Shiloh, almost six square miles in Tennessee that once housed families and farms, a peach orchard, a couple of ponds, smiles and laughter, over 70 buildings of one sort or another.. One hundred and fifty years ago, the Blue and the Gray clashed in a bloody battle, over 111,000 men met in this small space; over 7,000 died, more than 30,000 others were wounded. One of the first battles of the bloodiest war in the history of America in the War Between the States, took place in April 1862 at Shiloh.
It has become known as the Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865, over 10,000 battles raged across the country – as far west as New Mexico, but concentrated in along the borders states between the Union and Confederate states. There are many monuments to both throughout the country, this was our first all out tour of a military battlefield. The Shiloh National Military Park is well put together, the museum holds artifacts from the time period, the movie is well worth every minute, but the battlefield is what will impress you most.
Each space is filled with markers that relate the troop movements, relate the battles won and lost, the sheer number of participants. There is a nine mile loop that takes you through the various spaces to give you an idea of what it must have been like, but we were there with probably 100 other people, not 100,000. I can’t even imagine the crush of people, all carrying weapons, the damages were staggering to both the North and the South.
The National Park Service does an awesome job preserving this military park. I recommend this one at Shiloh to anyone, we also stopped at Brices Crossing, not as much to see, but still interesting. The one in Tupelo, not so much – we made the trip because we didn’t know what to expect. It was a city park, 1 acre square, aside from the two confederate tombstones, there wasn’t anything to see.