Event Details

  • Everyday from 04/05/2014 to 04/08/2014

    cannon fire 150
    Location: Shiloh Battlefield Time: 8:00 AM Fee Information: FREE Contact Phone Number: 731-689-5696 and 731-689-5275
152nd Battle of Shiloh Anniversary 
Schedule of Events
(please call 731-689-5696 to register for any hikes)

Saturday, April 5 -
Demonstrations (Visitor Center Area):
 *demonstration times subject to change/severe weather may cancel programs

Artillery Firing Demonstrations - 

         9:30 am                                       
        11:30 am                                        
         1:00 pm                                        
         3:00 pm

19th Century Wet Plate Photography Programs -

Vacant Chair Photography Studio will be presenting Civil War photography demonstrations at Shiloh Battlefield. Interpreters in period clothing will explain the history of photography in the 19th century and have a period correct traveling studio on display. Visitors will also see images being produced using the wet plate/collodian process. 

 9:00 am
10:00 am
11:00 am
12:30 pm
 1:30 pm
 2:30 pm
 3:30 pm 
Book signing in Shiloh Bookstore:
Kevin Getchell, author of "Scapegoat of Shiloh: The Distortion of Lew Wallace's Record by U.S. Grant." 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Battlefield Hikes:

Terrain of Terror: Geography of the Battlefield 
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Hike Distance - 3 miles
Terrain - easy to moderate
Meet at Tour Stop #16

Geography influences every aspect of the military arts and sciences, the landscape of the Battle of Shiloh being no exception. Geographic factors such as topography, vegetation, drainage, weather, and cultural features, such as roads and fields are singularly important, but only when examined as a matrix - when these parts combine to form a different environment - can the role of geography during the battle be truly appreciated. Beginning in the Peach Orchard, this hike will examine the matrices around Sara Belle Cotton and Wicker Fields, the Hornet's Nest, and Hell's Hollow, Cloud and Stacy Fields, and Duncan Field and Tilghman Branch. 

The Documentation and Monumentation of Shiloh: The Examples of Rea Field and Water Oaks Pond 
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #5
Hike Distance - 3 miles
Terrain - easy 

Shiloh is one of the best documented and monumentalized battlefields of the American Civil War. With nearly 600 position markers and 160 monuments, following the on-site documents and commemorations can tell a very vivid and exciting story about the battle, how the park was built, and the politics behind the park evolution. Beginning at Shiloh Church and using the paths and trails to Rea Field and Water Oaks Pond, visitors will be shown how these vital aspects of park history are used and what they represent. 

Evening Program:

Clash of the Colossals: Assembling the Largest American Armies Yet Seen
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Shiloh Visitor Center Auditorium

The Battle of Shiloh was a momentous event in American history simply for the shear numbers of men engaged and the dreadful cost of the battle in casualties. Nothing on this scale had ever been experienced by Americans before. The casualties in this single two-day battle were greater than the size of the entire U.S. Army fighting in Mexico during the Mexican-American War. This power-point presentation will explore how these great armies were assembled and maneuvered to the soon bloody field around a peaceful church in West Tennessee.    

Sunday, April 6 - 

Demonstrations (Visitor Center Area):
*demonstration times subject to change/severe weather may cancel programs

Artillery Firing Demonstrations - 

       11:30 am
        1:00 pm
        2:30 pm

19th Century Wet Plate Photography Programs - 

Vacant Chair Photography Studio will be presenting Civil War Photography demonstrations at Shiloh Battlefield. Interpreters in period clothing will explain the history of photography in the 19th century and have a period correct traveling studio on display. Visitors will also see images being produced using the wet plate/collodian process.  

10:00 am
11:00 am
12:00 pm
1:30 pm

Battlefield Hikes: 

Fraley Field: The Battle Begins
5:00 am - 7:00 am
Meet at the Visitor Center

Hiking Distance - 1 mile CS, 2 miles US
Terrain - moderate

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.

Out of the Woods: The Attacks on Prentiss' Camps
7:30 am - 9:30 am
Meet at Tour Stop #9
Distance - 2.5 miles
Terrain - moderate to difficult

The dawn attack at Shiloh has often been referred to as a "lighting strike" surprise. One historian called the Confederate attack a "disciplined tornado," while a Confederate leader remembered an "Alpine avalanche." Neither of these terms gives an 
accurate picture of the attack on the morning of April 6, 1862. However, even after serious delays, the attack was still 
an overwhelming surprise. This program, led by volunteer Bjorn Skaptason, focuses on the attack by parts of four Confederate brigades against the camp 
of the Union 6th Division under General Benjamin Prentiss. How did the Confederates manage to achieve surprise even 
after serious delays? How did the terrain aid Union defense and then assist Confederate attacks? What effect did the 
success in this initial encounter have on Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's battle plan?  

The Confederate Right Flank: Chalmers, Jackson, and the Battle Plan   
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Meet at Tour Stop #14
Terrain - moderate

The Confederate plan, although bold, was rather simple - find the Union left flank, turn it, push Grant’s army northwest into a flooded Owl Creek, cut them off from Pittsburg Landing, and trap them. However, poor reconnaissance and a limited knowledge of the Union camp dispositions and arrangements saw the Rebels hit the Union center and right flank instead. It would not be until 10:00 am that Albert Sidney Johnston would receive information of his mistake. The Confederate brigade of Gen. James Chalmers, supported by John K. Jackson’s brigade, would lead the initial Southern assaults against the Union left. Join Ranger Chris Mekow and follow their path as they are sent to the uncontested sector of the battlefield and deal with bad information and a staunch defense from a tiny Union brigade that wouldn’t quit and a mystery regiment that history says wasn’t there.  

Cleburne and Sherman's Deadly Duel: The Western Sector of the Battlefield
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #6
Hike Distance - 4 miles
Terrain - easy to difficult

Southern forces attempted to steal a march on Grant's Army of the Tennessee, narrowly missing what would have been one of the greatest surprises in military 
history when discovered by a Union patrol in Fraley Field. One of the reasons that Johnston's Army of the Mississippi 
almost succeeded was also why it ultimately failed; geography, which greatly affected tactical mobility and firepower. 
Examining the results as Cleburne's Confederate Brigade slammed into Sherman's Division around Shiloh Church, 
the hike, led by Jeff Gentsch, will follow the repeated attempts to take Shiloh Ridge, the action of S.A.M. Wood's Brigade from 10 -11 am, which unhinged this line, and the back and forth action in Woolf Field. On the far Union right, Pond's and 
Trabue's Confederate Brigades pushed McDowell's Brigade through Crescent Field to Jones Field, where it combined 
with remnants of McClernand's and Sherman's Divisions in forming an 'L" shaped defensive position before 
withdrawing across Tilghman Branch around 2:30 pm.    

In the Shadow of the Battle Line: Non-combatants at Shiloh  
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #5
Distance - 2 miles
Terrain - moderate to difficult (through ravines)

Few battles involved more non-combatant personnel and civilians getting caught up in the fighting than Shiloh. On the day of the battle, the Shiloh Pittsburg Landing area was "home" to more than 40,000 people - fighting soldiers, and non-combatant military personnel, civilians, and residents. What role did these people play in the abttle? What other non-combatant factors affected the fighting? How did soldiers, unabel to to perform their primary missions contribute? 
What role did noncombatant factors play in the outcome of battle? Bjorn Skaptason will examine the stories of those 
people who struggled to survive in the shadow of the battle line by looking at non-combatant factors on the western side of the battlefield. 

Holding on to the Left: Hurlbut's Stubborn Stand  
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #16
Distance - 2 miles
Terrain - easy to moderate 

This walking tour, led by Ranger Charlie Spearman, will cover the action by Hurlbut's Division and other units to delay and hold the Confederate attack from turning the Union left near the Peach Orchard on April 6. The Confederate objective was to turn the Union left and drive through to Pittsburg Landing, but the Union defense in this area would slow the Confederate advance. 
In a desperate attempt to regain the offensive, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston would lead an attack in which he would 
be mortally wounded. The fighting would continue through the afternoon, but by the time the Union line was forced 
back, it was too late for the Confederates to take the landing. The walk will include the ravine where the 9th Illinois 
Infantry suffered the highest losses of any Union regiment, and visit Johnston's death site. 

The Hornet's Nest: Holding at All Cost 
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Meet at the intersection of the Hamburg-Purdy and Eastern Corinth Roads
Distance - 2 miles
Terrain - easy

Join Ranger Chris Mekow and follow the Confederate attacks between 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm against the center of the Union line. Learn about 
Union General Prentiss' defensive actions as well as Confederate General Bragg's seemingly useless frontal assaults 
against him. We will meet at the intersection of the Hamburg-Purdy and the Eastern Corinth Roads and step off with Col. Randall Gibson's Brigade into the Nest and history. Please 
park on the side of the road (two-wheels on and two off) with enough room for two-way traffic. In the event of wet weather, alternate parking will be utilized.

Veatch's Brigade Fights for the Union Center: The Battle for the Shiloh Watershed
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Meet near the Michigan Monutment
Distance - 2.5 miles
Terrain - moderately difficult (ravines and streams)

Late in the morning of April 6, a large and coordinated Confederate attack drove two reinforced Union divisions from a strong position near the Crossroads area around Water Oaks Pond. It was some of the bloodiest fighting of the battle. This program follows the operations of the reinforcing brigade of the Union line, Gen. James Veatch's Brigade of Hurlbut's Fourth Division. What role did Veatch's brigade play in the failed defense of the Crossroad? What was the cost of that defense? The program will also follow Veatch's men as the fall back to regroup and finally assist in stabalizing "Grant's Last Line." The program, led by volunteer Bjorn Skaptason, will also focus on the crucial role that terrain played on the fighting in the center of the battlefield.  

Backs to the River: Grant's Last Line
2:30 - 5:00 pm
Meet at Indian Mounds Shelter
Distance - 3 miles
Terrain - easy to difficult

Join Jeff Gentsch and examine the Confederate attempt to surmount Dill Branch Ravine and threaten "Grant's Last Line" of defense at the end of the day on April 6. Visitors will 
then walk the Union line focusing on the nature of the Union defense. 

Evening Program:

Albert Sidney Johnston: A Life Sacrificed for the South   
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Shiloh Visitor Center Auditorium

The program will present visual slides and information concerning the life of Albert Sidney Johnston and his military and personal life up to his death in combat on April 6 at Shiloh. Many interesting facts will be discussed including his desire to join the U.S. Navy as a young man.

Monday, April 7 -

Lew Wallace Strikes a Blow
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance - 2 miles
Terrain - easy to moderate

Although Gen. Lew Wallace missed the first day of Shiloh, he would lead off the attack on April 7, and force the 
Confederates back from their defensive positions back toward Shiloh Church. Join Ranger Spearman for this car 
caravan and walking tour will visit sites and monuments associated with the actions of Wallace's Division on April 7. 

Grant's First Line: Turning Defeat into Victory
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance - 2.5 miles
Terrain - easy

By the morning of April 7, the combined Union armies were ready as they were going to begin the task of ejecting the Confederates from their camps. Generals Grant and Buell organized their troops along a front spanning the gap between the Tennessee River and Owl Creek. They accomplished remarkable feats just to get to this point. How did Grant reorganize his bloodied army to prepare for an attack? What role did Buell and his army play in shoring the Union defense, and then turning it into an attack? How did the fighting formations disentangle themselves from the disastrous confusion, the thousands of wounded, and the loss of supplies on April 6, to launch a counterattack that was almost as surprising to the Confederates as 
Johnston's attack had been the day before to the Union? This hike, led by Bjorn Skaptason, will walk the line of Grant's first line of attack and explain 
how Union leadership changed defeat into victory in one short night.   

That Body of Brave Men: The United States Regulars at Shiloh
12:30 - 2:30 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #4
Distance - 2 miles
Terrain - easy

The Civil War was fought almost entirely by volunteers - men who joined local units for "three years or the war." However, the Union armies also benefitted from small formations of professional soldiers who could form a trustworthy "iron-column" that a commanding general could count on in emergencies. Three battalions of United States Regulars fought with Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio on April 7th. These gallant and highly disciplined men held the right of Buell's line and linked with Grant's Army of the Tennessee. Their advance brought them into conflict with some of the best soldiers in Beauregard's army, including elements of the famous Orphan Brigade." How did the United States Regulars differ from other soldiers who fought at Shiloh? What role did these small but proud battalions play in pushing back the Confederates 
on April 7th? Join Bjorn Skaptason and follow the advance of regiments that are still on active duty today.   

Confederate Struggle to Hold on to Victory: Fight for the Crossroads
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #13
Distance - 1.5 miles
Terrain - easy

On the morning of April 7, Gen. Beauregard assumed that the South had gained a great victory. The struggle for the
Crossroads of the Corinth and Hamburg-Purdy Roads between noon and 3:00 pm however, would convince him the retreat or annihilation was inevitable. Sherman 
would describe the fighting as some of the fiercest of the entire war.   

Tending the Wounded and Burying the Dead: The Aftermath of Shiloh
3:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Meet at Tour Stop #16 
Distance - mostly driving and short walks
Terrain - easy

Explore the aftermath of battle and the carnage left behind by two days of bloodletting with Ranger Chris Mekow. The
tour includes a look at 19th century surgical implements, the largest Confederate Burial Trench, and the Shiloh 
National Cemetery. 

Tuesday, April 8 -  

Fallen Timbers Car Caravan Tour
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance - 8 miles driving
Terrain - Moderately easy

The Battle of Shiloh ended on April 7, but the fighting and suffering continued on April 8. Join volunteer Bjorn 
Skaptason and examine the Union pursuit on April 8, and Confederate General John Breckinridge's defense
at Fallen Timbers. At Fallen Timbers, Breckinridge's cavalry screen, under the command of aggressive Colonel Nathan 
Bedford Forrest, attacked a Union reconnaissance force. This aggressive defensive posture allowed the Confederate 
survivors to continue a slow, painful retreat to Corinth.    





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