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Okay folks, we have our subjects set for our Epic Trek with historian Tim Smith on November 2nd. This year we're returning to our original format of examining two different subjects rather than just one, and I hope you agree that they're good choices. More details will be posted soon, but here's an overview for now: Our morning hike will focus on Union General Benjamin Prentiss and his controversial role in the battle and its aftermath. Did Prentiss save Grant's army, as we often hear, or is there more to the story? And was he responsible for alerting the Union army to the danger that morning, or was he, like Sherman and Grant, taken by surprise when the attack hit? We'll delve into these issues, and visit several sites around the battlefield associated with Prentiss, including his defensive position in the legendary Hornets Nest. (We may also have a chance to recreate a late 19th Century photograph that included the General.) After a break for lunch, our afternoon hike will be a subject suggested by SDG member Jim Franklin - we'll follow the Confederate approach to Grants Last Line, examining the challenges they faced and discussing the controversy that erupted after the battle over this aborted attack. Did Beauregard make the right call here, or should the Confederates have continued the attack? See the terrain in person and decide for yourself. A big thank you to Jim for the excellent idea! Again, more details will be posted soon. I'm already looking forward to the hikes, and seeing some familiar faces and hopefully some new ones as well. As always, feel free to post any questions you might have. Perry
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?
Tony's camera was cutting off on him from time to time during the Fort Donelson hike, but he was able to apply some of his editing skills to go along with his video skills, and put together a good video for us. So here you go, and big-time thanks again to Tony for doing this for us, and to Tim for putting together another outstanding hike.