CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press)-- Today marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Stones River and the beginning of the Union march through Tennessee to pivotal battles in Chattanooga and Chickamauga.

President Abraham Lincoln was desperate for a decisive Union victory to turn northern sentiment after the Army's defeat at Fredericksburg.

A win could help time the president's release of the Emancipation Proclamation and perhaps reframe the Civil War with moral purpose, said Gib Backlund, chief of operations at Stones River National Military Park near Murfreesboro.

Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg had his troops in the Middle Tennessee region to protect farms that fed the rebel army.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.