Stones River

Stones River Battle

Stones River

Murfreesboro

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After his October 1862 defeat at Perryville in Kentucky, Gen. Braxton Bragg withdrew his army into middle Tennessee and resupplied his men near Murfreesboro.  Although his Army of Tennessee had received reinforcements, Bragg seemed hesitant to conduct offensive operations.  The Union Army of the Cumberland, now commanded by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, also loitered and resupplied around Nashville.  Rosecrans received orders to move against Bragg, and finally did so in late December.  Moving south, the Union force met the Confederates along Stones River just north of Murfreesboro. The inevitable engagement erupted on December 31st, when Bragg struck the Union right with two veteran divisions and drove it back some three miles.  Heavy fighting on both sides ensued as Bragg bent Rosecrans' line around nearly into a circle.  Rosecrans held on during the night and into New Years' Day. False reports indicating a Union retreat also kept Bragg in place. On January 2nd, Rosecrans still stubbornly held his ground.  Late that afternoon, Maj. Gen. John Breckinridge's division attacked the Union left late and nearly broke through, however, massed artillery broke up the assault. Although the battle was a tactical draw, the Union repulse of two attacks and the arrival of reinforcements made Bragg’s position untenable. He abandoned the field on January 3 and with it Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee. 

 

 

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
76,400

Union

41,400

Confederate

35,000
Total Estimated Casualties
24,645

Union

12,906
1,677
killed
7,543
wounded
3,686
missing & captured

Confederate

11,739
1,294
killed
7,945
wounded
2,500
missing & captured