"Throughout 1862 first one army would be encamped in town, then the Federals. Raids were frequent, then we would run down in our cellar to get out of the range of the bullets. Sometimes we would spend a whole night there. The quiet would go on for months, then fights in the town would break it up." - Adelicia McEwen
At the start of 1862, hopes for a short war were fading, yet many residents of Middle Tennessee believed that combat would remain mostly in Kentucky and Virginia. The illusions would not last. On January 19th, Union soldiers scored an overwhelming victory at the Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, and started moving southward. Weeks later, Federal forces captured Forts Henry and Donelson in northwest Tennessee, and took Nashville soon after.
In early April, 20,000 Federal soldiers marched through Franklin, destined for the Battle of Shiloh 100 miles (160km) to the southwest. Ironically Shiloh is a hebrew word meaning "place of peace," but on April 6 and 7, the area witnessed the largest and costliest battle ever waged in North America up to that time. Over 19,000 Americans were killed or wounded in two days (including eighty from Williamson County), and larger battles were on the horizon.