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Shiloh Discussion Group


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Transylvania last won the day on August 10

Transylvania had the most liked content!

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About Transylvania

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    Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
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    Western theater, American Civil War

    Like John Wesley Powell, I have traveled down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (my trip was a bit more comfortable, I'll bet)

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  1. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    Over on the Shiloh Discussion Facebook page, we had a recent announcement - I am not sure why it wasn't shared here. https://www.facebook.com/events/271131020312173/ Our annual Shiloh adventure with historian, author, and former Shiloh park ranger, Tim Smith. This year's hike will focus on the Confederate army's Alabama troops.Price: $30 per person. Pay on the day of the hike, prior to starting. (Failure to pay could possibly result in a situation known as "lost in an unknown ravine.")Probable starting/ending point: Ed Shaw's, just south of the park at the intersection of state highways 22 & 142. (We'll firm this up well before the hike.) Lunch (included): Sandwiches, drinks, and snacks, courtesy of long-time SDG member Mona Henson. (Be sure to thank her. She always more than earns it.) Bonus treats: Cookies and snickerdoodles! Courtesy of SDG member Jeani Cantrell. (Ditto on the earned thank-yous.) Lunch location: Visitor's Center area. Usually lasts around an hour. (Side-note: Please do not get between the SDG admin and the snickerdoodles. He's reportedly a little weird about this.) Hike Summary: We'll be following in the footsteps of Alabama's soldiers, and learn about their various experiences in this turning-point battle that would define the rest of the Civil War.We'll start at the south end of the park and work our way east and north, before crossing Dill Branch and heading toward the snickerdoodles....or rather, toward lunch. Then off across Tilghman Branch and the west side of the battlefield, before turning back to the south and our starting point.(Note - See the Discussion tab above for a map and written outline of our route through the park.)We'll be covering the better part of the park, and will be off the paved roads most of the time. If the idea of seeing and experiencing areas of the park most people will never see appeals to you, this is an excellent way to do so with some like-minded folks. Terrain will range from easy to "You can't be serious!" Sturdy footwear is strongly recommend. We'll be crossing over some very uneven ground, through the woods, across creeks and ravines, including Tilghman Branch, as well as the terrifying legend itself, Dill Branch Ravine. (Exaggerating for effect. Mostly. ) Going on past hikes, we should likely finish up somewhere between 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. We've had one hike end about 4:00, and two that finished with flashlights. But they were fun. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in November, and I hope you decide to join us. We always have a good time, learn something new that heightens our understanding, and Tim never fails to do an excellent job. This year will certainly be no different. Hope to see you there.
  2. Confederate Firearms by Regiment for Shiloh

    How reliable are photographs for identifying firearms? I agree that if one has a photograph in the field then it should be reliable (but rare, especially in the Spring of 1862). My impression is that of the studio photographs used the photographer's "props" in the pictures. If a field studio was being used, then I suppose that a soldier might be allowed to take his weapon to it, but I doubt that he would be allowed to take his weapon into town to a "formal" studio. I am not trying to discredit your work, which is very exciting, but am wondering how you address this issue.
  3. Thank You, Major Reed

    I just spent the day at the Gettysburg battlefield which is about 3-1/2 hours from my domicile. I was amazed how poorly interpreted the battlefield is. A brigade will have one War Department tablet which summarizes its actions over the three days of the battle and possibly also what it did on July 4. The regimental monuments placed sort of where they should be. The interpretation from the tablets and monuments at Gettysburg is extremely lacking, especially when contrasted with the Shiloh battlefield. Major Reed did a good job with his placements of the War Department tablets and his control of the placement of the monuments. I am under the impression that the Gettysburg battlefield, at least in its beginning, was somewhat of a spontaneous creation, lacking the firm guidance of a Reed or Boynton (Chickamauga), and it shows. This trip to Gettysburg was my first in twenty years. Now I realize why I visit it every twenty years while visiting the Shiloh National Military Park, which is about a twelve-hour drive, at least once a year.
  4. We Meet Again

    I was unable to place McClernand there, so I appreciate the clarification. I thought that perhaps he was one of the congressmen who went out to watch the battle. Knowing that Sherman commanded a brigade at First Manassas, my initial thought, back when you posed the question, was that battle, but I said to myself, "Self, there is no way that Alexander McDowell McCook and Rodney Mason were there." When you gave the hint of July, 1861, then the answer became pretty obvious, and a quick check of the Order of Battle found that McCook commanded the First Ohio and Mason commanded the Second Ohio in Schenk's Brigade. James Barnet Fry served as chief of staff to Irvin McDowell.
  5. The View at 100

    It is my impression, also, that drones were prohibited without permission. It seems to me that drone photography could be very useful when preparing a talk on the battle.
  6. We Meet Again

    They were all present at the Battle of First Manassas.
  7. Name this man.

    No, I am not referring to the double surrender. I am not a devious sort (although some may disagree).
  8. Name this man.

    My turn, then. I commanded a sizable force of Rebel troops at the Battle of Shiloh; I am one of just a few (perhaps the only) Confederate general officer who surrendered (or was surrendered, that is, was a subordinate to the commander who signed the articles of surrender) twice to Union forces. I was born in the .... (well, that would make it even easier). Who am I?
  9. Name this man.

    Could it be Patton Anderson?
  10. Bragg at Corinth

    A Fabian policy is essentially a scorched earth policy - destroying any supplies that might succor an enemy as you fall back and refuse him battle. It was named for Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, surnamed Cunctator (280 BC - 203 BC). According to the all-knowing Wikipedia The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale. Employment of this strategy implies that the side adopting this strategy believes time is on its side, but it may also be adopted when no feasible alternative strategy can be devised. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_strategy
  11. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    It is not a true visit to the Shiloh National Military Park unless one traverses the Dill Branch Ravine.
  12. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    That is indeed the problem. The Epic Hike is an all-day affair, so a hike following the Federal units to the front line would actually be a matter of following one brigade and then backtracking to a different brigade camp, following it into battle, &c, &c, &c - perhaps not the most exciting hike. And the big drawback - there would be no reason to traverse Dill Branch.
  13. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    Some of us Stalwarts were talking among ourselves during the recent 2018 Anniversary hikes, trying to figure out suggestions for topics for Dr Smith's 2018 Epic Hike. One suggestion was to follow the route of Trabue's (mostly) Kentucky Brigade (a suggestion not put forth by your Faithful Correspondent), which could be lengthy, if one starts at the initial position on the Bark Road and follows it to its position in Crescent Field, then bushwhacking across Tilghlman Branch, and closing the encirclement of Prentiss et al. Then to the Indian Mounds, which ended its service on April 6. It spent the night in the camps of the 6th Iowa and 46th Ohio (McDowell's Brigade of the Fifth Division), clear across the Battlefield. Your Faithful Correspondent suggested some sort of an excursion in which the hike would follow the course of the Federal brigades into the fighting on April 6. The basis of this suggestion is that your Faithful Correspondent does not have a grasp of the location of the Federal camps, with the exception of the Fifth and Sixth Division brigade camps. One of the aspects of his recent book which he touts is its treatment of the April 7 actions which is deeper than that of other accounts, so perhaps Dr Smith could put together a hike dealing with the Second Day. He did discuss Lew Wallace's actions on April 7 in the afternoon installment of last year's Epic Hike. but there's a lot more to cover. Does anyone else have any suggestions?
  14. Anniversary Hikes

    Also, you may want to carry some rain gear. The 5th looks to have dry weather, but I am not so sure about the 6th and 7th (one more reason for dry socks). Hope you enjoy Dr Gentsch's hike. I just hope he speaks up - he so soft-spoken. See you Thusday!
  15. Anniversary Hikes

    Water, lunch, and dry socks are highly recommended. You will find no food vending at the Park (with the possible exception of a vending machine or two). The only all day hike this weekend, as far as I know, is Dr Gentsch's hike on the 5th. He likes to bushwhack, and one's footware may quickly become wet, if the morning dew is sodden (I learned the hard way in 2012 - ruined my feet for the remainder of the hikes). I am scheduled to go on Gentsch's Clausewitzian Interpretation hike on April 5, his Operational Account hike on April 6 am, Bjorn Skaptason's Confederate Left hike on April 6 pm, and Professor Gentsch's two hikes on April 7. I will also visit Fallen Timbers with Mr Skaptason on April 8 (I hope - didn't work out so well last year). Bjorn Skaptason likes to bushwhack as well (the description of his April 6 afternoon hike practically screams that he will be bushwhacking). Hope to see you!