On New Year’s Eve 1862, the USS Monitor sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC. The ship was being towed to Beaufort, NC by the USS Rhode Island, when a tow line broke and ship began taking on water. The Monitor sank with the loss of 4 officer and 16 crew. The wreck was discovered in 1974.
Also on New Year’s Eve 1862, and continuing into New Year’s Day 1863, was the Battle of Stones River outside Murfreesboro, TN. The Federal Army of the Cumberland under General Rosecrans ( left ) engaged Confederates of the Army of Tennessee under Braxton Bragg. The result was a retreat by Bragg that abandoned much of Middle Tennessee to the Union. After the battle, the Federals constructed a huge fortification called Fortress Rosecrans that served as a supply depot and base of occupation for the Union for the duration of the war.