Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group
Ozzy

Guest Book?

Recommended Posts

Was looking on the Internet for 'the Civil War leader with the best sense of humour,' and somehow got directed to an article about President Dwight Eisenhower, and his close connection with the Gettysburg Battlefield. Interesting, but not what I was looking for...

 

But, it got me wondering: has Shiloh Battlefield (or Shiloh Cemetery or Shiloh Visitor Center) ever had a Guest Book/Register of Visitors? Was curious Who was the most famous/noteworthy visitor to the Shiloh National Military Park?

 

[by the way, the best answer to my first question seems to be Abraham Lincoln, for the Union. For the Confederacy, I've uncovered much support for J.E.B. Stuart.]

 

http://www.nps.gov/eise/historyculture/ike-and-the-civil-war.htm     (The Eisenhower article)

 

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't remember if I read this in one of Tim's books, but I've read that Helen Keller visited the park on at least one occasion. I think her brother worked there in the early days of the park. And I think they took one or more tandem-bike rides through the park together.

 

Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure that did come from one of Tim's books. Either that or Cindy Ott's manuscript. I posted a link to it on here somewhere. In any case, it's a great story. 

 

Perry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose I found the 'list of Shiloh visitors' intriguing, after reading about all the foreign dignitaries escorted by President Eisenhower on excursions to Gettysburg. Naturally, the proximity of that Pennsylvania battlefield to eastern population centres increases the likelihood of visits; whereas Shiloh has always been so far off the beaten path, only someone truly determined, and aware of its value, makes the trip.

 

After four days of searching, these are the 'notable visitors to Shiloh' I have uncovered: all making the journey in the 1890s, or later:

  • General John McClernand
  • General R. G. Shaver
  • General Lew Wallace
  • General J. R. Chalmers
  • General Don Carlos Buell
  • Colonel William Preston Johnston
  • Isham G. Harris
  • Ambrose Bierce
  • William Faulkner
  • Shelby Foote
  • Otto Eisenschiml

There are more, I'm sure, but these are the ones most people will be familiar with; and almost all of them, warriors or writers.

 

(I think Helen Keller was a writer, too.)

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ozzy......

 

Prior to World War I deployment, Gettysburg's Camp Colt was the military institution where tank corps recruits had their training.  It was located on parts of the Cordori, Smith and Bryan farms on the site of Pickett's Charge.  In fact, if you know where to look, you can still see vestiges of the old camp swimming pool.  Eisenhower's connection with Camp Colt lead to his purchasing land in Gettysburg for his home and post presidential retreat.  I was fortunate to have a private tour of the home.  It is a lovely place and well preserved by the National Park Service.

John F. Kennedy was also a student of the war and visited Gettysburg during his presidency.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belle

 

Good point, about Camp Colt. Because its creation and operation illustrates the rationale behind the War Department's support of the establishment of National Military Parks: not to be shrines, but to be centres of learning, and provide hands-on appreciation of military history, for future Officers. Mostly, their training was accomplished through the Staff Ride Program.

 

As regards Shiloh National Military Park, its establishment was not endorsed by the War Department, because it was believed to be 'too far away' to be of value as a training centre. Luckily, popular support from Midwestern States overwhelmed the War Department stand.

 

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Chickamauga National Military Park was used as a training ground for the Spanish-American War and, I think, the First World War.  Walking across Glenn Field, one can find remnants of lines for carrying aviation fuel, so it must have been used after the rise of military aviation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ozzy......

 

I have a number of the Staff Ride Program Guides of different National Military Parks in my personal library.  Unfortunately, they are boxed up right now during my unending house renovations.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Transylvania

 

And not only the Army (and aviation) benefited from use of the Military Parks. Upon return from WWI service in France, MGen John Lejeune was made Commandant of the Marine Corps, with HQ at Washington, D.C. He saw 'training' as a key component of his assignment; from 1921-1924 he organized Staff Rides to The Wilderness; Gettysburg; and the Shenandoah Valley. The Marine Corps Staff Ride to Antietam in 1924 is reported as having drawn 40,000 spectators.

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belle

 

I envy your collection of Staff Ride guide books. The few I have had the opportunity to read are 'dry as toast,' but factual to a fault (all the rumor and ego-inflation are removed, leaving raw data with which to construct a strategy, or explain a decision.) I am currently reading the Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Shiloh, by LtCol Jeffrey Gudmens (2003) and will post a detailed report of its contents in Resources.

 

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happened to the original Shiloh Church?

 

Reading the after-action reports from the Battle of Shiloh, it is apparent that the structure survived: I believe I read it was used as a temporary hospital. But, then it disappeared... And according to the attached record, it was due to the first visitors (souvenir hunters) to the battlefield. [Found in the Tennessee Library and Archives.]

 

Ozzy

 

 

1862-06-13 Chicago Times.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ozzy.....

 

With the heavy responsibility and serious bouts of depression Lincoln had, it's good to know he could escape with his stories thru humor.  How the man managed to keep the nation going,deal with the war and its grating personalities, direct his private life and overcome the death of family members and close friends is truly amazing.  His wit was sharp yet simply expressed and his amusing stories are still quoted today.  Laughter, after all, is the best medicine!  :)

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Union soldiers removed the planks from the Shiloh Church and used them in their camps.  Local civilians later rebuilt the church.

Ron 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron

 

I believe it was Lincoln who stated:  'A House divided, can not stand.'

 

It appears someone took his words to heart, and rebuilt the House [of Worship], before it disappeared forever.

 

 

Ozzy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belle

 

Too right, concerning Abraham Lincoln and personal tragedy. The strain, and evidence of loss, was truly felt, and reflected, by his wife, Mary.  But President Lincoln, instead of falling into a bottle, or wallowing in self-pity, became addicted to idioms, anecdotes and humorous stories.

 

Ozzy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...