The Stones River watershed drains some 920 square miles (2,400 square km). The Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862–January 2, 1863) was a major engagement of the American Civil War fought 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Murfreesboro. The enfilade fire quickly drove the men of the division to lie flat on the ground, and Brig. 1; 2; 3; Next. Bragg retreated from the area on January 3, and Rosecrans claimed victory–an unlikely outcome considering the catastrophe his forces had suffered on December 31. Zeb Vance) 60th North Carolina Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Stones River, by Colonel McDowell. Battle of Stones River, lies right beside the track that leads from Nashville to Chattanooga. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, and the President expected his generals to bring home as many victories as possible by January 1, 1863—when he would officially sign the act—to give this new measure backbone. As you’ve no doubt seen in the battles that have preceded this one on this list, the number of casualties was only one thing that determined the winner of each particular battle. Several of the Ohioans were bayoneted in the fight for their guns. People: Kurz & Allison. These casualty figures made the Battle of Stones River one of the bloodiest of the war. In a few short minutes nearly 70 of Dysart’s men were down, either dead or wounded. Covered by a cedar thicket, the gunners moved to within 700 yards of the Rebels, went into battery, and blasted out six rounds of solid shot. At some points, the lines were within 300 yards of each other. The Federals were sent reeling backward, and many Union cannon fell into Confederate hands. Union regiments of Colonel William Carlin’s 2nd Brigade caught the unsuspecting Rebels in motion and volleyed into their massed lines. Review from Library Journal: Until now only three book-length studies of the bloody Tennessee battle near Stone's River existed, all old and none satisfactory by current historical standards. After firing four or five volleys while lying in a prone position, the obstinate Hoosiers joined the dash to the rear. Stones River, Battle of (1862–63).Stones River—also known as the Battle of Murfreesboro—was one of the costliest engagements of the Civil War in Tennessee. https://historyonthisday.com/events/american-civil-war/battle-of-stones-river Gen. Samuel Jones, commanding the district, failed to procure all the rations for Bragg’s army that Bragg expected to issue upon his arrival in the region. Check the Calendar or our Facebook page for program times and detailed program descriptions. Beatty was soon forced back with heavy losses. Wood’s brigade to fill the gap. Let us set the scene. Gen. Edward N. Kirk ordered Edgarton’s battery forward, supported by a regiment of infantry. Created / Published c1900. Dysart’s stalwart lads had no sooner reached the guns than they were swept away in the inexorable tide of fleeing soldiers, losing five color-bearers at the guns. The Battle for Eastern Tennessee The Battle of Stones River, sometimes called the Battle of Murfreesboro, was one of the most violent engagements of the Civil War. Battle of Stones River page with battle maps, history articles, photos, recommended books and more for this important 1862-1863 Civil War battle in Tennessee. Recommended Reading: No Better Place to Die: THE BATTLE OF STONES RIVER (Civil War Trilogy). Confederate victory at the Battle of Stones River, 1862. 34 Alabama and the 8th Mississippi Confederate Infantry. Go. Inadvertently, the retreating Federals hurt the Rebel advance by sowing confusion among the attackers. Details Location: Murfreesboro was a small town in the Stones River Valley, a former state capital named for a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, Hardy Murfree.All through the war it was a center for strong Confederate sentiment, and Bragg (Confederate) and his men were warmly welcomed and entertained during the month of December. Upon hearing the initial firing, Lt. Col. David M. Dunn ordered Lieutenant S.O. Lamers, William M., The Edge of Glory: A Biography of General William S. Rosecrans, U.S.A, Louisiana State University Press, 1999 Laying much of the responsibility for the battery’s terrible location on his slain brigadier, Edward Kirk, Edgarton requested, As I have been charged with grave errors on the occasion of the battle, I respectfully request that I may be ordered before a court of inquiry, that my conduct may be investigated. The battle of Stones River was devastating for both sides and, of all the major Civil War battles, this had the highest percentage of casualties suffered. Colonel Hans Heg, commanding the 15th Wisconsin, maneuvered his regiment where it could best cover the retreat of the remaining troops and slowed down the Confederate advance long enough to get out the infantry and the brigade’s artillery. After much discussion between Bragg and his corps commanders, Lt. Gens. Stones River: Philip Sheridan’s rise to military fame Brigadier General Philip H. Sheridan sat pensively in his command tent the evening of January 9, 1863, and stared at the paper on his camp desk. The two armies gathered on the banks of Stones River on the evening of December 30 within 700 yards of one another. Bragg had waited all day Tuesday to receive a Federal attack that never materialized. As Locke’s Texans closed upon the line of Illinois troops, pushing ahead of them the fugitives from Kirk’s brigade, Lt. Col. Charles Truman Hotchkiss, commanding the 89th, ordered his men to lie down. Also troubling the Federal general were reports that Nashville, recently seized by Union troops, was about to fall. Overall, both sides lost more than 18,700 killed or wounded in the midwinter battle. Near starvation and now freezing, the Army of Tennessee began to disintegrate. At this time the enemy, who had made an attack on the extreme right of our wing against Johnson and also on Davis’ front, had been successful, and the two divisions on my right were retiring in great confusion, he reported. Great book on Stones River. One of the most unique moments of the Civil War occurred on the eve of the Battle of Stones River. Source for information on Stones River, Battle of: The Oxford Companion to American Military History dictionary. Lincoln Memorial University history professor Earl Hess talked about Confederate commanding General Braxton Bragg's role in the battle. Rosecrans shifted men eastward across the river and established a formidable line along a hilltop. The war was not going very smoothly for the Union States and President Lincoln was desperate for a win. Post’s amalgamated force of three Illinois regiments and one Indiana regiment fell in along a lane, with the 74th and 75th Illinois, both novice regiments, posted behind a split-rail fence on the east side of the road. For 30 minutes, the forces fired on one another at a distance of 75 yards. Leonidas Polk and William J. Hardee, Polk suggested that his corps strike the right wing of McCook’s corps. The Ohioans joined the swarm of Federals sprinting for the rear. Salmon P. Chase to Rosecrans after Stones River the Battle of Stones River … The artillerists of Battery E were tired and famished after the action, and Kirk allowed them to go into bivouac amid a grove of cedars 100 yards behind their initial position. At 3 a.m. Lt. Col. Fielder A. Jones, commanding the 39th Indiana, sent a company forward to probe the woods on the regiment’s front. The following day, January 1, 1863, both sides paused to catch their breath and regain some of their strength, and no major fighting took place. On October 28, President Abraham Lincoln had replaced Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, commander of the Army of the Ohio, with Rosecrans. Without delay they fell back. The ‘Slaughter Pen’ is located on the south side of the Stones River National Battlefield. Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States. ‘At 2 o’clock on the morning of the 31st [December 1862] General Sill, who had command of my right brigade,’ he began. He also created a pioneer command of combat engineers whose specialized duties included constructing field fortifications, corduroying roads and building repair bridges. Description: In the library of Civil War literature the Battle of Stones River, December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863, is one of the most under represented large scale battles of the war. No comments . In just a few hours, the fields and cedar thickets around the Tennessee village of Murfreesboro would shake with the angry roar of cannons and the sharp crackle of musketry. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. Subjects: Battle of Stones River Civil War Union Forces Confederate States of America Battle Union General Military History. Edgarton, Lieutenant Albert G. Ransom and their men managed to get one or two of their Parrot rifles into battery and fired shells and canister at the fast-closing enemy. Captured, discredited and dishonored, Edgarton would be exchanged a few months later and then be called upon to report why he had sent half his horses to be watered on the morning of the fateful assault. The Battle of Stones River: Into the Cauldron On the last day of 1862, Confederates under General Braxton Bragg launched a surprise attack on Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans’s Army … On New Years Day, both armies marked time. Harber’s History Lesson: Slaughter Pen was preeminent in Civil War history at Stones River. I immediately moved by the left flank, Darden reported, to an elevated position, and came into battery to the right under a murderous fire of canister, from one of the enemy’s batteries, posted about 400 yards distant. Only one officer stood to stem the Confederate tide: the irascible, bandy-legged Ohioan, Brig. Shows info that other books have left out. Civil War Battle History Easy to understand overviews, summaries, character breakdowns, and details about 10 important Civil War battles. Murfreesboro was a small town in the Stones River Valley, a former state capital named for a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, Hardy Murfree. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! Click to donate now. Carlin tried to withdraw his brigade in an orderly manner, but both he and his mount were hit by rifle fire and knocked down. Unwilling to relieve his friend, Davis, now the Confederate president, instructed the Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, English astronomer who confirmed Einstein's theory of relativity. Battle of Stones River, also called Battle of Murfreesboro, (December 31, 1862–January 2, 1863), bloody but indecisive American Civil War clash in Tennessee that was a psychological victory for Union forces. Bushrod Johnson, seeing the damage being inflicted on his Confederates, sent a message to Captain Putnam Darden of the Jefferson Flying Artillery to bring up his guns. General Davis, hearing the firing on his right, ordered back Colonel Sidney Post’s 1st Brigade, in effect refusing the division’s right flank. The shellfire forced the Confederate artillery to limber up and retire, leaving behind a wrecked caisson. The Middle Fork, 19.8 miles (31.9 km) long, rises in an area of low hills, or knobs, also near the line with Bedford County, near Hoovers Gap, an important troop movement route during the American Civil War. Colonel William H. Gibson, commanding the 49th Ohio of Willich’s brigade, recalled later that ‘at dawn of day orders were received to build fires and make coffee. The following morning, the last one of 1862, would certainly be the last for many of them. July 26, 2019. Almost half of Jones’ command fell dead or wounded under the first Confederate volley. Between December 31, 1862, and January 2, 1863, a fierce battle took place in Rutherford County. The battery’s horses needed water, but in the darkness, with the enemy so near, the horses would have to wait until morning. The battle pitted the Army of the Cumberland under Major General William S. Rosecrans against the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lieutenant General Braxton Bragg. Living History Programs Join us for an opportunity to see demonstrations of Civil War weapons and equipment while learning more about the people affected by the Battle of Stones River. In the battle, Confederate General Braxton Bragg and as many as 35,000 soldiers withdrew from Kentucky and took defensive positions in the city of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. John C. Mendenhall, who positioned nearly 50 cannon hub-to-hub and blasted away at the Confederate attackers. It flows roughly parallel to, but west of, I… Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. Facing the ferocious Federal gunfire, the attacking Southerners threw themselves down in order to avoid the deadly blasts. Simonson, however, switched his battery to canister, obliqued his Parrott rifles, lowered his barrels to zero degrees and fired. The overly cautious and plodding Rosecrans left some 40,000 men in and around the Tennessee capital to guard his communication and supply routes—nearly evening the odds in favor of Bragg. John Von Neumann, Hungarian-born mathematician. Colonel M.F. Eager to seize the initiative, he took advantage of the Union lethargy to plan an assault of his own. Visitors explore the impact of the Battle of Stones River through living history events, interpretive programs, and hiking or biking along seven miles of trails. Hardee solved Polk’s dilemma by bringing up Brig. Following the failure of his Kentucky campaign the previous fall, Confederate Gen. On the evening of Tuesday, December 30, Rosecrans and Bragg faced each other a few miles west of Murfreesboro. Two additional sections went into battery in a cornfield to the rear of the Ohioans. Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. Today, Stones River Battlefield is part of the US National Parks network, with exhibitions and a series of tours exploring the area’s history. In the meantime, Rosecrans consolidated his battered army and established a fortified supply base at Murfreesboro, which would serve the Army of the Cumberland later that year in its drive toward Chattanooga. Gen. St. John Liddell, found itself running to perform the movement, while the center brigade, led by Brig. The Battle of Stones River (called the Battle of Murfreesboro by Confederates) was the battle of highest % losses by both sides in the entire Civil War. Though a costly win, Rosecrans’ victory at Stones River secured Middle Tennessee for the Union for the remainder of the war. The 10th and 11th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) and the 4th Arkansas drove into the 89th Illinois. Following the failure of his Kentucky campaign the previous fall, Confederate Gen. Both Union and Confederate brigades became locked in battle. While the blood soaked battlefield was a killing field for both Union and Confederate forces, the combined casualties were … Thread starter History Learner; Start date Aug 11, 2020; Home. Stones River National Cemetery, which is nearby, is a military graveyard where 6,100 Union soldiers are buried. Pinney fell beside his guns–he and many of his cohorts would be left on the field. The 5th Kentucky (Union) formed the second line, with the 93rd Ohio acting as brigade reserve. Stones River, Battle of (1862–63).Stones River—also known as the Battle of Murfreesboro—was one of the costliest engagements of the Civil War in Tennessee. Along the way he ran into Kirk, who ordered him to advance the 34th and give Edgarton’s Ohioans time to go into battery. Statista. The Battle of Stones River was a tactical draw, but a strategic Union victory. Remnants of Willich’s and Kirk’s brigades, broken and dispirited, halted long enough to show the flag, fire a volley, then run again, with the Confederates in battle-crazed pursuit. Edgarton kept the horses in harness, hobbled near the guns and caissons. Willich told Gibson to support the picket line in the unlikely event the Rebels advanced. It was located in a rich agricultural region from which Bragg planned to provision his army and a position that he intended to use to block a potential Federal advance on Chattanooga. Lieutenant Colonel F.A. When the Texans came within 50 yards, Hotchkiss ordered his left wing to volley, and the Union musketry swept the line of the Texans. Unaware of these momentous Southern plans, Captain Edgarton kept busy prior to sunrise on December 31, finding a creek to the rear of his position and ordering half the battery’s horses taken back to the stream to be watered. The Battle of Stones River was the result of the attempt by the Confederate Army to force the Union troops out of Tennessee. Major General William S. Rosecrans assumed command of the Army of the Ohio and reconstituted it as the Army of the Cumberland. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. Both the Federal Army of the Cumberland and the Confederate Army of Tennessee had settled in for the night. On the eve of the Battle of Stones River, the mood among the leaders of the Army of Tennessee was one of tension and uncertainty. Without debate Bragg assented; the assault would begin at dawn on Wednesday, December 31. Sam Davis of the 25th Tennessee reported, Although a great many of our men were killed and wounded at this place, the line was not confused, and the men continued to fire without noticing those killed or wounded. In the ensuing artillery fire, Marks fell severely wounded, and command devolved upon Lt. Col. Watt Floyd. Both of my Great Grandfathers Units are mention and shows the location during the battles. On the 2nd, though, the tempestuous battle resumed when Bragg commanded Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge’s division to assail the Union left. The Battle of Stones River. Although the Stones River Campaign, aka Battle of Stones River, was hailed as a Union victory, both sides limped off the battlefield to recover from the carnage. Section One, Fire! In just a few hours, the fields and cedar thickets around the Tennessee village of Murfreesboro w… During the melee, Willich had been captured, and Colonel Gibson of the 49th Ohio assumed command of the brigade. Gen. August Willich form on their flank facing due south. Hardee not… Details Location: Murfreesboro was a small town in the Stones River Valley, a former state capital named for a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, Hardy Murfree.All through the war it was a center for strong Confederate sentiment, and Bragg (Confederate) and his men were warmly welcomed and entertained during the month of December. Rosecrans put his army’s three wings on the road for the Tennessee capital on November 4, with the van of the army arriving three days later. Kirk was shot down while attempting to rally his infantry. Includes numbered key to identify troops and positions. The upstream portion of its course runs roughly parallel to U.S. Highway 231. Post ordered the guns limbered up and withdrawn, but 18 of the battery horses were down, leaving two badly shot-up beasts to pull one of the Parrott rifles. His left brigade, under Brig. 1 of 3 Go to page. Continued below… Captions. Susan Harber, The Daily News Journal, June 19, 2017. Pinney’s fire found the mark. The Federal pickets fell back on the regiment as the Pennsylvanians fought with desperate valor. His face flushed red, and his thoughts went back to the day before the New Year, the day of the Battle of Stones River, the day he wrecked his division to save the army. McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States), Oxford University Press, 1988 Rosecrans, William S. Official Report from the Battle of Stones River, February 12, 1863. The two remaining regiments, the 59th Illinois and 22nd Indiana, formed on the west side of the lane, with Captain Oscar Pinney’s 5th Wisconsin Battery dropping trail in a cornfield between the two regiments. Help preserve American history forever with your tax-deductible year-end gift today! To make matters worse, Brig. Willich’s 1st Brigade lay on the extreme right of Maj. Gen. Alexander McD. To the right of Baldwin’s collapsing line, the Confederate brigades of Wood and Polk plowed into the cedar brakes, confident that their way was unobstructed. Battle of Stones River or Second Battle of Murfreesboro (in the South, simply the 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.. Of the major battles of the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides. The Battle of Stones River was fought between December 31, 1862 and January 2, 1863. In the wake of the battle, several of his subordinates lobbied to have him replaced citing the failures at Perryville and Stones River. Such an investigation was never completed, but a note was made of Edgarton’s performance at Stones River and placed in the official records: Edgarton, captain…Company E, 1st Ohio Artillery…was guilty of a grave error in taking even a part of his battery horses to water at an unseasonable hour, and thereby losing his guns. In the final months of 1862, Abraham Lincoln and General-in-Chief Henry Halleck decided to press the Confederacy on all fronts. The term “slaughter” emanates cold chills down the spine of any individual in Rutherford County. General Braxton Bragg ’s 34,700-man Confederate army was confronted on Stones River near Murfreesboro by 41,400 Union troops under General William S. Rosecrans, who had orders to drive Bragg out of eastern Tennessee. Dysart moved his regiment into an open field just as McCown’s Rebels broke through the cedar brakes to the east. Kirk’s 2nd Brigade had suffered 826 casualties out of 1,933 effectives. Now, moving in column with their infantry support, Brigadier General Richard W. Johnson’s 2nd Division of Major General William S. Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland, the Buckeye gunners were on their way to cover the right flank of Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis’ division, advancing down the Franklin Road three miles or so west of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was obvious that the Union army intended to stay in Tennessee for a long time. Section Two, Fire! Bragg’s disinclination to … Rosecrans’ army on the northwest side of the river was organized into three wings with three divisions each. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to America’s Civil War magazine today! Categories: Civil War. The Chowan River Dare stone is thought to have been left by Eleanor White Dare of the famed Lost Colony of Roanoke as a message to her father John White who had gone back to England for more men and supplies. The Federal line was once again salvaged, this time due to the courageous efforts of Capt. The Union infantry along Baldwin’s line began to break for the rear. Major Joab A. Stafford, commanding the 1st Ohio, reported that at a range of 150 yards he opened fire on the Confederates. Rosecrans’ nemesis, General Braxton Bragg, had taken up residence in middle Tennessee, south of Nashville, with the intention of providing his long-suffering troops with the opportunity to forage. The 49th Ohio was hit in flank and rear simultaneously by the 14th and 15th Texas Cavalry (dismounted). Colonel J.C. Burks, commanding the 11th Texas Cavalry, fell disemboweled by the Union fire. The emaciated ragamuffins marched out of Kentucky, a trek of more than 200 miles, subsisting only on parched corn and fouled water. History Themes . Add a one-line explanation of what this file represents. Within minutes both units had been bushwhacked. Orders were circulated that no fires would be permitted that Tuesday evening, and Edgarton’s Ohioans bit down on flinty hardtack and drank cold and brackish water as they sullenly watched the brigade of Union Brig. May 23, 2013 - The American Battlefield Trust’s downloadable map of the Battle of Stones River, focusing on the Confederate charge on January 2, 1863. While Rosecrans held the initiative, his army was so battered from the battle that it would not campaign again for another six months. Battle of Stones River [Murfreesboro] Civil War (Confederate) 29th North Carolina Infantry at the Battle of Stones River, by Colonel Vance (brother to Gov. But in the melee that followed the initial breakthrough, Cleburne’s complex maneuver became unhinged. Pinney’s well-maintained Parrott rifles had the benefit of a half-mile-deep field of fire, and his gunners worked swiftly to go into battery. A no-man’s land of only 700 yards separated the 83,000 combatants on Dec. 30, 1862. The Ohio artillerists made the dismounted Texans pay a heavy price for assaulting the battery, but the Lone Star soldiers succeeded in overrunning the gun crews, capturing Edgarton and a number of his men and horses. Willich issued orders for the 39th and 32nd Indiana to push forward a strong line of videttes without delay. No clear victor emerged from the battle. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. An extended lull fell over the western armies following the Battle of Perryville in the fall of 1862. The battle of Stone River or Murfreesboro' Summary Print showing Union artillery behind infantry lines firing at Confederate troops on the far right during the battle at Stones River, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. While they were falling back, Cleburne’s usually well-oiled division was attempting to execute the right wheel movement that Bragg had ordered. Sheridan’s 3rd Division made a valorous stand along the Wilkinson Pike, slowing down the Confederate attack long enough for Rosecrans to cobble together a second line. Stones River, Tennessee (December 31 1862 – Jan 2 1863) By late 1862, the war was in full swing. Southern bullets were now beginning to zip and hum into the clutch of men gathered about Edgarton’s battery. Dismayed, the major saw more Rebels than he had ever seen before–five times as many men as he had himself. By the evening of December 31, the Army of the Cumberland was cornered against Stones River, and Bragg crowed to Richmond, “God has granted us a happy New Year.” A hiatus on January 1 gave both sides time to shore up their battle lines. Stones River National Battlefield includes over 600 acres of preserved battlefield and a cemetery honoring those lost in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. 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Miles West of Murfreesboro our funds go directly to preservation and Education individual soldiers scattered running. Had his soldiers alert and ready prior to the courageous efforts of Capt previous fall Confederate! Responding promptly to the Trust are tax deductible to the Battle of River. Confederate hands have him replaced citing the failures at Perryville and Stones River drains... No-Man ’ s defining conflicts: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900 30 within 700 of! The West, Middle, and command devolved upon Lt. Col. David M. Dunn ordered S.O! By Robert Cheeks and originally appeared in the ensuing artillery fire, Marks fell severely,. Result of the 59th Illinois ran to the full extent allowable under the law Civil War Timeline – Offensives.