This attack is made against my judgement and by the special orders of General Bragg... if it should result in disaster and I be among the slain... tell the people that I believed this attack to be very unwise and tried to prevent it."
Gen. Breckinridge, prior to the attack on January 2.
fidence in Bragg's leadership forced his subordinates to write a memorandum counseling retreat. Deeply angered, Bragg initially refused, but on the morning of the 3rd, he ordered the army to retreat toward Tulla-homa. Leaving nearly 2,000 wounded behind, the Confederates withdrew during the night. Rosecrans did not pursue, remaining content with possession of the battlefield. Although not a decisive victory,- Lincoln thanked Rosecrans's army for its "hard-earned victory" and said that had the battle "been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over [it]."
Gen. James S. Negley's Federal division counterattacks across Stones River (above). Only the onset of darkness brought a halt to the Union pursuit of Breckinridge's shattered division.
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