After his October 1862 defeat at Perryville in Kentucky, Gen. Braxton Bragg withdrew his army into middle Tennessee and resupplied his men near Murfreesboro. Reduced in strength by a full division sent to help defend Vicksburg, Bragg seemed hesitant to conduct offensive operations. The Union Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, loitered and resupplied nearby around Nashville. Rosecrans received orders to move against Bragg and finally did so in late December. Moving south, Rosecrans met the Confederates along Stones River just north of Murfreesboro. The inevitable engagement erupted on December 31, when Bragg struck the Union right with one of his two army corps and drove it back some three miles. Heavy fighting on both sides ensued as Bragg bent Rosecrans' line. Rosecrans held on during the night and through New Years' Day. By January 2, Rosecrans was still stubbornly holding his ground. Late that afternoon, a Confederate division attacked the Union left and nearly broke through, however, massed Union artillery broke up the assault. The Union repulse of two attacks and the arrival of reinforcements made Bragg’s position untenable. He abandoned the area on January 3, giving up Confederate control of central Tennessee.