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BVKX-QYGN

 

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BATTLE OF STONES RIVER / MURFEESBORO, TENNESSE / JANUARY 2, 1863

 

The armies collided along Stones River on New Year's Eve. Facing a 
larger Union force (42,000 Union soldiers to 35,000 Confederates), 
Bragg launched an attack in bitterly cold morning fog against the 
Yankees' right flank. The attack was initially successful in driving the 
Union back, but the Yankees did not break. A day of heavy fighting 
brought frightful casualties, and the suffering was compounded by 
the frigid weather. The Confederates came close to winning, but were 
not quite able to turn the Union flank against Stones River. The new 
year dawned the next day with each army still in the field and ready 
for another fight. 

The strike came on January 2, and the Confederates lost the battle. 
Bragg attacked against the advice of his generals and lost the 
confidence of his army. The Union troops repelled the assault, and 
Bragg was forced back to Chattanooga. The North was in control of 
central Tennessee, and the Union victory provided a much-needed 
moral boost in the aftermath of the disastrous Battle of 
Fredericksburg. Stones River was a hard-fought and very bloody 
engagement, with some of the highest casualty rates of the war. The 
Confederates lost 33 percent of their force, while 31 percent of the 
Union force was either killed, wounded, or missing. Combined 
casualties totaled nearly 25,000 men. Lincoln later wrote to 
Rosecrans, "...you gave us a hard victory which, had there been a 
defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over."