December 31st 1862 – January 2nd 1863
When General Bragg was defeated at Perryville in October of 1862, he tried his luck at Stones River against General Rosecrans Union army. The army that was beaten and then retreated under Bragg had been reinforced and renamed the Army of Tennessee. With renewed vigor, General Bragg took his polished up army and went into Murfreesboro, Tennessee to over winter.
The resting spot would prove to be short-lived, as General Rosecrans had secretly followed Bragg and his army into Nashville. When Bragg departed the city of Nashville, Rosecrans again put on the bloodhounds and followed Bragg to the outskirts of Murfreesboro. General Bragg desperately needed a win for the morale of the Confederate states.
His defeat at Perryville was just the beginning of the end for the South and Bragg’s military career. Grant and Lincoln were proving to be a deadly lethal and constrictive duo of Northern allegiance. Davis and Lee were at a loss as to what it would take to defeat a Union army in the year 1863.
With a force of over 44,000 men, General Rosecrans met General Bragg right outside of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Bragg attacked first hitting the left flank of the Union army hard and with great measure. The Union troops fell back to the Nashville Pike and dug in. The fighting was sporadic with neither side showing any real signs of victory, until the Union line was reinforced and Rosecrans was able to drive into the Rebel attackers.
On New Years Day of 1863, General Bragg would commit yet another military blunder when he assumed that General Rosecrans would retreat and victory would be his. This was not the case as Rosecrans stood fast and the Union army showed their intestinal fortitude once again.
General Bragg decided to dig in and wait it out. that did not last too long as the Union army advanced once more and Bragg once again pulled back his line. General Bragg had two defeats within a six-month span, the only Confederate general who could claim such a dubious honor.
Rosecrans would declare Stones River a victory for the Union army as Bragg continued to retreat into Mississippi.
The Union army had once again defeated the Confederates in a major battle. This was starting to become a continual event as the North had previously secured wins at the east, west, and in the Trans-Mississippi. The Confederates were running out of places to run to and the war looked dark for the South.