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Perry Cuskey

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Everything posted by Perry Cuskey

  1. Epic Trek 2017: Update

    Sorry for the long delay, everyone. Here's the information for our upcoming Lew Wallace hike with historian Tim Smith (Please note - if you plan on joining us, please post a reply here, or send me a PM or an email, so we can get an idea of how many to expect. Thanks.) - Date - Saturday, November 11th, 2017. Starting time - 7:30 a.m. Meeting place - Shiloh National Military Park visitors center parking lot. Price - $30 per person. (See below for payment information.) This two-part hike will focus on Lew Wallace at Shiloh. The morning portion of the hike will cover Wallace's ill-fated April 6th march to the battlefield from the Crump's Landing/Adamsville area, and will be a combination of driving and walking. We'll meet at the visitors center parking lot, get everyone paid and checked in, then carpool out to our starting point at Crump's Landing. From there we'll be stopping at various locations to cover on foot some of the actual route that Wallace and his men took in 1862, including areas that are not usually accessible to the public. Tim is one of the few people to re-trace the route in its entirety, and will have some great insights about this controversial march. We'll end this part of the hike back at the visitors center parking lot, where lunch will be provided once again courtesy of Mona. You might consider bringing along a fold-up chair of some sort that you could leave in your car, unless you're okay with eating while sitting on the ground or on a curb. The afternoon part of the hike will re-trace Wallace's division in their advance across the western portion of the battlefield on April 7th, as they continually outflanked the Confederates and forced them back, in conjunction with the rest of the combined Union armies. Though lacking the same level of attention as the April 6th march, there is still some controversy surrounding Wallace's April 7th advance, and we'll be delving into that as we cross this section of the battlefield. We will probably end this hike in the vicinity of the church, so we'll make arrangements to carpool back to the visitors center from there. We'll plan on ending around 5:00, although it may be somewhat earlier or later than that. (Last year's Fort Donelson hike ended early, and we all remember the flashlights from 2012.) As is normally the case, this two-part hike will cover quite a bit of ground, but will also include less walking compared to our previous hikes. We will likely be traversing Tilghman Branch Ravine during the afternoon hike, the second-largest ravine in the park, but overall, this hike probably won't be on the same "strenuous scale" as some of our previous outings. (Like say, the Chalmers hike.) On an easy-to-difficult scale, I'd probably classify it as moderate overall, with some moderate-to-difficult sections on the afternoon hike. But it will certainly hit the mark on the "great learning experience" scale, and the "getting to see things most folks won't see" scale. I think we'll handle the payments the same way we did last year at Fort Donelson - so everyone just plan on paying on the morning of the hike. We don't take checks, but we do take cash. Payment must be made prior to leaving the visitors center parking lot, and is non-refundable once the hike actually begins. I hope you can join us for what should be another great day of Epic Trekking with Tim at Shiloh. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here, or contact me via PM or email. Looking forward to seeing everyone in November. Perry
  2. Great Moments in Hiking History

    A little fun from some of our Epic Treks.... (Photo credit: Michele) (Photo credit: Ed Wertz) (Photo credit: Mike Talplacido) (Photo credit: Michele) (Photo credit: Michele) (Photo credit: No one claims this one) (Photo credit: Mike Talplacido) (Photo credit: Michele) We'll be doing another Epic Trek this November. Why not join us? You'll have a great time, and who knows, you might wind up as a caption. Perry
  3. My New Book

    I was able to include a link to your Facebook page in your original post. Best of luck to you with your new book. Perry
  4. Epic Trek 2017: Update

    Got all of you marked down, so thanks. Look forward to seeing you in November. Also, if anyone else is having problems getting a hotel room near the park or looking for an alternative, you might look into AirBnB as an option, if you don't mind staying in a private residence. There were several options available near both Savannah and Corinth last time I checked, although it's been a little while now. The price ranges were also pretty varied, ranging from not bad to I don't think so. Perry
  5. Epic Trek 2017: Update

    Look forward to seeing you guys there.
  6. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    Hi folks, You can find the updated information on this year's hike at the link below. I hope you can join us...
  7. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    Hi Folks, After heading up to Fort Donelson this past fall, we're returning to Shiloh for our next Epic Trek adventure with historian Tim Smith. This time we're going to focus on Lew Wallace and his controversial role in the battle. Tim is going to lead us on a combined driving/walking tour of Wallace's infamous march from Crump's Landing to the battlefield on April 6th, and explore the controversies surrounding this march. After lunch, we'll then re-trace Wallace's fighting advance on April 7th as part of the Union counter-attack. In 2005, Tim led a small group of rangers and historians on what was likely the first complete re-tracing of Wallace's march since the battle, so he knows the ground and the subject well. The hike will take place on Saturday, November 11th, 2017 - Veterans Day. We'll have more information later, but I wanted to get this out there so everyone can start planning to join us. It should be another great hiking adventure, so mark it on your calendars and make plans to be there! Perry
  8. Name that Road

    This is a picture I took at Shiloh last fall. Who wants to take a crack at naming where it is? Here's a kinda sorta hint: It's not the Sunken Road.
  9. Name that Road

    Circumstances and common sense. That's how and why the Sunken Road was chosen for a defensive position, and why The River Road was chosen for the same reason later in the day. That's about as complicated as it gets. Perry
  10. Healing the wounds...

    I understand the reason behind this post, and while it's okay in and of itself, if it starts to get out of hand it's going to be closed. We're not discussing modern-day issues on this board, even by stealth. Perry
  11. Civil War Weekend Cancelled in Manassas

    This topic is closed to further replies, and the subject is not to be revived anywhere else on the board. It states very clearly on the main page under the Campfire Forum that modern-day social or political issues are off-limits for discussion. The initial notice about the cancellation is fine, but that's where it needed to end. Perry
  12. Name that Road

    I'm not sure I understand the emphasis on Grant and Sherman being aware of the Hamburg-Savannah Road. Has it been suggested somewhere that they weren't aware of it? I think the Sunken Road's selection was more a matter of circumstances than accident. (Which is also how I'd characterize the choice of the Hamburg-Savannah Road late on the 6th as part of the final defensive line.) The troops from Wallace's & Hurlbut's divisions were on the way to help Prentiss and Sherman, but the situation had quite clearly changed before they got there, especially on Prentiss' front, making a continued advance rather senseless. (You can't see Prentiss's position from the Peach Orchard/Sarah Bell Cotton Field area today due to the intervening woods, but contemporary accounts make it clear that they could do so at that time.)The common-sense decision was made to stop and form a new line, the only question being where. The Sunken Road made for a natural choice for Wallace's men under the circumstances, and Hurlbut, after initially setting up in Sara Bell's Cotton Field, eventually aligned his Peach Orchard front along approximately the same axis. What was left of Prentiss's division became a good way of connecting those two divisions, and making the new Union line more or less continuous, even though there were still gaps to fill. So even though it wasn't a line that was formed by design, I don't think it was completely by accident. It was a result of circumstances combined with a series of common-sense decisions. As you say though, roads make for logical stopping/rallying points, which is something that Bjorn pointed out on one of the anniversary hikes last April, focused coincidentally on the western section of Grant's Last Line along the Hamburg-Savannah Road. There were several things that went into making it an obvious stopping point for the retreating Union troops at that point in the battle. Perry
  13. Great Moments in Hiking History

    A few more. Pictures courtesy of Ed Wertz, and used with his permission. He also gets caption credit for the first one.
  14. The arrival of 47th Tennessee Infantry April 7

    Brent, in addition to the excellent sources that Ozzy provided, here is a very good article on the 47th Tennessee at Shiloh that I came across a while back. It's written by a historian named Sean Michael Chick, who has authored a book on Petersburg: https://emergingcivilwar.com/2016/09/08/the-47th-tennessee-infantry-at-shiloh/ Unfortunately, with one exception, he doesn't list any sources, but he does appear to have done some serious research on the regiment. He also includes a picture of Colonel Hill, adding in the comments that he found it online. I don't know if that means he's uncertain of its authenticity, but he did include the image with the article. He looks like a good source of information about the regiment. The one source that he mentions, in the article itself, is the West Tennessee Whig newspaper. Also, the University of Memphis has a collection of letters from Private John J. Davis of the 47th Tennessee, written to his wife. I was able to download a pdf of the transcribed letters, or perhaps transcribed portions of the letters, I'm not certain. Here's the link to the overview page: http://uldr.memphis.edu/vital/access/manager/Collection/vital:109 And the page where you can download the pdf file: http://uldr.memphis.edu/vital/access/manager/Repository/vital:1890?root=vital%3A109 While checking the Tennessee State Library and Archives for something on the West Tennessee Whig, I also came across a listing for a small book or pamphlet on the 47th Tennessee written by a Brent Cox. Would that be you? Perry
  15. Great Moments in Hiking History

    Thanks ladies. And no worries, Michele. Besides, slipping, tripping, and/or falling down on a Shiloh hike is a little like getting turned around or lost out in the park - it's a right of passage.
  16. Name that Road

    From my previous reply: "But most visitors to the park still arrived via the Tennessee River up until about the 20's or early 30's"
  17. Name that Road

    There are other sections of roads in the park that follow their wartime course, but yes, there has been a lot of adjustments, if you will, including by Thompson himself. And some wartime roads ("paths" is probably more accurate) aren't even there anymore, even as traces. Some of them were still there when the park was first created, but are now completely gone. The two guesses that Hank and Jim made - the Corinth Road and Beauregard Road, look similar to that picture of the Hamburg-Savannah Road in stretches, and follow their respective wartime routes. I kind of doubt that the Hamburg-Savannah Road was unintentionally left intact though. If Thompson had felt it needed straightening or curving somewhere, it would have happened. But most visitors to the park still arrived via the Tennessee River up until about the 20's or early 30's, and I'd guess that then as now, the River Road didn't see a lot of visitor traffic. So there probably wasn't much point in making any significant changes. On Route 22, I don't believe it follows any historic route, no, at least north of the park. The "old" Highway 22, prior to the modern-day version opening in the early 60's I think it was, followed the Main Corinth Road through the park. A point that board member C.D. Rickman made during the anniversary weekend when the subject came up. C.D. said that locals referred to the new highway as the "bypass," and I think he added that long-time residents still do. Perry
  18. Name that Road

    I forgot to mention, even though it's kind of obvious - but Lew Wallace and his men traveled down this stretch of road on their famous (or infamous) march to the battlefield on April 6th, after crossing Snake Creek. You're looking north in the picture, so their line of march would have been toward the camera.
  19. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    Hmmm. I know the siege gun display has been changed some in recent years. I can't remember off-hand the siege guns never being there, but my memory could be fooling me on that. Could be they've come and gone at various times, but I honestly don't know.
  20. Name that Road

    We have a winner! Hamburg-Savannah Road it is. The 'catch' about the picture is that, as Mona guessed, it's from the section of the road north of Highway 22, between there and Snake Creek. It's technically inside the park, but since it's across the highway from the rest of the park, and blocked by a gate to keep vehicles out, I doubt it gets many visitors. In fact, this was the first time I had ever been over there myself. Michele and I walked along it maybe half-a-mile or so before turning around near that downed tree across the road. And like I told Jim, I probably would have guessed it to be Beauregard Road if I didn't already know what it was. So congrats to Mona - she's now officially the River Road Queen. Here's a screenshot from Google Maps. The red circle near the top shows the approximate location of the picture.
  21. Name that Road

    That's what I would probably guess if I didn't know otherwise, Jim. Here's another hint, and this one might give it away - think Yanks instead of Rebs.
  22. Name that Road

    Ozzy, this one is kind of tricky. It's hard to tell, but there are no monuments along this particular road. Well actually there is one, but it's a fair distance behind me in this picture. Another hint below.
  23. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    Here's a link to an even earlier picture of the siege guns taken from very near the 1941 spot and from a similar angle. It's from the Kern collection, which we've highlighted on here before, and doubtless will again. No cannons in this image, but the monument is there, which dates the picture to sometime after 1904, when Illinois dedicated its Shiloh monuments. You can clearly see the Corinth Road running in front of the monument in this image. That section of the road is now only a trace, and closed off to traffic. http://daytonhistory.pastperfect-online.com/34465cgi/mweb.exe?request=image&hex=K58009.JPG
  24. Name that Road

    That's a good guess Hank, but it's not the Corinth Road. I'll give another hint this evening if no one figures it out.
  25. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    Man, that would be a good trip. And you know, as long as you're already in Tennessee and heading to Gettysburg, you may as well stop off at Perryville, Chickamauga, Stone's River, the Shenandoah Valley, Harper's Ferry, Antietam......
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