murfreesboro is located 35 miles south of nashville in central tennessee. murfreesboro is the county seat of rutherford county tennessee. murfreesboro was originally named cannonsburgh after tennessee politician newton cannon. later it was renamed murfreesboro after revolutionary war hero hardy murfree. between 1818 and 1826 murfreesboro was the capital of tennessee. the most signifcant event in the history of murfreesboro was the battle of stones river in 1862. like many southern towns murfreesboro's economy suffered during the decade of radical reconstruction after the civil war and did not rebound until the turn of the 20 th century. today murfreesboro is home to middle tennessee state university which has the highest student population in the state.
of interest to the tourist is murfreesboro's civil war sites and it's beautiful downtown historic district. because of middle tennessee state univeristy downtown murfreesboro has a vibrant nightlife. murfreesboro is well worth a visit when in the nashville area.
the most significant event in the history of murfreesboro was the battle of stones river between december 31 st 1862 and junuary 2 nd 1863. on december 26 th general rosecran's army of the cumberland marched toward murfreesboro from their base in nashville. they marched in three columns with the right column commanded by general george thomas, the center column commanded by general alexander mc cook, and the left column by general thomas crittenden. the confederate defenders of murfreesboro where general william hardee west of town, general leonidas polk on the west bank of the stones river, and general john breckenridge north of town. by the 30 th of december the union forces had reached the outskirts of murfreesboro and set up encampments. at dawn december 31 st bragg ordered a dawn attack which surprised the union forces. the first day of the battle was a decisive confederate victory. on new years day 1863 both armies rested and attended to their wounded.. on january 2 nd the union counter attacked and forced bragg to withdraw to tullahma tennessee. the battle of stones river was one of the bloodest of the civil war with over 23,000 total casualties on both sides.