James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  to Gettysburg in July, 1863 the North gained no real victory and her Army of the Potomac suffered two crushing defeats. 1  34   A glimmer of hope from the West lightened the intense gloom following the disaster at Fredericksburg. Influenced undoubtedly by the President’s desire for a victory, and deeming the conditions auspicious, Rosecrans moved out of Nashville the day after Christmas with the intention of attacking the Confederates. For a number of days he advanced, skirmishing as he went, and finally took up a position within three miles of Murfreesborough, Tennessee, where Bragg’s army had gone into winter quarters. On the last day of the year he determined to make the attack; but Bragg had resolved to take the offensive at the same time, and obtained the advantage of the initial onset. The bloody battle of Stone’s River [or Murfreesborough] ensued, wherein 41,000 Union troops were pitted against 34,000 Confederates. 2 The Confederates won the day, but Rosecrans stubbornly maintained his ground. On January 2, 1863, Bragg again attacked the Union Army and met with repulse. On the night of the following day, his troops being somewhat demoralized, he retreated from Murfreesborough. This gave Rosecrans a chance, of which he at once availed himself, to claim the victory in the campaign. The President telegraphed to him “God bless you.” Halleck called it one of the most brilliant successes of the war. Throughout the North it was proclaimed a victory. At last, ran the sentiment of the people, our great general has appeared. The loss on both sides was heavy 3 and both armies were so crippled that a long time was required to repair the damage. Although the casualties of Rosecrans were the larger, the superior resources of the North inclined
Note 1. IV; Lect. [back]
Note 2. T. L. Livermore, 97. [back]
Note 3. Union 12,906, Confederate 11,739. T. L. Livermore, 97. [back]