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The Battle of Stones River (also known as the Second Battle of Murfreesboro) was a battle fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, in Middle Tennessee, as the culmination of the Stones River Campaign in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland marched from Nashville, Tennessee, on December 26, 1862, to challenge General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro. Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi withdrew to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, where it was joined by Maj. His army, joined with Smith's Army of Kentucky and together renamed the Army of Tennessee as of November 20, took up a defensive position northwest of the city along the West Fork of the Stones River. Stevenson to Mississippi to assist in the defense of Vicksburg. The new line was roughly perpendicular to the original line, in a small half oval with its back to the river.
Of the major battles of the war, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. On December 31, each army commander planned to attack his opponent's right flank, but Bragg struck first. During a visit by Confederate President Jefferson Davis on December 16, Bragg was ordered to send the infantry division of Maj. The loss of Stevenson's 7,500 men would be sorely felt in the coming battle. Bragg planned to attack the Union left, a portion of the oval line facing southeast, manned by Hazen's brigade.
However, Rosecrans took ample time to reorganize and train his forces (particularly his cavalry) and resupply his army. Bragg's forces were situated with Leonidas Polk's corps on the west side of the river, and William J. He had expected Rosecrans to attack on December 30, but when that did not happen, his plan was to drive Hardee's corps and the cavalry under Brig. Rosecrans intended to have Crittenden cross the river and attack the heights east of the river, which would be an excellent artillery platform to bombard the entire Confederate lines. The second Confederate wave was by Polk's corps, consisting of the divisions of Maj. Cheatham's assault was sluggish and piecemeal; observers claimed he had been drinking heavily and was unable to command his units effectively. Repeated Confederate attacks were repulsed from this concentrated line, most notably in the cedar "Round Forest" salient against the brigade of Col. Faced with overwhelming artillery, the Confederates were repulsed with heavy losses. On December 26, the day Rosecrans marched from Nashville, a small force under Brig. Until January 5, Carter's men destroyed railroad bridges and fought a few skirmishes, including a serious one on December 28 at Perkins's Mill (also known as Elk Fort). By 11 a.m., Sheridan's ammunition ran low, and his division pulled back, which opened a gap that Hardee exploited. Hascall sent the 3rd Kentucky to the Round Forest as reinforcements. Philip Sheridan in the right center of the line prevented a total collapse and the Union assumed a tight defensive position backing up to the Nashville Turnpike. Bragg attempted to continue the assault with the division of Maj. Fighting resumed on January 2, 1863, when Bragg ordered Breckinridge to assault the well-fortified Union position on a hill to the east of the Stones River. The Union also engaged in a strategic cavalry raid. Carter raided the upper Tennessee Valley from Manchester, Kentucky. He canceled his orders that Breckinridge send reinforcements across the river, which diluted the effectiveness of the main attack. This caused Bragg to lose the confidence of the Army of Tennessee. Don Carlos Buell, the Union commander at Perryville, was equally passive and refused to attack Bragg. The Army of the Cumberland marched southeast the day after Christmas in three columns, or "wings", towards Murfreesboro, and they were effectively harassed by Wheeler's Confederate cavalry along the way, which delayed their movements. Repeated attacks on the left flank of the Union line were repulsed by Col. Hazen's brigade in a rocky, 4-acre (16,000 m) wooded area named "Round Forest" by the locals; it became known as "Hell's Half-Acre". He declared that it had to be held, "even if it cost the last man we had." Hazen's brigade was the only part of the original Union line to hold.