Fighting commenced on December 31, 1862 and the Confederate army attacked first and struck the Union hard, so much so that Braggs believed his army had already succeeded and he sent a telegram to Jefferson Davis telling him that it indeed was a happy new year. Both armies spent New Year’s Day 1863 tending to their injured and burying their dead. Battle returned on January 2 with the Union Army enraging a surprise attack on the Confederates, who thought the Union had already retreated. Bragg’s army stood their ground, fighting back and pushing Rosecrans’s army back across the river. However, supporting Union troops had 57 cannons pointing straight at the coming Confederates, who withdrew from the deadly attack, and the Union took victory at Stones River, the 7th deadliest and most bloodiest (in terms of percentage of casualties to soldiers since 76,400 men fought) Civil War battle with 24,645 total dead, wounded, and captured soldiers Casualties.
The aftermath was murky, but the Union's victory was a much needed morale boost for the then downtrodden troops. Victory, albeit ragged, was long overdue, and the gain of any territory was good news to the Union. Thanks to their win
in Murfreesboro, the Union gained back confidence that propelled them forward
to many more victories. Today, the land and the adjacent graveyard, stand as a monument to those who served.