Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Fateful Decisions at Stones River
—Battle of Stones River —
Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg was troubled as he watched the tents go up here at his new headquarters on January 1, 1863. Before moving his headquarters to this place, he had telegraphed Richmond the previous evening and declared, "God has granted us a happy New Year." He had expected the Union army to be retreating by now. Instead, the Federals were digging trenches and preparing to renew the fight. That night, thousands of Union soldiers - a division under Col. Samuel Beatty - crossed Stones River north of here and positioned themselves on a high hill.
The next day, Bragg called Gen. John C. Breckinridge here and ordered him to push the Federals off the hill. Breckinridge argued against the attack, knowing that his men would be exposed the to fire of
Although Breckinridge attacked and successfully pushed Beatty back, the Union guns cut the Confederates up badly. The result was a bloody defeat that left more than 1,900 Confederate soldiers laying dead or wounded along the banks of the river. Bragg's subordinates finally persuaded him that the battle was over, and he withdrew from Murfreesboro toward Shelbyville on January 3, 1863.
"General Preston, this attack is made against my judgment and by the special orders of General Bragg. Of course we all must try to do our duty and fight the best we can. But if it should result in disaster and I be among the slain, I want you to do justice to my memory and tell the people that I believed this attack to be very unwise and tried to prevent it." - Gen. John C. Breckinridge.
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 52.174′ N, 86° 25.185′ W. Marker is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in Rutherford Click for map. Located at the General Bragg Trailhead of the Greenway Trail Park System. Marker is in this post office area: Murfreesboro TN 37129, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Headquarters (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle at Stones River (about 400 feet away); Stones River (about 800 feet away); Murfreesboro (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chalmers’ Brigade at Murfreesboro (approx. 0.4 miles away); Donelson’s Brigade at Murfreesboro (approx. 0.4 miles away); Army of the Cumberland (approx. half a mile away); Slave, Soldier, Citizen (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Murfreesboro.
Also see . . . Stones River. Resource page on the battle with official reports and other accounts. (Submitted on November 6, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 681 times since then. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.