THE BATTLE OF STONES RIVER
In late December, Union and Confederate forces clashed at the Battle of Stones River, just outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee, during the American Civil War . On December 31, Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s 35,000 troops attacked the 42,000-strong Union force commanded by Major General William Rosecrans. Union troops withstood the assault, but retreated to a defensive position, which they would hold only be able to hold for only two days. On January 2, 1863, another Confederate assault was repelled by overwhelming Union artillery fire, forcing Bragg to order a Southern retreat. With approximately 23,000 total casualties, Stones River was one of the deadliest battles of the war. Rosecrans claimed victory and the battle provided a much-needed boost to Union morale following their defeat at Fredericksburg, Virginia.