155th Battle Anniversary Events

Date & Time
Everyday from 04/05/2017 to 04/09/2017
Fee Information
Free
Volunteer leads a hike

155th BATTLE ANNIVERSARY HIKES, PROGRAMS, AND TOURS
*
(Please call 731-689-5696 to register in advance)

April 5, 2017

The Development of the Hornets’ Nest 

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #6, Rea Field
Distance:  7 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Easy to Very Difficult

Often considered the fulcrum of the battle, the Hornets’ Nest – the strong Union position at the center of the engagement – has been historiographically reevaluated in the recent past, presenting many questions associated with the history of this struggle.  Starting from Rea Field and the struggle for Shiloh Branch ridge, Dr. Jeff Gentsch will lead a hike examining how the Hornets’ Nest came into existence.  This trek will examine the geography and the unfolding events on April 6th by first moving eastward, turning north from Prentiss’ far left flank, circumventing the Sunken Road and approaching it from the refused Union line around Wicker Field to the northeast.  From the Union center, the walk will head westward to look into how the Federal withdrawal from Jones Field influenced the encirclement before trekking to the Pittsburg Landing-Corinth and Hamburg-Purdy crossroads on the way back to Rea Field. 

Sherman’s Reputation Undecided before Shiloh
Time:  6:00 p.m.
Site of Program:  Shiloh Visitor Center

This power point presentation will examine William Sherman’s life prior to the Battle of Shiloh.  This discussion will explore a life plagued by tragedy, a series of personal failures and limited military experience.  Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and discover insights into Sherman’s life prior to his later successful military career.    



April 6, 2017

Fraley Field:  The Bloody Battle Begins
Time:  5:15 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Parking:  Meet at Shiloh National Military Park Visitor Center at 5:00 a.m.
Distance:  Union Hike – 2 Miles Roundtrip, Southern Hike – 1 Mile Roundtrip
Terrain Conditions:  Moderate

Join Park Volunteers, Dr. Jeff Gentsch and Bjorn Skaptason, on a two hour battlefield hike which will introduce visitors to the events surrounding the opening shots of the battle.  These hikes will travel the approach routes of the Union and Confederate soldiers toward Fraley Field, whose landscape witnessed the first exchange of hostilities and the beginning of the epic Battle of Shiloh.  These individual tours will both arrive in Fraley Field at sunrise.  After arriving at the Visitor Center, hikers will divide into two groups.  Visitors participating in the Northern advance will follow Dr. Jeff Gentsch to Tour Stop # 9, (Invasion of the Union Camps), where their hike will begin.  This group will retrace the route of the Federal reconnoitering party ordered out by Colonel Everett Peabody.  The second group will follow Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason and will drive to the edge of Fraley Field, where their approach will begin.  This group will retrace the Confederate pickets trek and take their position in Fraley Field.  The two groups will encounter each other at daylight in Fraley Field, just as the Union and Confederate soldiers met on that historic morning of April 6th, 1862.

Sherman’s Heroic Stand 
Time:  8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #6, Rhea Field
Distance:  Approximately 2 ½ Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Moderate

On the morning of April 6, 1862, General William T. Sherman was not expecting a major Confederate attack on the Union encampments.  With the advance of General Patrick Cleburne’s Brigade, Sherman would become aware of the ongoing attack and would put together a defensive line near Shiloh Church.  Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman as he conducts a hike that will follow the Confederate assaults on this line, and how General Sherman, after a stubborn defense, was forced to pull back from this defensive position.  This hike will conclude near the crossroads of the Hamburg-Purdy Road and the Corinth Road.

Assault on the Federal Right Flank
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Picnic Area
Distance:  3 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Easy to Very Difficult 

As the Confederate plan unfolded slowly in the face of stout Union resistance in the eastern sector of the battlefield, the combat on the western side mounted in fury and gained momentum allowing forces in this area to enter a more fluid dynamic of battle than on the Union left flank.  Beginning with the spirited defense put up by the remnants of McClernand’s 1st and Sherman’s 5th Federal divisions, Dr. Jeff Gentsch will lead hikers on the path approximating the approach of Union reinforcements from the northern sector of the battlefield to Woolf Field-Water Oaks Pond, then proceed to the ridge overlooking Shiloh Branch.  At this point the hike will move to the far western flank of Buckland’s Union brigade encampment before turning north, following the Confederate advance against McDowell’s Federal brigade and how these movements came into the eastern end of Cresent Field, culminating in the actions west and south of Jones Field which forced Union forces across Tilghman Branch around 2:30 p.m. on the 6th of April.    

Tennessee Can Never Mourn for a Nobler Band: William B. Bate and the 2nd Tennessee Infantry, in Battle and Memory
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Parking: Meet at the entrance to Beauregard Road, .4 miles south of the Shiloh Church on right
Distance: less than 1 mile
Terrain: Moderate 


On July 13, 1904, the Shiloh National Military Park Commission approved the design for a monument to Tennessee's 2nd Infantry Regiment submitted by its former commander, now US Senator, William B. Bate. However, the commission did not approve of about 75% of the text which was to be inscribed on the memorial. Join ranger Chris Mekow for a short hike following the path of the 2nd Tennessee during the battle on April 6, 1862. Walk on the hill where the 2nd Tennessee received its baptism under fire. Stand on the spot where Colonel Bate was severely wounded. And learn the details of the first Confederate monument placed on the battlefield, and the behind the scenes wrangling between veterans and the Commission about how this unit would be memorialized.   


Car Caravan Tour 
Times: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Tour of battlefield is 4 hours in length)
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center

In commemoration of Shiloh’s 155th Battle Anniversary, Park Volunteer Jimmy Whittington, will be conducting a car caravan tour of Shiloh Battlefield.  This car caravan tour will allow visitors the opportunity to follow the battle in the chronological order as it developed.  The tour will take visitors to the high points on the battlefield in order to interpret the story of the bloody Battle of Shiloh.  While visiting historic sites such as Fraley Field, the Hornets’ Nest, and the Peach Orchard, visitors will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Whittington and achieve a better understanding of the epic battle.

A Desperate Defense:  The Battle on the Union Left
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #14, Field Hospital
Distance:  3 Miles (Approximately)
Terrain Conditions:  Difficult, through deep ravines, across streams and through underbrush off-trail.  Appropriate hiking gear highly recommended. 

A small force of Union infantry stood in the way of General Albert Sidney Johnston’s main effort to turn the left flank of General U. S. Grant’s Union army.  This Northern brigade managed to hold out against long odds for three hours.  This program examines the defense of the Union left by the troops of Colonel David Stuart’s brigade against the Confederate brigades led by James Chalmers and John Jackson.  Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason and discover how the Unionist troops managed to hold on against determined Southern attacks to overrun this position.  This trek will also follow the route of retreat Stuart’s troops traversed as they tried to fall back in the face of heavy enemy attacks. This hike traverses some of the roughest terrain in the park, including steep hills and heavily overgrown ravines.

Fighting for the Left:  The Confederate Drive toward Pittsburg Landing
Time:  2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #16, The Peach Orchard
Distance:  Approximately 2 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Moderate, except for crossing two rugged ravines

The Confederate objective in the Battle of Shiloh was to turn the Union left flank, and cut General Grant’s army off from Pittsburg Landing.  By the afternoon of April 6th, General Stephen Hurlbut’s Division and parts of General John McArthur’s Brigade stood in the way of this objective.  The struggle to turn the Union left continued through the afternoon until 4:00 p.m.  By the time the Union fell back the Confederate commander had been killed leading the attack and the Confederates found they had too little and were too late to reach their objective.  Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman on this tour and explore the severe struggle which occurred on this part of the battlefield.

The Conundrum of Command
Time:  2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #10, Hornets’ Nest – Union Center Loop
Distance:  3.5 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Easy to Very Difficult

Successful command structures are those that can endure the stress of battle, for commanders under pressure must act expeditiously and decisively, or be in a position to weigh information carefully before issuing vital orders.  Dr. Jeff Gentsch will conduct this hike to some of the most important areas on the battlefield to survey and discuss the conditions that molded many momentous decisions, investigating how the Sunken Road position was formed, where General Albert Sidney Johnston was wounded and died, how and why the Union left flank was refused in and around Wicker Field, Beauregard and the furthest extend of the Confederate advance to Dill Branch, and the actions that closed the Hornets’ Nest action with the Union surrender in west Cloud Field.

Grant’s Last Line of Defense:
Lieutenant John Thompson:  A Brother’s Obligation 
Time:  4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance:  2 Miles
Terrain Conditions: Moderately Easy, with short walks off-trail over even ground

At 2:00 p.m. on the afternoon of April 6th, General Grant began preparing his last line of defense in the event the Confederates overcame Union resistance on the Peach Orchard – Hornets’ Nest – Jones’ Field line.  Colonel Joseph Webster assembled a final defensive line about 800 yards north of Dill Branch, supported by the gunboats, Lexington and Tyler.  Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason on this hike to explore the staunch defense of Grant’s Last Line of Defense, and the final Confederate assaults of the first day.   This hike will also follow the destiny of Lieutenant John Thompson, who was killed on this last line of defense and buried on the field.  In 1873, veterans of Grant’s Army of the Tennessee met in Des Moines, Iowa to commemorate their service.  At this gathering, they received a poignant request from a man in New Hampshire: Could the veterans locate the body of his brother killed on the afternoon of April 6th?  This trek will identify the death site of Lt. Thompson, and follow the journey of his remains to his final resting place.



April 7, 2017

Hardee’s Battle:  The Defense of the Confederate Right
Time:  8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #14 – Field Hospital
Distance:  2 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Moderately Easy, Through Woods and Fields

General William J. Hardee drew the assignment of protecting the Confederate right on the second day of the battle.  He had to do so with none of the troops from his own Third Corps.  The defense of the rebel right was characterized by fierce fighting, and an aggressive blow-for-blow defense that brought General Don Carlos Buell’s Union counterattack to the brink of stalemate.  This program will explain how Hardee managed such an effective defense with troops, units, and subordinate commanders with whom he was unfamiliar.  Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason and trace Hardee’s main line of resistance, while following the axes of some of his strong counterattacks.  Hikers will learn how effectively Civil War soldiers could hold a position against desperate odds. 

General Lew Wallace Outflanks the Confederate Line
Time:  8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance:  Approximately 2 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Moderate

General Wallace started the Union advance on the morning of April 7th, 1862 and outflanked the piecemeal Confederate line forcing them to retreat back toward Shiloh Church.  Although, Wallace was blamed for not arriving as early as expected on April 6th, he redeemed himself with his actions on Monday.  Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and explore the battle action of General Lew Wallace’s Division against the left flank of the Southern resistance to begin the second day of battle at Shiloh. 

Shiloh and the Civil War in Regards to the First World War:
A Comparative Hike

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Tour Stop #6, Rea Field
Distance:  12 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Easy to Very Difficult 
Battle Chronology:  1861-1865; 1914-1918

To commemorate the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh and the Centennial of the entry of the United States into the First World War, Dr. Jeff Gentsch will guide a hike comparing and contrasting various strategic, operational, tactical, and geographic aspects of Shiloh and other Civil War battles with similar or disparate circumstances from the Great War with special attention focused on, but not limited to, American involvement.  The influence of the War Between the States on United States’ military practices and commanders who went “over there” was profound, and the similarities between what the armies went through in adapting to the exigencies of modern, total warfare are often striking.

Car Caravan Tour 
Times: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Tour of battlefield is 4 hours in length)
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center

In commemoration of Shiloh’s 155th Battle Anniversary, Park Volunteer Jimmy Whittington, will be conducting a car caravan tour of Shiloh Battlefield.  This car caravan tour will allow visitors the opportunity to follow the battle in the chronological order as it developed.  The tour will take visitors to the high points on the battlefield in order to interpret the story of the bloody Battle of Shiloh.  While visiting historic sites such as Fraley Field, the Hornets’ Nest, and the Peach Orchard, visitors will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Whittington and achieve a better understanding of the epic battle.

Counterattack:  Retaking McClernand’s Camps
Time:  11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop #2 – Confederate Memorial
Distance:  Approximately 3 Miles
Terrain Conditions:  Difficult, Through Deep Ravines and Forest 

On the morning of April 7, 1862, the remnants of General John McClernand’s 1st Division of Grant’s Union army lay in line of battle on the same ground they defended the night before.  As dawn came, McClernand and his exhausted troops, principally Illinois men, and comparatively veteran cadres, moved out toward their camps.  As part of Grant’s slowly advancing counterattack, McClernand’s division was caught between various other formations in similar states of confusion.  How well did McClernand’s veterans keep pace in the second day of battle?  What was their experience in reclaiming their lost camps?  Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason and retrace the counterattack of April 7 in the footsteps of McClernand’s troops, and particularly following the route of Colonel C. Carroll Marsh’s 2nd brigade.


The Struggle for the Crossroads:  The Confederates Lose Their Chance at Victory  
Time:  2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at Tour Stop 13, Water Oaks Pond
Distance:  Approximately 1 Mile
Terrain Conditions:    Easy

Starting at noon, Confederate forces began falling back to the intersection of the Hamburg-Purdy and Corinth Roads.  The Southern forces struggled to launch counter attacks to save what had appeared to be a certain victory.  The fierce struggle at Woolf Field and Water Oaks Pond turned the tide of the battle.  By 3:00 p.m. it became obvious that the Confederates would have to retreat toward Corinth.  Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and explore the battleground between Woolf Field and Shiloh Church, as he discusses the Confederate counter attacks and the Union advance on the afternoon of the second day of combat.

Lincoln and Shiloh    
Time:  4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance:  Approximately 500 yards
Terrain Conditions:    Easy

Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason and explore President Lincoln’s relations to the Battle of Shiloh and how it affected his personal life, his work as Commander in Chief, and the historic memory of the battle.  Lincoln’s words spoken at Gettysburg in 1863 still inspire Americans as they contemplate the sacrifice of the U. S. soldiers who rest in Shiloh National Cemetery.  Listen as Bjorn describes how President Lincoln’s words, as much as his policies, affect our memory of Shiloh and the Civil War.    



April 8th, 2017

The Final Fight of Shiloh:  Fallen Timbers Car Caravan  
Time:  9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance:  8 Miles Driving
Terrain Conditions:    Moderately Easy

The Battle of Shiloh ended when the Confederates withdrew from the Union camps on the evening of April 7, 1862.  Yet there was still fighting, and much more suffering to take place.  The Union camps had been converted into a charnel house of death.  The roads leading from Shiloh to Corinth were littered with dead and dying men and animals, and tons of once useful machinery of war.  On the afternoon of April 8th elements of two Union divisions embarked on a reconnaissance in order to determine if the Confederates had really retreated, or if they were reforming for another attack.  A few miles from their camps the Federals encountered a screen of Confederate cavalry, and suffered a “check”.  Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason on a car caravan which will lead visitors to several locations outside Shiloh National Military Park that are important to the story of the battle.  Participants will visit the location of the important fork in the road that delayed the Confederate advance on April 5th; see the location of the engagement at Fallen Timbers, and visit the location of Mickey’s Farm, where thousands of Confederate wounded received treatment, and where many are buried.  This program will address important questions regarding the outcome of the Battle of Shiloh.    

Living Images of Shiloh:  How Eyewitnesses Pictured the Battle  
Time:  1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center
Distance:  9 Miles Driving by Car Caravan; 2 Miles Walking
Terrain Conditions:    Easy, hiking along paved roads and level fields

There are few photographs of Shiloh, but there are quite a few works of art, sketches and paintings made by eyewitnesses at the time of the battle.  While the primitive state of photography during the 1860’s prevents us from seeing most of the battle in the stark shades of the camera lens, the vivid memories and the artistic talent of eyewitness artists gives us a uniquely truthful and vivid visual record of the battle.  Join Park Volunteer Bjorn Skaptason as he conducts a car caravan program which will take visitors to some of the sites on the battlefield where artists recorded the action.  It will provide a “then-and-now” perspective on the images, and discuss the lives and experiences of the artists who made the images.  This program includes a digital slideshow that will be provided to participants for viewing on their personal electronic devices, such as tablets or laptop computers.


April 9, 2017

Car Caravan Tour
Times: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Tour of battlefield is 4 hours in length)
Parking:  Meet at the Visitor Center

In commemoration of Shiloh’s 155th Battle Anniversary, Park Volunteer Jimmy Whittington, will be conducting a car caravan tour of Shiloh Battlefield.  This car caravan tour will allow visitors the opportunity to follow the battle in the chronological order as it developed.  The tour will take visitors to the high points on the battlefield in order to interpret the story of the bloody Battle of Shiloh.  While visiting historic sites such as Fraley Field, the Hornets’ Nest, and the Peach Orchard, visitors will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Whittington and achieve a better understanding of the epic battle.









 


Location:
Shiloh Battlefield

Fee Information:
Free

Contact Phone Number:
731-689-5696

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1055 Pittsburg Landing Road
Shiloh , TN 38376

Phone:

(731) 689-5696

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