Stones River, TN

[Rosecrans at Stones River by Kurz and Allison - Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Date(s): December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Stones River National Battlefield, Tennessee, United States

Campaign: Stones River Campaign [December 1862-January 1863]

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

Commanders:

  • Union: Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans

  • Confederate: Gen. Braxton Bragg

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Army of the Cumberland

  • Confederate: Army of Tennessee

Description:

  • After Gen. Braxton Bragg’s defeat at Perryville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862, he and his Confederate Army of the Mississippi retreated, reorganized, and were redesignated as the Army of Tennessee.

  • They then advanced to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and prepared to go into winter quarters. 

  • Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans’ Union Army of the Cumberland followed Bragg from Kentucky to Nashville.

  • Rosecrans left Nashville on December 26, with about 44,000 men, to defeat Bragg’s army of more than 37,000. 

  • He found Bragg’s army on December 29 and went into camp that night, within hearing distance of the Rebels.

  • At dawn on the 31st, Bragg’s men attacked the Union right flank. The Confederates had driven the Union line back to the Nashville Pike by 10:00 am but there it held.

  • Union reinforcements arrived from Rosecrans’ left in the late afternoon to bolster the stand, and before fighting stopped that day the Federals had established a new, strong line.

  • On New Years Day, both armies marked time.

  • Bragg surmised that Rosecrans would now withdraw, but the next morning he was still in position.

  • In late afternoon, Bragg hurled a division at a Union division that, on January 1, had crossed Stones River and had taken up a strong position on the bluff east of the river.

  • The Confederates drove most of the Federals back across McFadden’s Ford, but with the assistance of artillery, the Federals repulsed the attack, compelling the Rebels to retire to their original position.

  • Bragg left the field on the January 4-5, retreating to Shelbyville and Tullahoma, Tennessee.

  • Rosecrans did not pursue, but as the Confederates retired, he claimed the victory. Stones River boosted Union morale.  The Confederates had been thrown back in the east, west, and in the Trans-Mississippi.

Photo Gallery:1

Stones River National Battlefield

Map of Stones River Battlefield

Stones River National Battlefield Visitor Center

Setting the Stage

Soldier writing home

Wounded artillery soldier

Diorama showing Confederate troops at Stones River

Cannon balls

Casulaties at Stones River

Hooked bayonets used to drag decomposing bodies to burial sites

Parson's Union 4th Artillery Company battery

Parson's Union 4th Artillery Company battery

Parson's Union 4th Artillery Company battery

Union Gen. Sheridan's Stand - 10 am - Noon

Abandonded artillery lost by Battery G of 1st Ohio Light Artillery

Abandonded artillery lost by Battery G of 1st Ohio Light Artillery

Abandonded artillery lost by Battery G of 1st Ohio Light Artillery

The Slaughter Pen

Ctton Field - "No Man's Land"

Chicago Board of Trade Battery

Chicago Board of Trade Battery

Chicago Board of Trade Battery

Map showing fighting around Round Forest

Union Col. Hazen's Artillery

Union Col. Hazen's Artillery

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument Inscription

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument Inscription

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument Inscription

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument Inscription

Hazen's Brigade Artillery Monument

Small cemetery with Union dead

Description of troop moments of Confederate General Donelson's Tennessee Brigade

Description of troop moments of Confederate General Donelson's Tennessee Brigade

Description of troop moments of Confederate General Donelson's Tennessee Brigade

Confederate General Breckinridge's attack on January 2, 1863

Union artillery defending against Breckinridge attack

Union artillery defending against Breckinridge attack

Cap. John Mendenhall's Union artillery saves the day

Fortress Rosencrans

Description of Fortress Rosencrans earthenworks

A Vast Depot - Stores at Fortress Rosencrans

Earthenworks

Description of the construction of Fortress Rosencrans

Earthenworks

Drawing of the earthenworks

Earthenworks

Srawing of eartenworks with quotes from Union soldiers

Role of African Americans in building the fortress

Earthenworks

Life for Murfreesboro citizens

 

Classification2: A

Casualties3:

  • Union: 13,249

  • Confederate: 10,266

Results: Union Victory Miniature Union Victory

Battlefield Websites:

Lodging and Restaurants: Tennessee Tourism

Recommended Resources:


1 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of civil-war-journeys.org."

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 02/05/2015