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Shiloh 2013

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I always know when I've reached the South when I see this landmark:



Upon reaching the Park, I decided to check up on Julia and Hiram first. As I got out of the car, A gent pointed out Hiram sitting in a tree across the road from the nest site. As I got my camera out, he headed out to the east. As we watched, he landed in the old nest?!?! A few minutes later, he came flying in with a piece of the old nest (Pic didn't come out. Blurry. Equipment and operator not good enough for the challenge!). He then proceeded to work on the nest, which did not cheer up the two nestlings, who thought it was chow time.



The deer were all over the park. Here is a group attempting to keep the grass in Wicker Field down to a managable level for us visitors:


Of course it started a light rain last night and this morning. 5th time here and it has rained on the first day every time I'm here, then turns nice for the weekend. Forecast is for the same.


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This is my fifth visit to Shiloh. Every time I get here, it is raining, then the weather turns nice. So far, the rain part is holding up and the forecast is for four days of sunshine in the 70's. All things come to those who wait, even spring. The best part of Shiloh in the rain is having the Park to oneself. I stopped at the Bloody Pond,


but didn't have the same experience I had in the rain in 2005 there. I went to the 2005 visit folder of pictures, figuring I'd post the picture I took then, but discovered I didn't take one! I remember having the camera with me because I was carrying it in a plastic bag. HMMM!

On rainy days, you also get get see more wildlife than humans


Also saw some turkeys, but they were faster than my camera. Can always count on the eagles though:





Even one of the young uns poked out his head


Living out in the rain looks like it could be kinda tough





The very best thing to do on a rainy evening at Shiloh is to sit in the auditorium and listen to an interesting talk that compared Shiloh's terrain with other historical battlefields and it's effect on the battles.

All in all, not a bad start.


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I ran into Mr Jim today, as well as Steve and Jeani. Had a nice talk. Jim snuck up behind me while I was trying to figure out which direction to face for a then-and-now picture of the siege guns and Schwartz's Battery. But that's another subject for another day. Anyway, fortunately for me I turned around before he could scare what little hair I have left off my head. And yeah, he would have tried it!

Jim's right about the park and the rain. I got there about 5:30 yesterday evening, there was still a light mist falling, and the park was just about deserted. I was out and about for a couple of hours and encountered far more deer than people. Not quite that way today though. At least until about sundown. ;)


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The eagles were active yesterday morning. At least Julia and one eaglet were:





Of course, we all know how much kids can wear one out, so sometimes mom needs a nap:


At 10:30 I was in the Hornet's Nest where the 16th WI held off the 9th TN during Stephen's first attack:


Then I noticed the Arkansas Mon. showed the relative position of the attacking rebs:


Of course, everyone knows it's better to have the sun behind you. The rebs were attacking into the sun:


Like they needed any more challenges at that point!


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The snow flurries here this AM convinced me it would be a good time to download the last of the pictures I took. The first batch is of the Caravan Car Tours offered by the Park:

"Saturday and Sunday, April 6 - 7: Three-hour car caravan tours of the Shiloh Battlefield." Tours will

depart from the visitor center at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. These tours will take visitors to high-points on the battlefield in order to tell the story of the Battle of Shiloh. Each tour is limited to ten vehicles, so pre-registration is a must."

Now, I learned a few years back that it is impossible to run a clipboard, pen, camera and cane all at once, so if you want the dialogue, you will have to take the tour. The guides name is Jimmy and he seems to know his stuff. He has been to every monument and tablet on the Park. The tour starts at the visitors center and goes down to the landing:


After a condensed version of the war that brought Grant to the landing, we headed for Reconnoitering Rd:


and Fraley Field:



to hear about the beginning of the battle, which took us to the Union camp's:


We then proceeded to Sherman's area:


and went into some depth on the Union right:



In some of these stops, Jimmy would explain the action that happened there on both days of the battle.

The red headed woman and her grandfather had a report from their ancestor that fought with a Miss. Reg. I looked on my map, but couldn't find anything for that regiment. The guide looked them up in some books he had and found their brigade. As we moved over to the Union left. he added this brigade's action in Sarah Bell's Old Cotton Field as a stop:


He used that to transition to the action near Johnston's Mon:


As we were preparing to head north, he pointed out a ravine to the east that ran north. The Reb's used the ravine to flank the Union, which helped lead to the collapse of the Union left and the encirclement of the Hornet's Nest. This ravine runs up to about northeast of Wicker Field:




We then drove to Dill Branch. He told how the road wasn't there and due to the flooding, the gunboats were able to pull right into the ravine and fire down it very effectively during the attempted assault on Grant's Last Line.




He then gave a quick overview of the second day of the battle to end the tour.

It was an enjoyable tour that makes sense time wise the first day of the battle. There were a few things I did disagree with, such as the utter lack of mention of the 16th WI, but would recommend it.


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On Monday I got to the eagle nest just a little too late to watch the food delivery but I did catch the the eaglets feeding:







After the people leave, the wildlife come out:




The last two were taken out of the car window without using any type of zoom. The deer didn't seem to care that I was stopped there taking pictures of them.


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Just got back from a long day out there @ Shiloh...perfect sunny day, but with no clouds made the weather feel hotter than it really was. Loved a few of the new black signs they had posted out there, definitely helps things out at times when looking for a certain sign. I was shocked to see how they added the tour stops of 18, 19, & 20 over there by Dill Branch & Grant's Left Flank, glad they did those, turned out pretty neat. Still would have loved to of had a guide for the day out there though, I might have to look into hiring a personal guide for one of these days. I know local Tennessee historian Thomas Cartwright offers Shiloh tours as well as many other battlefields here in the south, might have to look into how much that will cost me.

On a quick sidenote...I got a quick chuckle when watching the new video seeing Stacy Allen playing Johnston, I dunno...for some reason it just made me laugh....he did a good job though and the video itself was very well done indeed, light years ahead of the older one!

The eagles were out and about and very playful with us people taking pics today, took me a second to realize the nest had been moved from last year almost right across the road. Good turn out overall though, I know the 5k run or whatever they had was going on there today as well sometime this morning, but I didn't see too much of it. Now just glad to be back home and dog tired from all the walking, I hear the couch calling my name! lol

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Sherm, I have met a guide by the name of Tom. He seems like a nice guy. I first met him on the Corinth 150th walks. He was increasing his knowledge so he could expand his tours. I saw him various times over the last week climbing in and out of a large van with numerous other people, so I believe he has a good business going.

I agree about the Park changes. It seems to going through a period of improvements. May it always be so. :)


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Good stuff on the car caravan tour, Jim. I ran across him a few times with groups he was leading, when I was wandering around the park. It's nice that they're still offering that option to visitors, rather than just the hikes. On the two folks with an ancestor in a Mississippi regiment, I'm guessing it was Statham's Brigade, given the picture you posted? They only have two markers for that brigade in the entire park, so not much to follow on any of the regiments, unfortunately. Neat that he was able to incorporate them into his presentation that way.

Student of Sherman, thanks for the overview of your visit. I can relate to a couch, a chair, and especially a bed, calling my name after walking around the park all day. :lol:

If you get the chance, you might think about joining us next November for our get-together with Tim Smith. He's an excellent guide, and if last November is any indication, we'll definitely cover some ground with him again!


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Student of Sherman, thanks for the overview of your visit. I can relate to a couch, a chair, and especially a bed, calling my name after walking around the park all day. :lol:

If you get the chance, you might think about joining us next November for our get-together with Tim Smith. He's an excellent guide, and if last November is any indication, we'll definitely cover some ground with him again!


Indeed, Tim Smith is an excellent guide...it was actually the videos of this group with Tim Smith last November on youtube that made me learn of this group and decide to join and take part. I'm definitely gonna plan on being there this November to partake in the fun, and also will try and make it out next April for the 152nd anniversary, seems like those 2 times are a few of the rare times to gain a great extra amount insight on everything regarding the battle.

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One thing I've learned about the anniversary is that it's wise to remain an extra day after the activities are over to rest up. If you like the Park when it's quiet, you need to see it after everyone has gone. On Tues. the 9th, there were only a couple of people at the visitors center and the people barely outnumbered the eagles at the nest site. As I was getting out the camera, I noticed that the usual guard eagle wasn't in the tree. Before I had time to look for it, the hungry youngsters got my attention:



That's when movement caught my eye:



About that time, someone called out that an eagle was incoming and would be coming over the north tree line:




Time to relax:


82 deg. Great day at the Park.

I thought off road vehicles weren't allowed at Shiloh!?!?


And why was Seay Field plowed?

Wildlife all over the place:




As all good things must come to an end, so too this trip. It was 76 deg. at 8:30 AM Wed. as I left Savannah. I stopped at Parker's Crossroads:



Beautiful building. I didn't do the driving tour as I need to read up on the action first. Something for the future. The temp climbed to 84 deg in KY.

As the Ohio River announces arriving in the south on the downward journey, it heralds the north going home:



Just after hitting IL, I hit a rain shower and the temp dropped to 73 deg. From there it was all downhill and was 39 deg as I entered WI. I haven't been warm since. Well, until 2014......


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