Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Friday, September 5, 2014

Shiloh National Military Park

We left West Memphis Tuesday after Labor Day and headed to the little town of Counce, Tennessee staying at Pickwick Landing State Park.

We had a nice shady site, but with trees comes no satellite tv.  We had lots to do here and had shows recorded, so we were o.k. for at least a few days. :)

Fulltimers love the time after Labor Day. The kids have gone back to school and the campground crowds have eased.  We were the only ones in our circle the three days we were here.

The park was located on the Tennessee River and the first day we were there, we crossed over the bridge and saw this World War II ship coming down the river.  It's not something you see every day. When we got back, I googled it and found out it was LST 325.  LST stands for Landing Ship Tank. Over 1,000 of these ships were built for landing tanks, troops, vehicles and supplies.  This ship has been restored and was going on a Tennessee River Cruise from Evansville, Indiana and was on its way to Decatur, Alabama.  You just never know what you might see!

The main reason we stayed at Pickwick Landing State Park was its proximity to the Shiloh National Military Park.  We arrived at the Visitor's Center just before 10.   We knew there was a movie on the hour we wanted to see.  It was one of the best movies I have seen telling the story of the battle taking place April 6-7, 1862.  The Confederate army led by General Albert Sydney Johnston surprised the Union army camped on the bluff.  General Ulysses S. Grant commanded the Union troops along with William T. Sherman and Lew Wallace (who later wrote Ben Hur).

After the movie, we began the driving tour through the battlefield.

There are always beautiful monuments in the Civil War battlefields placed there by the states to commemorate their soldiers.  If you look closely, you can see a woman pushing on the bottom.  This was a full size bronze statue that gives you an idea of how big this monument is.

This is a monument to the Confederate forces with each statue representing a part of the battle.

Cannons lined this field down as far as you could see.  At this point, the Confederates fired there cannons on "The Hornet's Nest".

 Union soldiers defending this small road said the bullets were zipping around like hornets.

This is a reproduction of the Shiloh Church from which the battle received its name.

On the afternoon of the first day, General Johnston was killed dealing a blow to the Confederate Army.  The Union troops held their ground causing the battle to be continued the next day.  General Grant received fresh troops and was able to defeat the Confederacy.

This is the Bloody Pond.  During the battle, soldiers from both sides would go to the pond.  It is said it turned red during the battle from the soldiers' blood.

 Inside the battlefield are the remnants of ancient Indian mounds.

Many of the mounds were plowed under by farmers, but since this land was set aside as a monument, the mounds were preserved.

The battle of Shiloh had heavy losses, 24,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing.  It became apparent to the North and South, this would not be a quick war.

Our next stop was Corinth, Mississippi to visit the Intepretive Center.  The town of Corinth had two intersecting railroad tracks that went north and south and east and west.  The North wanted to capture the railroad to cut off the South from the west.  After Shiloh, the Confederate troops retreated to Corinth.  Trains went in and out of the town and the Union generals thought Confederate reinforcements were coming into town.  In reality, Southern forces were being evacuated from the area using the train.

This fountain was at the Interpretive Center depicting the timeline of the Civil War.  Each stone in the middle represents a battle.

The Union troops eventually took over the town.  The railroad tracks still exist as they did at that time.  The cross ties became the symbol of the battle.

It was a great day of history!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interesting blog today. Learned a few new things.

    And now I've added another ten things to our bucket list!