Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center to Close for Remodeling
On October 27, Shiloh Battlefield's Visitor Center will close for remodeling. The work will take two to three weeks to complete. Visitors will be able to view the park movie and receive assistance from rangers in a tent erected next to the park bookstore. More »
Everyday from 04/04/2013 to 04/08/2013Location: Shiloh National Military Park Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Fee Information: FREE Contact Name: Shiloh Visitor Center Contact Phone Number: 731-689-5696
On April 4 - 8, 2013, Shiloh will be commemorating the 151st anniversary of the bloody battle.
Here is a list of programs being offered:
Thursday, April 4: "From Farmlands to Ravines: the Geography of Shiloh Hill." From 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm, in the Shiloh
Auditorium. Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch as he discusses the role of geography in military operations such as Shiloh. The varying terrain of the area were instrumental in how events transpired April 6 and 7, 1862. The public is invited to participate in the discussions examining battlefield terrain by comparing the Battle of Shiloh to other events, such as, the Second Punic War, the American Revolution,and World Wars I and II.
Friday, April 5: "Long Arm of the Army: the Artillery of Shiloh." (8:00 am - 5:00 pm) Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch in an all day, 12-mile hike concentrating on the use of artillery in the battle. Departs from the old Ed Shaw store on Hwy. 22 at 8:00 am. This hike will compare cannon on the field today with what would have been here 151 years ago. The hike will discuss ballistic capabilities of the guns and how their action, or inaction, influenced the course of battle.
Meet at Ed Shaw's Store on Hwy. 22
Hiking Distance: 12 miles
Terrain:EASY to DIFFICULT.
Friday, April 5: "General Beauregard to Visit the Tennessee River Museum." 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, at the Tennessee River Museum. Join ranger Chris Mekow, who portrays Beauregard in the park movie "Shiloh - Fiery Trial," as he discusses the Creole's role in the war before, during, and after Shiloh. Learn about his fractious relationship with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, his grand plans for Confederate strategy, and his post-war years and legacy.
Friday, April 5: "U.S. Grant before Shiloh: A Life Rescued from Oblivion." 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
At the start of the Civil War, U.S. Grant was a thirty-eight year old failure and the least likely of former army officers to emerge as commander-in-chief. This program will concentrate on Grant's life from his birth in Point Pleasant, Ohio, up to the Civil War, and the steps that carried him to Shiloh and launched a path to Union victory and the White House.
Saturday, April 6: "Fraley Field: The Battle Begins" (5:00 am - 6:30 am) Join park volunteers Jeff Gentsch and Bjorn Skaptason for a two hour hike which will introduce visitors to the opening shots of the battle. These hikes will follow the approaches of the Northern and Southern soldiers and arrive in Fraley Field at sunrise. Hikers will meet at the Visitor Center at 5:00 am and divide into two groups, one Union and one Confederate.
Hiking Distance: 1 mile CS, 2 miles US
Saturday, April 6: "In the Footsteps of Henry Morton Stanley: 6th Arkansas Infantry." (7:00 am - 9:30 am) Join Bjorn Skaptason as he introduces visitors to Henry Morton Stanley, of the 6th Arkansas on this 2.5 mile hike. Long before Stanley set off to find Dr. Livingstone, he fought in the Battle of Shiloh as a nineteen year old Confederate soldier. Years later he would write a gripping chapter in his memoirs about his experiences at Shiloh. This program will follow private Stanley
across Shiloh battlefield using his memoirs to tell the story. At the same time it will give visitors a picture of Confederate attempts to carry the first two lines of Union camps. Learn about the experience of combat and what happened when Confederates surprised the Union soldiers of the 6th and 5th Divisions.
Meet at Tour Stop #9, Peabody Mortuary Monument.
Hiking Distance: 2.5 miles
Terrain: MODERATE, but heavy woods and some underbrush.
Saturday, April 6: "Sherman's Stubborn Stand" (9:00 am - 11:00 am)
On the morning of April 6, Sherman did not expect a Confederate attack and did not have a clue of the impending assault until he was wounded here at Rea Field. This program will explore the defense Sherman made near Shiloh Church and the stand at the crossroads where he and McClernand's Division formed to hold this critical area, only to be swept back by Confederate forces. The program will conclude with a discussion near McClernand's headquarters monument of how these two divisions made a difference on the first day and tied up Confederate forces that might have turned the tide of battle elsewhere.
Meet at Tour Stop #6, Rea Field
Distance: 2 miles
Saturday, April 6: "The Times are Desperate: Shiloh Church to Locust Grove Branch." (10:00 am - 12:30 pm) Many hikes follow a particular unit or individual on a line that follows the progression of the battle. Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch as he follows the battle in a different directional flow. This hike will move from the area around Shiloh church to the east examining the geography of the battle as it took place from 8:00 am until noon. The group will stop to discuss actions around Shiloh Church, Colonel Peabody's camps, Locust Grove Branch, and into Sarah Bell Cotton Field. The hike will then move west along the Hamburg-Purdy Road. On the return jaunt, actions in the Hornet's Nest, Review Field, and the southern edge of Woolf Field will be discussed.
Meet at Tour Stop #6, Rhea Field
Hiking Distance: 3.5 miles
Terrain: EASY to DIFFICULT
Saturday, April 6: "General W.H.L. Wallace: Unheralded Defender of the Hornet's Nest." (1:00 pm - 3:30 pm)
Join Bjorn Skaptason as he discusses the role of W.H.L. Wallace in the defense of the Hornet's Nest. The tenacity with which
the Union Army held the center of their line defending Duncan Field and the Hornet's Nest has long been considered
an important factor in denying the Confederates victory on April 6. The central figure to that story has been General Benjamin Prentiss,
who commanded a small force within the dense thicket. However, it was Wallace who commanded the majority of the troops
defending the center and shared in the lion's share of the fighting. This program looks at the life and career of General Wallace
and his part in the defense of the Sunken Road line.
Meet at Tour Stop #2, Confederate Monument.
Hiking Distance: 2.5 mile
Terrain: MODERATELY DIFFICULT
Saturday and Sunday, April 6 - 7: Three-hour car caravan tours of the Shiloh Battlefield." Tours will depart
from the visitor center at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. These tours will take visitors
to high-points on the battlefield in order to tell the story of the Battle of Shiloh. Each tour is limited to ten vehicles,
so pre-registration is a must.
Saturday, April 6: "Hurlbut's Desperate Struggle" (2:00 pm - 4:00 pm)
By about noon on April 6th, General Albert Sidney Johnston felt close to victory as his Confederate troops entered the camp of Col. David Stuart's brigade and he said, "That mates them." Later that afternoon, he found his advance blockade by the division of Stephen Hurlbut. Although Hurlbut was noted for drunkenness and occasional larceny, he would put up a desperate struggle to hold the Union left flank. His defense would buy Grant time to form a last line of defense. This tour will follow the lines formed by Hurlbut and reinforcemtns focusing on some of the fiecest fighting on the field.
Meet at Tour Stop #14, Field Hospital
Distance: 1 1/2 miles
Saturday, April 6: "Backs to the River: General Grant's Last Line of Defense." (2:30 pm - 5:30 PM)
In keeping with the theme of looking at the battlefield from a different yet chronological perspective, Dr Gentsch
will lead this hike and examine the battlefield from east to west. The hike will begin with the Confederate
attempt to surmount Dill Branch and threaten Grant's Last Line of Defense. The walk will follow the defensive
stand westward for much of its length, stopping at certain points to discuss the nature of Union defense.
The westward extant of the hike will be in Perry Field and how the Tilghman Branch factored into the Union stand.
The arrival and deployment of Lew Wallace's Third Division will also form part of the discussion. The groups
will then proceed to the area of Stacy Field, just west of Cloud Field, and make the same approach the
Confederates did when they trapped general Prentiss in that vicinity northeast of "Hell's Hollow" around 5:30 pm.
Meet at the Indian Mounds Kiosk
Hike Distance: 3.5 miles
Terrain: EASY to DIFFICULT.
Saturday, April 6: "The POWs of Shiloh: the Experiences of Captured Union Soldiers in 1862." 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
in the Shiloh Visitor Center Auditorium. Join Ranger Chris Mekow as he discusses the fate of nearly 2,300 Union soldiers, including General Benjamin Prentiss, who were surrounded and captured at 5:30 pm on April 6, 1862. This program will utilize eyewitness accounts of soldiers, such as the memoirs of Sergeants Daniel Matson and Frederich Kiner of the 14th Iowa Infantry and the diary of Philo Woods of the 12th Iowa. These men were immediately ushered away to Corinth, Mississippi, after capture, to begin a six month odyssey in Southern prisons. Following the discussion, a short 27-minute film "Echoes of Captivity" will be shown, which introduces viewers to POWs throughout American history, including interviews with former POWs from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the First Gulf War.
Sunday, April 7: "General Bragg's Spirited Defense: Shiloh's Second Day." (8:00 am - 10:30 am)
Park volunteer Bjorn Skaptason will be leading a battlefield hike discussing Confederate General Braxton Bragg's defense on the western side of the battlefield. The Union counterattack on the morning of the 7th caught the Confederate army, now under P.G.T. Beauregard, off balance and unprepared to respond. The western flank of the Confederate army came under the command of General Bragg. Bragg's ad hoc force contained only a small element of his own troops. When three Union
divisions appeared unexpectedly on the west side of Tilghman Branch Ravine, Bragg went on the offensive. The hike will discuss what Bragg knew on the morning of April 7, and how he responded to the Union threat. How a spirited Confederate defense on this side of battlefield delayed Grant's second-day counterattack.
Meet at the Picnic Area.
Hiking Distance: 2 miles
Terrain: MODERATELY DIFFICULT, through open fields and shallow ravines.
Sunday, April 7: "Lew Wallace Car Caravan Tour."(9:00 am - 11:00 am)
Join Ranger Charlie Spearman for a car caravan tour re-tracing Wallace's push against Confederate resistance on the second
day of Shiloh. Although General Lew Wallace's Division missed the first day of fighting at Shiloh, they would play a key role in achieving the victory on the second day.
This tour will include a walk around the Jones Field positions and then drive and walk to Wallace's final line.
Meet at the park Visitor Center
Distance: about 2 miles walking
Sunday, April 7: "The Line of Blue Lurches Forward: General Buell Advances."(10:00 am - 12:30 pm)
Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch and discover the early morning movements of the Union left flank on April 7, 1862. On this second day of battle, the Union left flank comprised of Buell's Army of the Ohio, made its was across Dill Branch Ravine and advanced northeast to southwest to engage Confederate forces. Contact between adversaries occurred along the northern edge of Wicker Field. Buell and his forces encountered numerous problems: muddy ground, topographic obstruction, and stubborn Confederate resistance. Nevertheless, Buell and his army were able to push the Southern combatants back, and were instrumental in General Beauregard's decision to withdraw from the battlefield that afternoon.
Meet at the Park Visitor Center.
Hiking Distance: 4 miles
Terrain: EASY to DIFFICULT
Sunday. April 7: "Shiloh; Frontier Home." (1:30 pm - 3:30 pm)
Join park volunteer Bjorn Skaptason as he opens a discussion into the battlefield as it existed before the Battle of Shiloh. Shiloh was a frontier community where farmers did their best to carve a living out of the wild landscape that was not far removed from the days of David Crockett. Men and women; farmers, trades people, travelers, and slaves all lived and worked in this area that was identified in the 1860 census as Section 15 of Hardin County,
Tennessee. This program introduces visitors to some of those people and their lives, and discusses how their lives were affected by the battle.
Meet at Tour Stop #16, the Peach Orchard.
Hiking Distance: 2 miles
Terrain: MODERATELY EASY
Sunday, April 7: "The Preservation of a Battlefield: the Monument and On-Site Documentation of Shiloh"
(2:00 pm - 4:00 pm) Dr. Jeff Gentsch will lead a hike in and around the vicinity of Woolf Field and Water OaksPond. This tour will discuss the monuments and position tablets on the battlefield, the history behind their installation, and their use. Although most visitors to the battlefield are civilians, one of the original intent behind the construction of the of the park was to provide a place for military personnel to conduct detailed staff rides for educational purposes.The process of monumentation is ongoing, and examples of older and more recent monuments will be used to demonstrate the different ideas that fostered their style and construction.
Meet at Tour Stop #13, Water Oaks Pond
Hiking Distance: 1 mile
Sunday, April 7: "Struggle for the Crossroads" (2:30 pm - 4:30 pm)
By noon on the second day, the Confederates had been surprised by the Union reinforcements and the offensive by what seemed a "whipped" army on April 6th. Beauregard, now in command, still thought that victory was possible and launched a series of attacks in the vicinity of the crossroads of the Hamburg-Purdy and Corinth roads to drive the Federals back. This tour will walk over the scene of this desperate struggle from Wolff Field to Shiloh Church.
Meet at the Tennessee State Monument just past Tour Stop #13
Distance: 1 1/2 miles
Sunday, April 7: "Tending the Wounded and Burying the Dead." (3:00 pm - 4:45 pm)
Join Ranger Chris Mekow as he explores the aftermath of battle and the carnage left behind by two days of bloodletting. The tour will include a visit to the largest Confederate burial trench and the Shiloh National Cemetery.
Meet at Tour Stop #16, Field Hospital
Distance: less than one mile
Terrain: MOSTLY DRIVEN
Monday, April 8: "That Devil Forrest: Union Pursuit and the Fight at Fallen Timbers" (8:00 am - 10:30 am)
Monday, April 8: "Draw a Badger out of the Hole: General Sherman's Approach to Corinth."
(1:00 pm - 3:30 pm) Join park volunteer Bjorn Skaptason as he examines the Union Army's approach toward the Confederate defenses of Corinth. Before the Battle of Shiloh, General C.F. Smith quipped that the Union Army would be forced to go down to Corinth and draw the Confederates out of their entrenchments, "as you would draw a badger out of its hole." When General Henry Halleck moved against Corinth he treated his enemy just as one would a dangerous animal, very carefully, and with little willingness to take risks. This policy dictated the tactics used by his subordinates in operating against the Confederates on the opposing line. This car caravan tour explores how one Union division commander, William T. Sherman, attempted to leverage his enemies from their positions while still complying with his commander's conservative strategy.
Meet at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
Distance: 8 miles driving
Terrain: MODERATELY EASY.
Please call the Shiloh visitor center to register for programs and hikes in advance at 731-689-5696.