Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day at Shiloh

WARNING: A few history lessons are included in this post :)

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.  We spent Memorial Day at Shiloh National Military Park.  If you aren't from around these parts, check out the Shiloh website.  Even growing up less than 2 hours from Shiloh, I had never been.  The American History class in high school always took a field trip there, until one rowdy class ruined it for the rest of us coming up after them.

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the first major battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. The two-day battle, April 6 and April 7, 1862, involved about 65,000 Union troops under Ulysses S. Grant and Don Carlos Buell and 44,000 Confederates under Albert Sidney Johnston (killed in the battle) and P.G.T. Beauregard. The battle resulted in nearly 24,000 killed, wounded, and missing. The two days of fighting did not end in a decisive tactical victory for either side—the Union held the battlefield but failed to pursue the withdrawing Confederate forces. Strategically, however, it was a decisive defeat for the Confederate forces that had concentrated to oppose Grant's and Buell's invasion through Tennessee. The battlefield is named after Shiloh Methodist Church, a small log church near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.

Ok--back to 2010.

My hubby has always been a history buff since I've known him.  But mostly WWII buff.  When the movie Pearl Harbor came out in the cinemas, it was not fun sitting beside him while he critiqued everything :)  Guns, tanks, planes, you name it...He really needs to be a consultant in Hollywood.

He recently bought a metal detector for fun, and the next thing I knew, he had 'enlisted' in the 51st Tennessee Infantry Regiment, a Civil War re-enactment group.

Today, there were 2 memorial services at Shiloh--one at the main National Cemetary, and the 2nd service was located at the one of the five burial trenches.

Although the Federal dead were removed from the battlefield in 1866 and reinterred in the Shiloh National Cemetery, the Confederate dead were left on the battlefield. As Confederates were technically not United States personnel, they have traditionally been buried elsewhere. As a result, the Confederates who died at Shiloh remain on the field in several large mass graves and many smaller individual plots. As many as eleven or twelve mass graves exist, but the park commission that created the park could only locate five. Those five are now marked at Shiloh National Military Park. Of course, all the Confederates buried in the trenches are unknown, having been buried as a mass by the enemy who did not know their identity. Only three Confederates now lie in the Shiloh National Cemetery: F.A. Rasch of the Orleans Guard (who is in an unknown grave), Phillip Prosser of the 13th Louisiana, and R.E. Cook of the 18th Alabama. Work is continually ongoing to compile an accurate list of Confederate casualties.

Here are some pictures from today.  This was hubby's first time 'dressing out'.  This wasn't a full-fledged re-enactment, but they did do a musket salute.

Since this was his first time, his 'initiation' was black gunpowder on the face & hands

And who would have thought a Hooter girl would be there!!!


  1. Your photos made me laugh - esp. hubby in the battle and uniforms!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Hope you all are having a great start to your summer!