rests; but, on the other hand, natural causes can produce similar results, the stone itself acting like an um- brella to protect the central portion of the bed while weathering outside is going on all around. The same process is often well illustrated on moraine-bearing glaciers where a huge stone may be seen resting on a pillar of ice several feet in height. That man sometimes imitated such striking natural phenomena is quite probable, and to this extent rocking-stones come within the category of primitive stone monuments.

Bibliography. — Fergusson, Rude Stone Monuments; W. C. Bor- lase, The Dolmens of Ireland, &c. ; de Mortillet, Le Prehistorique, &c. ; Bonstetten, Essai sur les dolmens ; P. Bezier, Inventaire des monuments megalithiques du departement d'lle-et-Vilaine; Congres international d'anth. et d'arch. prehistoriques (13 vols., 1860-1906) ; MaUriaux pour I'hisloire primitive et naturelle de Vhomme (22 vols., 1865-1888), continued as V Anthropologic since 1890; Inventaire des monuments megalithiques de France; Proceedings of the various Archaeological Societies of Europe. (R. Mu.)


STONE RIVER, BATTLE OF, a battle of the American Civil War, called the battle of Murfreesboro by the Confederates, fought on the 31st of December 1862 and the 2nd of January 1863. After his appointment in October to command the Army of the Cumberland, General W. S. Rosecrans with Chattanooga as his objective moved from Nashville upon General Braxton Bragg, who left the winter quarters he had established at Murfreesboro and met the Union army on Stone river immediately north of Murfreesboro, on the last day of December. The plan of attack on each side was to crush the enemy's right. Bragg's left, commanded by Lieut.-General W. J. Hardee, overlapped and bore back the Union right under Major- General A. McD. McCook, and Major-General T. L. Crittenden commanding the Union left was hurriedly called back from his attack on the Confederate right to support McCook. The Union right was crumpled up on the centre, where Major-General G. H. Thomas's corps checked the Confederate attack. There was practically no fighting on the 1st of January, but on the 2nd the Con- federates renewed the attack, Major-General J. C. Breckinridge with Bragg's right attempting in vain to displace Crittenden's division on high ground above the river. On the night of the 3rd Bragg withdrew and the Union army occupied Murfreesboro. Tactically a drawn battle, Stone River was strategically a Union victory. The losses on both sides were heavy: of 37,712 Confederates present for duty, 1294 were killed, 7945 were wounded, and about 2500 were missing; and of 44,800 Union soldiers present for duty, 1677 were killed, 7543 were wounded and 3686 were missing.


STONINGTON, a township of New London county, Con- necticut, U.S.A., in the S.E. corner of the state, on Long Island Sound. Pop. of the township (1900), 8540 (of whom 1968 were foreign-born), (1910), 9154, including that of the borough of Stonington, 2083. Stonington is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, which has repair shops here, by an electric line connecting with New London, Conn., and Westerly, Rhode Island, and, in summer, by steamer to Watch Hill and Block Island. Its harbour is excellent, and it is a port of entry, but its foreign trade is unimportant. The township covers an area of about 45 sq. m., and includes, besides the borough of Stonington, the villages of Mystic, Old Mystic and Pawcatuck (which is closely allied with Westerly, Rhode Island). Among the manufactures of the township are foundry and machine-shop products, printing presses, silk machinery, fertilizers, spools, thread and cotton, and woollen, silk and velvet goods. Ship building and fishing are among the industries. After its settlement in 1649 ar >d the years immediately suc- ceeding by English planters from Rehoboth in Plymouth Colony (to whom a monument was erected in 1889 in Wequetequock Burying Ground), the territory now included in Stonington town- ship was first a part of New London township, and then (1658), in accordance with a boundary decision of the United Colonies of New England, a part (under the name of Southertown) of Suffolk county, Massachusetts, finally reverting to Connecticut in accordance with the new boundaries fixed by the Connecticut royal charter in 1662. In 1664 it gained representation in the General Court of Connecticut; in 1665 the name was changed to Mystic, and in 1666 to Stonington. In the 18th century the village (now the borough) of Stonington (settled in 1752) de- veloped a brisk trade with Boston, Plymouth and the West Indies. Whaling and sealing were for many years important industries and a whaling captain of Stonington, Nathaniel B. Palmer, early in the 19th century, discovered Palmer Land in the Antarctic. The village was the seat of military stores during the War of Independence, and was bombarded by a British frigate in August 1775. In August 1814 another British attack, by a squadron under Commander Thomas M. Hardy, was successfully resisted. The borough of Stonington, the first in the state, was incorporated in 1801.

See R. A . Wheeler, History of the Town of Stonington (New London, 1900).


STONY POINT, a township in Rockland county, New York; U.S.A., on the west bank of the Hudson river, containing a village of the same name which is 35 m. N. of New York City and 12 m. S. of West Point. Pop. of the township (1890) 4614; (1900), 4161; (1905), 3862, (1910V. 36^1. Area, about 30 sq. m. The village is served by the West Shore and the New York,