Diary of Orrin Brown, On a train South of Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Thursday –Oct. 20th
It is a little warmer than it was yesterday and a good prospect of a fine day. It is reported that we are to leave here at 11 Oclock AM. There is theiving going on among us every night in the way of money watches boots blankets etc. etc. etc. There was a man shot this morning in the room above us for throwing something out of the window. The orders are that if any man shall throw anything out the windows the guard shall shoot him right through and they have to carry out the orders or subject themselves to military punishment. There are quite a number of civil and religious men in the company and thode that ar o inclined get together and sing and talk and read their Testaments to each others prophit, there is a company of them singing in another room now and others reading their prayer books and tracts and newspapers and Testaments and others writing and others playing cards and swearing and rowdying.
We lift the Yolicoffer House berween 11 and 12 Oclock were marched down through the City to the depot got aboard the cars about 50 in a car so that we could not sleep much, we arrived at Murfeeborrow just before sundown and saw Camps and earthworks all around on the north side ond a large drove of Government beef cattle, here we passed two trains of Soldiers going home on furlough and discharge. After leaving there we tryed to sleep but did not do a verry driving business at it. We saw several Cotton fields this afternoon the first that we had ever seen in our lives.
Tennessee was the last Southern state to secede, with large areas of Union support in the mountains of East Tennessee. Where Virginia’s mountain counties seceded from the secession, Tennessee kept its rebellious rebels in the fold—partly under forces commanded by Gen. Zollicoffer. After the tremendous Battle of Shiloh, and the fall of Memphis and Nashville, Union control of the middle of the state was confirmed at the beginning of January, 1863 by Gen William Rosecrans’ victory over Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg in the Battle of Stones River at Murfreesboro. Wiki notes:
Total casualties in the battle were 24,645: 12,906 on the Union side and 11,739 for the Confederates. Considering that only about 76,400 men were engaged, this was the highest percentage of killed and wounded of any major battle in the Civil War, higher in absolute numbers than the infamous bloodbaths at Shiloh and Antietam earlier that year. [emphasis added]