Thursday, September 20, 2007

Shiloh, part 3

For a former battlefield, Shiloh is extremely well organized.

Different shapes and colors on the plaques tell you at a glance the type of information, who it's about, and which day it applies to. By the way, the Union named its armies after rivers, which explains why the Army of the Tennessee is Union, not Confederate.

So, here is a positional marker for Confederate troops on the first day of the battle. If you are reading the marker, you're facing the same direction of the action. This one says:

C. S.
Cleburne's (2d) Brigade,
This brigade, with its regiments in order from left to right as above, attacked the enemy at 8 a.m., April 6, 1862, and was repulsed with severe loss. Being reenforced it advanced again and at 10 a.m. drove back the Union line beyond Shiloh Church. The 6th Miss. charged the position at Rhea house and lost in killed and wounded 300 out of 425 engaged.

These markers are all over the place, and they are even more interesting if you know that one of your ancestors was among the soldiers mentioned. (Mine was in the 6th Mississippi, called The Bloody Sixth because of their 75% casualty rate.)

This is also where we saw the gorgeous male Canada warbler just across the street!

Little paths through the woods lead to cannons and monuments that are scattered everywhere.

This one near the "Hornets' Nest" is for a Minnesota unit.

A detail from a Wisconsin monument. If you ever happen to be involved in making outdoor statuary, please consider not sculpting the ears to be quite so lifelike. Ms. Wisconsin had a large spider in hers, and another one we saw had been invaded by paper wasps. Ick.

Upside-down cannons mean "important personage died here". In this case, General Johnston, the highest ranking CSA officer to be killed during the war.


fletch said...

Interesting. It's very much like the Chickamauga Battlefield in my neck of the woods with the plaques giving details, cannons, markers, etc. My distant granddad was a private on the battlefield. Through research and with the plaques we found the exact spot where he was stationed during the battle. Fortunately, and probably why I'm able to write this comment, his unit was held in reserve for the entire battle.

Rurality said...

Fletch! Long time, no hear from! :)

I think one of Hubby's ancestors was at that battle too. I have not researched all of mine but I wouldn't be surprised if I had one there as well. In one family line there was both a father (as an older man) and a son (at 15 or 16) who joined the army. History became so much more interesting after I started learning genealogy.

Ron Sullivan said...

Great tour, this set of posts. Thank you. Sometimes when I see battlefields and such places I just have to wonder what the hell people think they're doing, you know?

I'm all envious about the warblers. We had a decent couple hours at the Point Reyes lighthouse last month, with yellow, Wilson's, Macgillivray's, and Townsend's warblers in one set of trees (along with white-crowned and song sparrows, chickadees, um, something else, was it bushtits?) and three young peregrines at play, appearing and vanishing through the fogbank that lay just offshore.

Man, your part of the world is SO green this time of year!

Rurality said...

Ron, I think this area got more rain than we did... it's more BROWN here due to the drought.