On the night of Jan. 3, 1863, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg began withdrawing his Army of Tennessee from the Stones River battlefield. Bragg had won an impressive tactical victory three days earlier when he attacked Gen. William Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland near Murfreesboro, Tenn., but when the Confederates renewed their attacks on Jan. 2, the tough Union soldiers had held firm.
Although some of Bragg’s subordinates supported his decision to withdraw, the retreat angered many of the officers and men because it was the second time Bragg had withdrawn after winning an initial tactical victory. The decision was just one of many controversial moments that plagued the orneriest, most divisive general in the rebel army.
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