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Stones River December 31 6-10 A.M.
American Battlefield Trust's map of the Battle of Stones River
William J. Hardee’s Second Corps divisions of Patrick R. Cleburne and John P. McCown sweep forward at dawn, surprising the Union corps of Alexander McD. McCook. Many of the Yankees were cooking breakfast in their camps when the Confederate attack arrived. McCook fell back behind the Wilkinson Turnpike, as heavy fighting flowed toward the Thomas Blanton family farm. Hardee’s third division under John C. Breckenridge was posted behind Stones River on the Confederate right. Leonidas Polk’s two divisions of Benjamin F. Cheatham and Jones M. Whithers occupy the Confederate center and support Hardee’s attack.