"Where a Misguided Nation Awoke to its Error" Shiloh National Military Park by mrclay2000

Shiloh National Military Park Travel Guide: 100 reviews and 322 photos

The Crucible of War

In May 1862 on the banks of the Tennessee River near Pittsburg Landing, 40,000 Confederate soldiers pinned 60,000 Federal troops against the river, fighting in the worst combat the young nation had ever known up to that time. In a single weekend, more Americans fell here than in all previous American wars combined.

Such carnage from a sleepy little corner of Tennessee stunned the nation, and from the first time I heard about this battlefield in my college history courses, I was stunned and magnetized to what happened on this horrible field, now so quietly covered with oak trees. Of especial significance to me was the Hornets Nest, a place where Union troops fought desperately to hold a line against overwhelming weaponry across the field.

Among the most decorated battlefields in the park system with its huge collection of state monuments, the field between Ruggles battery and the line known as the Hornets Nest is still intact. This place is hallowed ground, extremely important to American history and certainly worth preserving for future generations.

We Owe a Debt of Preservation to the Past

Step into history in the national battlefields and military parks of the United States. While to some they may seem like mere collections of cannon and monuments, they are meant to preserve important places in our past. Rangers and guides at every military park are familiar with questions from visitors about ancestors who fought in the battles and where on the field their regiments were engaged. History and the park system do not get any more personal than this.

For those with a superficial interest, military parks paint a historical picture worthy of discussion and a few photographs. For history lovers and Civil War buffs, visiting the places where America fought for its national life is a necessity, almost a cleansing of the soul.

Though my interests now stem around the wildlife and landscapes of the national parks, my first quests in America were deliberately made to past battlefields and military parks, and thankfully my foremost needs have now been satisfied.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Easy to follow tour road, monuments & cannon at every corner
  • Cons:Quite a distance from civilization
  • In a nutshell:Well-Preserved Battlefield, a Conflict that Shook the Nation
  • Last visit to Shiloh National Military Park: May 2001
  • Intro Updated Dec 20, 2002
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Reviews (7)

Comments (10)

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2007 at 12:22 AM

    Great Shiloh tips. Many of my most memorable trips in the US and Europe have been to battlefields. Shiloh is one of the big ones I have yet to visit. Joe

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2004 at 8:51 AM

    The silent battle monuments that occupy ground on the Civil War battlefields are ghostly reminders of a hard fought past. Shiloh is a prime example, so aptly noted in your tips.

  • safardreams's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2003 at 5:21 AM

    Hi again, interesting page. I would make sense not to allow metal-detectors there. Can only guess what history someone may find! Thanks, David

  • TempNomad's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2003 at 2:57 PM

    I've always been curious about why those cannonballs were piled in certain places. Thanks for the information.

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2003 at 8:17 AM

    The military monuments are moving, but I'm glad you have moved on to wildlife. Much better to be sentimental about moose, elk or bear, than cannonballs.

  • Feb 27, 2003 at 6:55 PM

    you're right man, it is a long way from civilization.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2003 at 6:37 PM

    Very, very moving!

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2003 at 8:40 PM

    Quite a fierce and significant battle fought here. An Interesting read.

  • blaird's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2003 at 10:26 AM

    I'll need to visit here some time

  • Knoto's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2003 at 12:38 PM

    Nice start---more to come???


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