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He did not begin his march in pursuit of Bragg until December 26. Crittenden—facing Breckinridge on the Union left—failed to notify Mc Cook (on the Union right) of these troop movements. Mc Cook, consisted of the divisions: At dawn on December 31, about 6 a.m., Confederate William J. While Sheridan's men slowed the enemy advance, they did it at heavy cost to themselves; all three of Sheridan's brigade commanders were killed that day, and more than one third of his men were casualties in four hours of fighting in a cedar forest surrounded on three sides that became known as "The Slaughter Pen." By 10 a.m., many of the Confederate objectives had been achieved.
The Battle of Hartsville, at a crossing point on the Cumberland River about 40 miles (64 km) upstream from Nashville (north of Murfreesboro) was an incident in Morgan's raid to the north, before Rosecrans had the bulk of his infantry forces on the move. The armies bivouacked only 700 yards (640 m) from each other, and their bands started a musical battle that became a non-lethal preview of the next day's events. Thousands of Northern and Southern soldiers sang the sentimental song together across the lines. When Bragg ordered him to attack to his front—so that some use could be made of his corps—Breckinridge moved forward and was embarrassed to find out that there were no Union troops opposing him.
John Hunt Morgan to move north with his cavalry and operate along Rosecrans's lines of communications, to prevent him from foraging for supplies north of Nashville. Van Cleve) took a route that was parallel to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, passing through La Vergne and south of Smyrna. Thomas, in the center, was ordered to make a limited attack and act as the pivot for Crittenden's wheel. William Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland fielded approximately 43,000 men and included three infantry army corps named Right Wing, Center and Left Wing. He refused to send two brigades as reinforcements across the river to aid the main attack on the left.
While Rosecrans was preparing in Nashville, Bragg ordered Col. Mc Cook, anticipating that the next day would start with a major attack by Crittenden, planted numerous campfires in his area, hoping to deceive the Confederates as to his strength on that flank, and to disguise the fact that his flank was not anchored on an obstacle (the nearby Overall Creek). Hardee struck first, attacking the Union's right flank with the division of Maj. They had captured 28 guns and over 3,000 Union soldiers. Breckinridge, on the east side of the river, did not realize that Crittenden's early morning attack had been withdrawn.
The Battle of Stones River or Second Battle of Murfreesboro, was 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 abandoned its invasion of Kentucky and 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 Civil 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.
Although the battle itself was inconclusive, the Union Army's repulse of two Confederate attacks and the subsequent Confederate withdrawal were a much-needed boost to Union morale after the defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and it dashed Confederate aspirations for control of Middle Tennessee. Bragg reorganized his army, and Kirby Smith left for East Tennessee. The only troops available for such an assault were Breckinridge's, and Bragg ordered him to cross the river, but Breckinridge moved slowly.
Hardee, followed by that of Leonidas Polk, overran the wing commanded by Maj. After the Battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862, Confederate Gen. Although Bragg's newly combined force was up to 38,000 veteran troops, he made no effort to regain the initiative. Frustrated with his prospects in Kentucky and low on supplies, Bragg withdrew through the Cumberland Gap, passed through Knoxville and Chattanooga, turned northwest, and eventually stopped in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Although Rosecrans had reported his army to have 81,729 effectives in Nashville, his force on the march was barely more than half of that since he needed to protect his base and supply lines from the harassment of the Confederate cavalry. The Union line was stabilized by the strong leadership of Rosecrans and by the rallying of the divisions under Johnson and Davis.
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.
Falsely believing that Rosecrans was receiving reinforcements, Bragg chose to withdraw his army on January 3 to Tullahoma, Tennessee. But none of the cavalry raids, Confederate or Union, had any significant effect on the Stones River Campaign. The Union troops regrouped and held the Nashville Pike, supported by reinforcements and massed artillery. When he was informed that the 3rd's regimental commander was dead, he decided to take personal command of the defensive position.