July 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm
The early part of 1862 provided the Union with a series of significant successes, but that summer there was a resurgence of Confederate success. In the Eastern Theater, Robert E. Lee’s armyescaped from potential destruction after the Battle at Antietam and in December delivered a devastating defeat to the Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg. In the Western Theater early Union successes also faded as Confederate armies escape destruction in Kentucky and turned backUlysses Grant’s first campaign to capture Vicksburg.
At the end of 1862 and the beginning of 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland and the Confederate Army of Tennessee clashed along Stones River, just outside of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Union victory at this battle reversed the series of late 1862
Confederate victories. Stones River provided Abraham Lincoln with a military and political victory, supported the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1, 1863, and with the Union victory at Antietam, had an effect on the British government’s discussion regarding recognition of the Confederacy.
Matt will discuss the critical decision that shaped the Battle of Stones River. Critical decisions are those very few decisions that had a major impact on the battle. They not only effected the events that immediately follow, but the course of the battle from that point on. Had they not been made, then the Battle at Stones River may have been different from the one we know today.
Matt Spruill is a retired U. S. Army colonel. Upon graduating from college, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army and spent the next 28 years serving throughout the United States, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands. He retired in 1992. He has spent the last three decades studying, lecturing, and writing on the Civil War. Matt currently has ten books in print and three second editions revisions. He has extensive experience conducting tours, on-the-battlefield seminars, and staff rides and is a former Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide.
He graduated from The Citadel with a BA-History and the University of Missouri at Kansas City with a MA-History. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, and the NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy. He was on the faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
He is the co-editor of the University of Tennessee Press’s prestigious new series “Command Decisions in America’s Civil War”. His latest books are Decisions at Stones River (2018), Decisions at Second Manassas (2018), Guide to the Battle of Chickamauga (2018) and Decisions at Gettysburg (2019).
He and his wife, Kathy, live in Littleton, CO. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law, eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.