The citizens of occupied Murfreesboro had constant reminders of the powerful federal army entrenched here on their doorsteps. From January 1863 to April 1866, "the streets were crowded at all times with wagons and soldiers....Soldiers camping thick in and round town," townsman John Spence recorded. And all could hear the rumble of regular cannon practice.
Federal cannon here could hit the Rutherford County Courthouse you can see in the distance. If the Confederates had tried to raid the fort, Union troops were under orders to shell and burn Murfreesboro.
...[there are] Refugees wimmen and Children going north on prettinear Every trane they are the poorest folks i Ever Saw they have no money and allmost no Clothing i guess the government is Halling them off to keep them from Starvation ... the folks in the north knows nothing about war.
James H. Jones, private
57th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Company E
General Orders No. 20
The guns of the Command can be discharged between the hours of 12 and 1 o'clock each day. The men will be encouraged to fire at targets but in all cases it must be under the direction of Company Officers with all necessary precautions against accidents...
By Command of Brigadier General Van Cleve
Headquarters, Post of Murfreesboro, Tennessee
December 2, 1864