The original "Shiloh Meeting House" - a one-room log structure with rude handmade furnishings - was built by the Southern Methodists about 1853, nine years after the church had split over the slavery issue. It is from this unassuming structure, whose name ironically translates to "place of peace," that the battle would derive its name.
When the Union army moved upon the field, General William T. Sherman encamped his division along the ridge on either side of the church. It was along this same ridge that he formed his first line of battle on the morning of April 6, 1862, and where he was first attacked by the Confederates. He succeeded in holding the ridge for about two hours before he was forced to withdraw.
As soon as Sherman withdrew, Confederate General P.G. T. Beauregard established his headquarters at the church. He held the position until the Confederates began their retreat on the second day. After the battle, the church was reportedly torn down by the Union troops and the logs used to build bridges when the movement upon Corinth began.
The modern church, completed in 1949, stands on the site of the original church. The reconstructed log church was built in 2001.