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On New Years Eve the fighting had raged from dawn to dusk. Here on the edges of this broad, open field the two exhausted armies stopped shooting. The Confederates formed a line in the trees you see in the distance. The Union army stretched for two miles along the Nashville Pike.
On New Years Day 1863, 21,000 men did not answer their unit roll calls. The numbers of dead and wounded stunned battle-hardened veterans in both armies. Friend and foe spent that day mingled in the torn fields and shattered cedar woods, helping the wounded, looking for comrades lost in the swirl of battle, and burying the dead. Both sides dug hasty defenses for whenever the truce ended. The Confederates had pushed the Federals back over three miles, taking 3,000 prisoners. General Bragg started his new year sure that he had won a great but costly victory.