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Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh
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TOPIC: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh

Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 2 years, 7 months ago #1

Here I am, back from my trip. Let me tell you I soaked in more civil war history in 3 days than most people see in a lifetime. I even had the honor of breakfast with Generals Grant, Buell, Johnston and Beauregard at the beautiful Cherry Mansion in Savannah, TN. I had a fantastic meal at The Catfish Hotel restaurant just north of the Park. I stood in so many historic places, including the 11 square foot iron railroad junction that the entire campaign and half the war in the west was fought over.

As far as the park itself goes. You MUST go. This is not like any other battlefield on the North American continent. This battlefield is cluttered with monuments and tablets. This is for a reason. This battlefield is meant to be studied in detail. This is not Gettysburg with its touristy driving tour. This isn't Antietam with it's gently rolling and clear fields. This is Shiloh, and Shiloh is a merciless swamp hell. Even the high ground is wet. It is the first week of April. I saw what the soliders saw in exact detail. You will see them as well because I took each every picture with the thought to examining the tactical situation from both sides. You will see the Hornets nest from every angle possible. I spent two full days from sunup to sundown stalking these fields and snapped over 150 photographs that I will share with you over the next week or so as I gather together my notes, so that I can give you a full overview of the battle from start to finish.

I stayed in beautiful Corinth, MS. The center of the entire conflict. The town is a bit larger. But has saved every bit of important civil war era history. One of the most amazing things I saw were the breastworks that surrounded the town, converting it into an armed camp. The earthworks were constructed of foldable wicker baskets a little taller than waist high that was filled with dirt. I instantly made the connection, HESCO barriers! The Confederate Army used wicker HESCOS for entrenching Corinth.

The Civil War Interpretive center at Corinth is hands down one of the best, if not the best, civil war museum in the nation. I was blown away. If you are a progressive with soft sensibilities do not go to Corinth. You will not like all of what you will see and read. The Confederates are not treated as traitorous monsters, but rather brave, if misguided people. They made sure to mention that 78% of the town of Corinth was against secession, but once the event occurred, the town threw in its lot and went to war. Not that any of the 1400 residents of the time(400 slave) had much choice. Guess what? Population today is 14,000 white and 4000 black residents in the town today. There were bits and pieces that attempted to make a half hearted attempt at progressive sensibilities but the implication is clear. The Union were invaders and occupiers who brought a lot of pain, death and misery in their wake in exchange for slave freedom.

Corinth was a beautiful town for a mere 1400 people in the 19th century. Bring an army in and it is instantly transformed into a disease ridden, swampy hell. Today most of the swamps are drained and turned into livestock fields. But back then there was NO WATER. None. Both sides despised Corinth, as it was described as "One vast field hospital" constantly filled to the limit with sick and wounded men. They dug wells 10-12 feet deep and still only got a brackish, milky looking substance that horses wouldn't drink a drop of. But the men did out of desperation. I saw such puddles of water all over the place and any modern person drinking it would probably need hospitalization within a few hours. Yet these men drank this stuff for weeks, even when their horses died from thirst rather than touch it.

I intend to be very detailed with this photo tour, so this will take several days or a week to post all the pics with all the notes. I took a picture of every display in the Visitor Center at Shiloh. Which is actually quite small for such a huge battle. I had a blast talking with the rangers, the older ones are extremely educated on the battle and love to talk about Civil war history. It is quite obvious they love the park, and are extremely dilligent in its care. This park is in no danger of disappearing, appears decently funded, and has 650 monuments and tablets detailing the spot of every single regiment, in every single field and wood, in 2 hour increments. You literally can follow the tablets of a single regiment from beginning to end(usually they end in the hornets nest!) I even got "over the barrel" shots from many of the most important batteries. I have a photospread "Shaver's Brigade vs Hickenlooper's Battery" in the Hornet's Nest. The Bloody Pond(more of a puddle really).

I even got rare pictures of the far let flank, which I accidentally stumbled on near the Bloody Pond when I wandered into the woods about 50 yards to take a leak and as I'm draining myself on a tree I look out and naother 25 yards away are a line of monuments(most monuments represent the exact spot a regimental standard was planted at the time the tablet on the monument says. I found a beautiful monument to a brave Ohio brigade that held here for 3 hours before falling back due to the pressure. This entire flank is tied about 200 yards into the thick woods across the Eastern Corinth road from the Bloody Pond.

So, here in this post I will provide you with the pictures of the Visitor center displays. I did the best I could to get the print readable and the artifacts visible, but the artifacts are the typical fare one finds in all battlefields. Musket balls and other crap that kills people.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RDBoles, Jack ONeill, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Grog, Ingles of the 57th

Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #2

The Battle of Shiloh began on April 6th, 1862 in the far southern section of the field. As maps are quite easily available online I will not include any. I carried with me a detailed topographical and monumentation map one can purchase either in Corinth, or in the Bookstore at Shiloh for 9.95. It is entirely worth it to have the monument key. I highly recommend following this tour with a detailed map of Shiloh so you can understand what you are seeing.

I will liberally apply quotes from Reed's famous book on the battle detailing the unit movements, and then show the marker photos and panoramic shots of the field.

We begin our tour in the far south of the field. Several miles SW of the Landing in a sector consisting of Fraley Field, Wood Field and Seay Field:

From Reed:

"Major Hardcastle with the Third Mississippi, on picket at the corner of two fields one-fourth mile in advance of the main line, was attacked at 4.55 Sunday morning by a reconnoitering party sent out by General Prentiss. Hardcastle fought the party until 6.30, when the brigade advanced to his support and following the reconnoitering party moved directly forward to the attack of the Union camps, which was reached at 9 a.m."

Facing North into Fraley Field From Wood Field. Behind me is the entire rebel army. In front of me, some skirmishers.

The opposite view, from the Yank skirmish line towards Wood Field. Out of that treeline came the rebel army behind the skirmish line.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RDBoles, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #3

In the photograph above depicting the view from the Yankee Skirmish line. one notices a woodline on the left stretching all the way from wood field, to directly in front of you. Skirmishers infiltrated up the wood line an attempt to flank the Yanks at the base of Fraley Field. Instead, they ran into reinforcements sent out into the field next door just on the other side of the woodline to the left. This field is Seay field.

First I show you the view from the union side looking into that woodline from the opposite side.

I now provide you with a view from the Confederate skirmishers, out of the woodline towards union lines. Behind that hill, would have been a vast tent city, the union camps scattered over 5000 acres.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th, Jeff

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #4

We now have covered the initial skirmishing. Now the real attack began as the Rebels swept aside the skirmishers from the SW corner of the field and moved forward into the Union camps. All the battlefield was a vast tent city scattered throughout the woods, along the sides of the roads, and in the fields on high ground where the HQ's tents were kept. The Rebels swept into the Union camps like a tide, scattering the first units they came across encamped near a freshwater spring called Rhea Spring. The field is Rhea Field. On a prominent rise, in the northern corner of the field. A brave man named Waterhouse poured highly effective fire into the rebel lines. Forcing them to break around his camp and avoid it and slowing down the rebel advance long enough for Peabody to form some semblance of a defense.

From Reed:

" The left of Wood's brigade struck the front of the Fifty-third Ohio camp, its right extending into the camps of Peabody's brigade. The left wing, Twenty-seventh Tennessee, by a movement to the right, avoided the camp of the Fifty-third Ohio, which was being swept by the fire of Waterhouse's battery, while the right passed directly through a part of Peabody's camp."

I give you.. Waterhouse's Battery

I give you a testament to Waterhouse's effectiveness. Halfway through the field one finds this:

This is a burial trench, one of five known, where the confederate dead were buried. This trench lies at the edge of a woodline today, but that is because the forest in the last 150 years has retaken half of Rhea field. I explored deeper into the field, but could not reach the other end because a 20 feet deep steepsided creekbed cut the field in half. I climbed into the creekbed and poked around in the gravel hoping to find an artifact, but the fact is that this area is infested with many venomous snakes and I could very easily have lifted the wrong rock and ended up with a trip to the hospital. So I scaled back up the clay bank. Here are other shots from near Waterhouse's Battery. This entire field was a camp, with Waterhouse in the center. Some resistance was made here. I have shots of a few red CSA tablets.

This is a view from the top of the rise about 100 yards south of waterhouses battery facing into the treelines surrounding Rhea field. That red post is actually a marker for a confederate regiment that was foolish enough to storm Waterhouse. They're remains are probably in the trench now. But Waterhouse held on and eventually fell back having lost a couple guns.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Petrus58, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #5

Here now we move to Spain's Field. The field lies 300 yards South of Prentiss' Camps. Here Prentiss' Second Brigade formed up in double line formation and took up a defensive position on a solid rise just above the woodline to the South where Chalmers and Gladden were marching out of, a massive force intent on destroying the Unon camps.

From Reed:

"The Eighteenth Wisconsin arrived on the field on Saturday afternoon and went at once into camp, but did not get into the morning report of that day and are not included in Miller's present for duty. The brigade was formed for battle Sunday morning at 6 o'clock 300 yards in front of its camp, at south side of Spain Field, where it was attacked by Gladden and Chalmers at 8 a.m. and was driven back into camp, and at 9 a.m. was compelled to abandon its camp. Parts of the Eighteenth Wisconsin and Eighteenth Missouri, about 300 men, formed with Prentiss at his third position and remained with him until captured at 5:30 p.m. the Sixty-first Illinois passed beyond or through Hurlbut's line and was in reserve behind that division all day Sunday, except about an hour when it relieved another regiment in front line."

In this spread, look closely at the markers. I intentionally took these photos to show the double line formation in action. Each tablet represents a regimental standard.

The woodline as seen from the front two regiments:

The View from the rear of the brigade:

The following user(s) said Thank You: RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #6

We now move back up the Sherman road a half mile or so to the Shiloh Church. The church was surrounded by tents. There was some battle here, but most of the men fled smartly to the north another half mile where Sherman set up his first real defensive line on the far right at Woolfe's Field, which we will come too next. Here are the pics of Shiloh Church, old and new. It is still an active, attended church, I was even lucky enough to get pics of some Amish workmen repairing the new church.

This photo is the far right flank area of the Shiloh Church sector. Here an Ohio regiment was routed and forced back to Woolfe's field by a Tennessee Regiment.

This view is looking east. Shiloh Church is just off to the left, that is Sherman Road crossing South to North(right to left).

The following user(s) said Thank You: RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #7

We now move back to Sherman's Second Line of Defense at Woolfe's Field. This field changed hands several times throughout the day.

From Reed:

"This brigade of four regiments was encamped(2nd Brigade, 4 Div), with its left in Woolf Field, in the following order of regiments from left to right: Forty-fifth Illinois, Forty-eighth Illinois, Twentieth Illinois, Eleventh Illinois. It formed line of battle on its parade ground Sunday morning, April 6, 1862, and at about 8 a.m. moved out, first to the front, but immediately afterwards to the left, and formed along the Corinth road, its left at the northwest corner of the Review field, its right near the crossroads, Burrows's battery at the center. In this position the brigade was fiercely attacked by Wood's brigade of Hardee's corps and Stewart's brigade of Polk's corps. It withstood the attack from about 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., when it fell back about 700 yards and re-formed at right angles to the center of its camp. It held this position for a short time and then fell back to Jones Field, where it rallied and in conjunction with other troops recaptured its camp at noon."

Here is a view down the front line of 2nd Brigade, 4th Div in Woolfe Field:

Veatch's Brigade in the rear, along with Burrow's Battery, and my finger.

The fight raged and the brave Illinosians were forced back to the final defense line Sherman had at Jones field. Here we have Jones field from a battery on the hill in the rear. All those tablets are regiments that were lined up by Sherman and McClernand and then driven south into those woods against the Confederates and successfully took back it's camps at Woolfe field at great cost. There is a confederate burial trench there at Woolfe field. Round tablets indicate 2nd day activity, these cannon batteries were vital in Grants great counteroffensive on April 7th.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #8

Now we move to the far left of the battlefield where Stuart's Brigade consisting of two Ohio regiments and an Illinois regiment attempted the hold the line, but were driven back into the woods. One regiment fled to the river where it was picked up by a riverboat. The other two

From Reed:

"This brigade, of three regiments, was encamped at the junction of Hamburg and Purdy road with the Hamburg and Savannah road in the following order from left to right: Fifty-fifth Illinois, Fifty-fourth Ohio, Seventy-first Ohio; a company from each regiment on picket, one at Lick Creek Ford, two on Bark road. These pickets gave warning, about 8 a.m. April 6, 1862, of the approach of the enemy. Stuart formed his brigade on regimental color lines, but finding that he was exposed to artillery fire from batteries on bluff south of Locust Grove Creek, and obeying orders to guard Lick Creek Ford, he moved, at 10 a.m. to his left, placing the Fifty-fifth Illinois next to right, and the Seventy-first Ohio with its right behind the left of the Fifty-fifth Illinois camp. Chalmers placed his brigade in line on the bluff south of Locust Grove Creek, and, after clearing Stuart's camps with his artillery, moved across the creek and attacked the Fifty-fourth Ohio and Fifty-fifth Illinois in position. After a short conflict Stuart withdrew to a ridge running due east from his headquarters. The right, Seventy-first Ohio, occupying the building used as Stuart's headquarters, was here attacked by the right of Jackson's brigade and very soon retired, leaving a captain and 50 men prisoners. One part of the regiment under the major passed down a ravine to the Tennessee River, where they were picked up by a gunboat; another part retired to the Landing where they joined the brigade at night. The Fifty-fourth Ohio and Fifty-fifth Illinois, with Stuart in command, successfully was exhausted and they were obliged to fall back to the Landing, where they reformed at the Log House, the Fifty-fourth Ohio in what is now the cemetery, the Fifty-fifth Illinois to its right supporting Silfversparre's battery, where they were engaged in resisting Chalmers' Sunday evening attack. Stuart was wounded on Sunday, and was succeeded on Monday by Col. T. Kilby Smith, who, with the Fifty-fourth Ohio and Fifty-fifth Illinois, joined Sherman's command and fought on right next to Lew. Wallace all day."

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RDBoles, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #9

Now we move to the meat and potatoes of Shiloh. The stunning all day resistance by the remnants of Prentiss' Division in the Hornets Nest/Peach Orchard/Bloody Pond sector!

The Hornet's Nest is divided into 3 areas.

The left flank would be the Peach Orchard, the section of sunken road behind it and the Manse cabin all of which border the northern end of Sarah Bell's Old Cotton field. The center sector would be the oak thicket and the sunken road that passes through it, what is primarily considered "The Hornet's Nest" proper, and then the right sector which consists of the Duncan Field, and the sunken road behind it. As an adjunct to the fighting, I will include "The Death of A.S. Johnston" as he was killed just a few hundred yards away from the Peach Orchard/Bloody Pond. After examining his wounding/death site in detail, my personal conclusion is that he was most likely hit by one of his own men. The area where he was hit is a good 400-500 yards from the Peach Orchard and while it is conceivable a stray union round flew that distance and hit him in the back of the knee, once you see how the battlefield is set up, you may or may not agree. I welcome the debate!

First, we will start with the Confederate view of the left flank of the Union line. The Peach Orchard. This view is an "over the barrel" shot from either Harper's confederate battery on the far southern edge of Sarah Miller's Old Cotton Field.

One of the most interesting things I found as I followed the tablets was the personal story of Shaver's Brigade, consisting of the 2nd and 7th Arkansas and the 3rd Confederate States Infantry. This unit can rightly be considered "The Stonewall Brigade" of the West. It was involved in almost every major action at Shiloh, and the tablets for these regiments can be found all over the heaviest fighting. It began Shiloh with 905 Officers and men. Only 380 made it back to Corinth. The 7th Ark went on be destroyed again at Perryville, where it was combined with the 6th Arkansas to form the 6th/7th Arkansas Regiment and went on to fight at Chickamauga and other battles.

Shaver's Brigade was heavily involved in the Hornet's Nest in all the major sectors. I'll let Reed describe:

"This brigade moved forward at 6.30 a.m. Sunday meeting with little resistance until within one-half mile of the Union camps. Here Swett's and Harper'sa batteries took position on the right near Eastern Corinth road and engaged the union batteries (Hickenlooper's and Munch's). A charge was ordered and Peabody's camp was captured and his men pursued to a ravine and to an old field (Barnes's). The Third Confederate continuing the pursuit beyond the ravine became detached from its brigade and was engaged at Hornets' Nest soon after 9 a.m. Colonel Shaver reorganized his command and was ordered to make change of front to the left, in conjunction with Wood's left wheel, to attack a camp (Raith's). Before completing the movement he was ordered to reform and move by left flank one-half milea to an old farm, from which he attacked the enemy (Hare's brigade) behind a large field. The left regiments passed through this field, driving back Hare's brigade and occupying the ground one and one-halfb hours. The right of the brigade passed to the right of the Review field and became engaged with Sweeny's and Tuttle's brigades and was exposed to a heavy cross fire from the Union batteries in the rear of Tuttle. Swett's battery took position on Shaver's right and engaged those batteries. General Stewart took command of Hindman's troops, consisting of Shaver's brigade and the Sixteenth Alabama and Fifty-fifth Tennessee of Wood's brigade, and placing the Fourth Tennessee on the left of Shaver moved directly east from the northwest corner of Review Field to Duncan House and attacked the troops behind Duncan Field. Stewart was repulsed, and Shaver's brigade retired about 1 mile to a camp to replenish ammunition. Between 2 and 3 o'clock Shaver's brigade made another attack at the Hornets' nest and was again repulsed. In this charge Lieutenant Colonel Dean, Seventh Arkansas, was killed within 50 paces of the front of the Fourteenth Iowa. The brigade then fell back and was not again engaged on Sunday. It retired a little farther to the rear and bivouacked for the night. On Monday the brigade formed on the Bark road. After some time the Second and Sixth Arkansas advanced to the left with General Cheatham, where an attack was made about 12 m. and some guns captured, but were soon retaken, and the Confederates driven back in disorder. In attempting to rally his force Colonel Shaver was rendered senseless by the explosion of a shell near him, and his command disorganized. The Seventh Arkansas was in support of a battery on Monday and later in the day became engaged on the right. The Third Confederate was detached to the right on Monday. Swett's (Mississippi) battery, after its participation in the attack at Hornet's Nest on Sunday, was placed by General Ruggles in line of batteries on the east side of Review field, where it was supported by the One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee. No record of Swett's battery in engagement on Monday."

So, here is the union side of things from the Peach Orchard, looking across towards Harper's Battery over the barrel of a Union Battery(Possibly Munch's, I forget)

View from behind the split rail fence through the Peach Orchard.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #10

We must now come to the sad tale of the death of General Albert Sydney Johnston. The man Jefferson Davis said "If Johnston isn't a General, then we have no General."

Lee was still an obscure nobody holding the fort at Harper's Ferry. Johnston was the Confederacy's First Great Hope. He died on the battlefield, struck by a .577 caliber minie ball in the back of the knee and it cut an artery. Unfortunately I seem to have lost the photo of the front of Johnston's monument itself. But this Monument marks the spot where Johnson took the bullet. You may ask "How do you know that?" Well I was assured by the Park Ranger, that when the park commission brought out the veterans and started marking these spots, if they were not absolutely, positively sure, with eyewitness corroboration about a tablet or monument location.. they didn't place it.

So, here we are looking past Johnstons monument toward the Peach Orchard and Manse Cabin and Sarah Bell's Old Cotton Field. Johnston had just rallied together most of a division and had just ordered them forward. Two full brigades of Rebs came screaming out of the left of the frame, assaulting the Peach Orchard.

Now if you look, you may see why I think Johnston was killed by a bullet from one of his own men. Look at the distances involved. According to the map it is a distance of just shy of a quarter mile. Through trees, in a direction away from where the heaviest assaults were coming from.

I think Johnston was hit by his own men.

So after Johnston was wounded, he was taken down into a small ravine just behind the monument and laid against the tree. The tree is gone now, though the stump was there until just about 10 years ago according to the ranger.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #11


Now we move to the center to the hellish combat of the Oak Thicket of the Hornet's Nest. The combat here ranks up there with Little Round Top and The Bloody Lane. In fact, one of the oddest things is that, as I will show you, the terrain in front of the sunken road through Duncan Field is an almost exact reversal of that of Antietam. Instead of the Confederates holding a Sunken road on a reverse slope defense, we have the Union holding a sunken road on a reverse slope defense, with the exact same predictable results. Lot's a death, lots of carnage, and little to show for it. Though the confederates did eventually surround and force Prentiss' men to surrender, which is more than the union got at Antietam.

So, here I will start at my favorite spot in the entire park. The point in the day, when after assaulting 4 times across Duncan Field and failing, Shaver's Brigade was thrown into it's last, most hellish meat grinder. Shaver was given the mission to assault through the woods and take the oak thicket and the sunken road that ran through the center of it.

Unfortanately for Shaver, and Lt. Col Dean of the 7th Arkansas, this short stretch of forested sunken road was held by a full regiment from Iowa, the elite artillery batteries of Hickenlooper and Munch, supporting each other expertly, and the handful of remnants from the fight at Spain Field.. remember the 300 or so from that Brigade who made it to the thicket? They have tablets here to. The action was hottest of the entire day right here at the this spot. First, I give you.. Shaver's Brigade Tablet.

Then.. you look up from the tablet, and this is what you see.

Yes.. That is Hickenlooper's battery of expert artillerymen, and that distance I paced off at 60 yards. These madmen, crazed with battle rage, having made at least a half dozen or more charges all over the field, now faced down that cannister shot at 60yds or less, supported by infantry. It was hell.

Here is the view back from Hickenlooper's POV, the tablet is clearly visible.

Some of these old logs still have bullet holes in them. How they managed to survive 150 years of rot is beyond me, many of them are so fragile they look ready to fall apart, but there are scars there in the wood of the biggest trees.

Here are the remnants of the 18th Missouri and other men from Prentiss' Second Brigade, that is why the tablets are so close together, just down the road across that bridge is another set of tablets where a Mississippi regiment actually got into the lines and engaged in serious hand to hand combat. The red tablet is mixed in with the blue ones.

Here was literally a place where you walked on a carpet of the dead.
The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RDBoles, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Little Powell, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #12

Having covered the most brutal combat of the day, we move to the right where the combat was equally hard, if longer distanced than the brutal struggle for the wood.

We move to the sunken road behind the Duncan Field. The Duncan Field is big, it also has a low ridge running right through the center of it. General Ruggles later used this quirk in the land to his advantage to finally take the nest, but an entire day it would take.

Here we will follow one brigade, Anderson's Brigade of Ruggle's Division. Anderson had already been in heavy combat in Rhea Field against Waterhouse and the men of the 53rd Ohio who supported him. I'll let Reed describe the events at Waterhouse's Battery on up to the attack through Duncan Field.

" The Seventeenth Louisiana, of this brigade, made three separate charges upon the Fifty-third Ohio camp. In the second and third charges the left wing of the regiment passed to the left of the Rhea House around the point of the ridge. The Confederate response and Florida battalions attempted-in conjunction with the Eleventh Louisiana, of Russell's brigade-to cross the ridge, but were repulsed. This position was finally carried by the combined attacks of the right regiments of Cleburne, Anderson, and Johnson, and the left regiments of Russell's brigade. During the struggle the Washington Artillery, together with artillery of the other brigades, occupied the high ground in the rear and rendered valuable aid in the attack. The Twentieth Louisiana and Ninth Texas, on the left, were twice repulsed, but with reenforcements carried the position held by Buckland's brigade and joined the right regiments in an advance upon McClernand's second position at the crossroads, where the brigade was partially reorganized and was engaged in front of Marsh's brigade camp. About noon it joined Trabue in his engagement with McDowell's brigade. At 3 p.m. this brigade moved directly east along the Pittsburg road to Duncan Field, where the battery was placed in Ruggles's artillery line and the infantry moved to the right, where it joined other troops in an attack at the Hornets' nest, where it was repulsed, and the Twentieth Louisiana retired from the field. The other regiments returned to the attack and followed the retiring Union troops to the place of surrender."

Here is the view of Duncan Field from Munch's Battery, just inside the Oak Thicket. The ridgeline is clearly visible, with the just the bare top of a regimental monument visible on the slope behind the ridge.

Here is the view from the Confederate Side towards the Union positions in the sunken road behind Duncan Field as seen from the left of Ruggles Battery. In desperation, General Ruggles gathered together every cannon within hundreds of yards into a grand battery and pounded the far end of Duncan Field and the Hornets Nest, while at the same time assaulting the far right flank of Duncan Field. His forces got around the Union right flank and undid the positions in the Duncan Field, forcing them back towards Hickenlooper and Munch's Batteries inside the Hornet's Nest thicket visible on the right behind the trees and beginning the left flank of the envelopment that led to Prentiss' ultimate Surrender.

Unfortunately all my close up shots from the Sunken Road are missing for some reason, I'm sure they are misplaced in a folder somewhere. In the meantime, if you look at the photo above to the left, you will see the beginning of the ridgeline, Ruggles used this ridgeline to hide his batteries from counterfire attack from the many union batteries that were lined up in Duncan Field. If you get to this spot, you will see how smart Ruggles was in placing his Grand battery.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #13

We now move back to the far left, behind the Peach Orchard to the Bloody Pond. Actually I prefer to call it "The Bloody Puddle", because the thing is only about 6 or 8 inches deep in the center. You won't even get your knees wet. It's just a stagnant swamp hole, probably prone to breeding mosquitoes, but if you are a desperate, wounded solider of either side or pack animal. This is where you crawled to get a last sip of "water" before dying.

Inside those woods is where Prentiss' made his last stand before surrendering the Hornets nest.

This is the view down the barrel of Mendenhall's Battery across the pond towards the Peach Orchard, which resides just behind the woodline. This is a 2nd day battery site. Honestly, all the tablets and batteries make for a confusing jumble if one doesn't know the monumentation. Plenty of signs around to teach people, but even a dedicated CW nerd myself had a hardtime figuring out parts of the field. I'm still discovering things now as I post these photos and place them in context and compare them to the maps I brought back with me.

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RebBugler

Re: Day 1 2 years, 7 months ago #14

So, that is really about it. I only had so much battery power and couldn't possibly cover everything that is out there. Even if there weren't a battlefield, it is a good place to hike. Hike I did aplenty of. So, I will finish up now with various "odds and ends" pics. Usually of the death markers of various commanders besides Johnston such as Peabody, Gladden and Wallace.

I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of individual monuments because as I said, battery power was limited and I was interested in more of a grand tactical picture of each field, rather than individual monuments with no context, which would have done nothing for me over the years and a monument without a context at Shiloh is just that.. a monument.

First off, I located some pictures of the Northern or Right Flank of the Duncan Field. Those are union batteries that were posted to guard the flank along with infantry. This was the position that was rolled up and forced back behind me to the Hornet's Nest

This is a shot from inside the peach orchard looking west towards the union regiments that held it against Johnston's personal attentions.

Here are the death or mortal wounding site monuments. I recommend looking each one up to get the full story. Peabody was killed in his camp, supposedly bayonetted by Rebs. Wallace was killed while leading remnants to safety outside the hornets nest just prior to Prentiss' Surrender. Gladden died leading the confederate charge against the 2nd Brigade at the base of Spain field.


Confederate Burial Trench near the Hornets Nest.

This is a closeup of the tablets at Jones Field on Sherman's Last Line of Defense.

The famous Tennessee Monument in Woolfe Field.

As I find other pics I will post them here but this is the vast majority. This only scratches the surface really of what is out there. Thanks for reading!

This photo tour is my way of following the request written on the 2nd Tennessee monument near Shiloh Church.

"Go Stranger, and tell Tennessee that here we died for her."
The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 2 years, 7 months ago #15

Thanks for taking the time to post these, Silicon. Your photographic tours put mine to shame..
NSD Map/Scenario Lead
He possessed what a fellow soldier called "an unquenchable thirst for battle." - James I. Robertson on A.P. Hill
Next to a lost battle, nothing is so sad as a battle that has been won. - Arthur Wellesley

In remembrance: John "2nd Texas" Bonin (1977 - 2012)

Re: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 2 years, 7 months ago #16

Thanks man, but really. Shiloh profoundly affected me in a way that Gettysburg and Antietam did not. After seeing that nasty piece of forested ground myself, I can say that without a doubt, the Confederate Soldier was the baddest ass man to walk the Earth and carry a rifle. Sure, the Prussians by this time would have laughed at the half naked, barefoot army of Johnston. With their squirrel guns and brown bess rifles and worn out cannon pulled from Revolutionary war monuments around the South. Their Floppy trail hats and brogans. Their louse, ridden unshaven bodies. But if a brigade of Prussians was so equipped, would they have had the balls to charge the Hornet's Nest?

So could Prussian Landwehr go naked and starving, sick with horrendous water borne illnesses some armed with nothing but pikes when the battle began. Could they do what Shaver did? Could they run into the teeth of the union brigade that held the high ground adjacent to the peach orchard and do better? I'm not so sure.

The Confederate Army did not lose Shiloh so much as they didn't quite win. Had the commander of the Union Force been any other General than Ulysees S Grant.. the Union armyw ould have jumped on their boats and set up defensive positions on the far side of the river on the night of April 6th.

During the General's Breakfast at the Cherry Mansion, the reenactor playing Grant told the story of after the battle, Grant was standing outside a field hospital in the driving rain, when Sherman came up to him. Sherman, and the rest of Grant's staff, were of the opinion that they should fall back onto the river boats and cross over to the other side of the Tennessee. But, knowing Grant, he hedged.

"Well Grant, looks like we've had the devil's own day."(or something to that effect)

Grant looked up from under the brim of his hat, the rain pouring off the brim and looked Sherman in the eye and said..

"Yup...lick 'em tomorrow though."

Sherman instantly dropped the idea of suggesting to Grant that they withdraw across the river.

But how does one measure victory? We do it by points. But what if by losing, Johnston still won, because he slowed the Union advance by weeks. Also, the men that came back to Corinth all had new weapons, provided by the Union Army. If Johnston hadn't died. I believe he would have simply packed up on the night of the 6th every piece of union equipment on the field in his possession and left back to the Corinth a much better armed and equipped force, happy to have inflicted brutal damage on the Union army and getting away with most of their equipment. Grant would have been humiliated, and Halleck would have the ammunition he would've needed to have him sacked over Lincoln's desires. Johnston's living wouldn't have changed the outcome at Shiloh, except that he would've known that it was time to cut losses and leave, where Beauregard, a lesser general, did not.

The Union advantage in artillery was decisive. Waterhouse, Hickenlooper, Munch.. and many many more artillerymen saved the Union. It was cannister and solid shot that decided Shiloh as much as musketry and bayonet. I was overwhelmed by the amount of cannon the Union army carried with it. Then again, Ruggles gathered over 50 cannon into his Grand Battery.

This battle was so unusual, so unique and dreadful in it's own way. It is by far, without a doubt, the best Civil war experience in my life, and I truly feel like it was an honor to stand on that ground and then tell their story. Even if it's just to this game's community.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jack ONeill, Ingles of the 57th

Re: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 2 years, 7 months ago #17

LOL.. I like to read open source books written by contemporaries and veterans of the civil war. Here is one I found on Project Gutenberg by a Private in Hurlbut's Division at Shiloh. It's filled with that classic soldiers wit and humor about the battle.

For instance, he cracks a joke about packing in 14 deep in a Sibley tent and sharing lice and fleas. Him coming from an upper middle class background and having attended college it was a big adjustment for him. He refers to the common louse as "the socialistic greyback" and jokes about democratic equality in the tents.

"But in time our camp was fairly established. Sibley tents were distributed, one for fourteen men. They protected us from the rain, but they had their drawbacks. Several of us were schoolmates from a Western college, and, of course, in some respects, constituted a little aristocracy. We had had a small tent to ourselves, and the socialistic grayback, as yet, had not crawled therein. Now, we were required to share our tent with others, and that might mean a great many. But when it came to a question of sleeping out in the cold rain, or camping down in a crowded tent in true democratic equality and taking the chances of immigration from our neighbors' clothing, we did not prefer the rain."


Funny how Americans didn't like socialism, even in 1862
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ingles of the 57th

Re: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 2 years, 7 months ago #18

SiliconMagician wrote:
Thanks man, but really. Shiloh profoundly affected me

One of the best feelings in the world for us history buffs.. Those moments when you're touring a field, viewing an old picture, or just reading a book.. When you have to just take a deep breath and say "wow". Words can't describe.. Last time I had that moment was standing on top of Buford's knoll at Brandy Station. Being the only living soul for miles, and I swear I could hear the sound of thousands of horse hooves pounding the ground, sabers clanking, and could smell the gunpowder..

Sounds like Shiloh offers many opportunities for those moments--gotta get out there one of these days. My good friend Dave W (former NSD team member) has said many times "just let me know when and I'll meet you there". One of these days..
NSD Map/Scenario Lead
He possessed what a fellow soldier called "an unquenchable thirst for battle." - James I. Robertson on A.P. Hill
Next to a lost battle, nothing is so sad as a battle that has been won. - Arthur Wellesley

In remembrance: John "2nd Texas" Bonin (1977 - 2012)

Re: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 5 months ago #19

Yes. I know.. Necro thread. But I was going through some folders, cleaning things out of the drive and I came across these photos from my trip to shiloh that I didn't post. Thought some of you guys would be interested anyway.


This is a hillock across the road from Shiloh Church where an brigade of Ohioans held up Cleburne and Anderson's brigades long enough for Sherman to set up his first real defensive line at Woolfe Field. This was a very nasty fight, with many casualties and the hillside in front was littered with bodies. This position was never taken by assault instead the Ohio brigade retreated in good order after they were outflanked on both flanks.

Here are some pictures of Duncan Field, which was the immediate right flank of the hornets nest.

Here is the Cherry Mansion where Grant had his headquarters. Read the Plaque because it tells a funny story about Grant's alleged drunkenness on the day of the battle.

Peach Orchard:

The following user(s) said Thank You: JC Edwards, RDBoles, Chamberlain, RebBugler, Grog

Re: Silicon Magician Presents: A Photographic Tour of Shiloh 5 months ago #20

  • JC Edwards
  • ( User )
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  • The Mad One
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Thank you for this Silicone ...... especially the shots of the Hornet's Nest and Bloody Pond.

'The path that is not seen, nor hidden, should always be flanked'
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