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[350] strewn with their dead. For two hours the battle raged with horrible slaughter, and neither side receded until near five o'clock. Then the nearly exhausted armies suspended operations for the night, excepting the play of a few batteries.

It had been a desperate but undecided contest. The advantage was with the Confederates. They had driven the enemy's right almost upon his left, captured nearly one-third of his artillery, compelled him to change front under fire, and occupied that part of the field from which he had been driven in the morning. Rosecrans had shown a great power in handling troops, and had performed a maneuver requiring high qualities of generalship; for he had successfully formed a new line in presence of an enemy and under his attacks.

The next day-1st January, 1863-Gen. Bragg telegraphed to Richmond: “God has granted us a happy New year.” The exultation of the despatch was extravagant, and was certainly not justified by what ensued. The first of January passed without any important event. Breckinridge had been transferred to the right of Stone River to resume the command of that position, now held by two of his brigades. It was soon reported that no change had occurred, except the withdrawal of the enemy from the advanced position occupied by his left flank. Finding, upon further examination, that this was the case, the right flank of Polk's corps was thrown forward to occupy the ground for which we had so obstinately contended the evening before. This shortened our lines considerably, and gave us possession of the centre of the battle-field, from which we gleaned the spoils and trophies throughout the day, and transferred them rapidly to the rear.

On the 2d January, Van Cleve's division of the enemy's forces was thrown across the river, and occupied the eminence from which Gen. Polk's line was commanded and enfiladed. The dislodgement of this force or the withdrawal of Polk's line was an evident necessity. The latter involved consequences not to be entertained. Orders were accordingly given for the concentration of the whole of Breckinridge's division in front of the position to be taken. An addition was made to his command of ten Napoleon guns, and the cavalry forces of Wharton and Pegram, about two thousand men, were ordered to join in the attack on his right. The instructions given to Breckinridge were to drive the enemy back, crown the hill, intrench his artillery, and hold the position.

The attack was made at 4 P. M. Van Cleve's division gave way, retired in confusion across the river, and was closely followed by the Confederates. The enemy however, had disposed his batteries on the hill on the west side of the river, and Negley's division was ordered up to meet the onset. The firing was terrific. In about half an hour the Confederates lost two thousand men. Breckinridge's command was driven back in

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