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SJ Wells

What would locals have called it?

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Hi. I was told this is a good place to start, when I don't know where a question belongs. So, here's my first question.

When we talk about it, we just say Shiloh, but did locals at the time call it Pittsburg Landing? I'm thinking Yankees called it one thing and Confederates another, but I could be wrong. Thanks. :)

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Hello SJ,

I have seen a couple of period maps that refer to the name of Pittsburg Landing for the area while the name of Shiloh does not appear.  It may be Shiloh came into use after the event.

Ron

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S.J.,

My ancestors lived In the area at the time of the battle. While I knew only one ancestor who was alive at the time of the battle, everyone in my family always used "Shiloh" to refer to the battle and "Pittsburg Landing" to refer to a specific place--the area around the landing on the river. You might find some insight in my great-great aunt Elsie Caroline Duncan Hurt's diary at www.shilohdiary.wordpress.com.

John

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The Rebels most often named battles after a town or structure, while the Yanks often named them after waterways and such (Manassas vs Bull Run). Thus, when referring to the place, locals probably called it Pittsburg Landing and when referring to the battle, Shiloh.

 

Jim

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Thanks, Jim. :) I clicked on the link to the journal, but because it is a picture, my screen reading software didn't read it. Well, it read it, but it was a jumble of symbols and words. lol Just trying to get a sense of local sentiments. Some of my characters remain in the area after the battle, so I want to get a sense of what it may have been like for them. 

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Here it is, SJ. At the end of this post, you'll find a ink to a PDF document that includes about half of the diary. It's the half you need, though. It starts with some family ancestry background information and continues until the war is almost over. It's about 18,000 words total. First, let me add a few notes:

  1. This diary is a transcription of an old handwritten document. It contains a lot of transcription errors. I was able to fix most of them, but there are some names that I'm not sure how to fix, so I left them unchanged. For example, the full name of the person identified at "Middie" is Milberry Harriet Duncan Blevins. I have assumed that Elsie wrote "Millie" instead of "Middie," but I have seen no evidence that Milberry Harriet Duncan Blevins was ever called either "Middie" or "Millie," so I left it as "Middie."
  2. When Elsie mentions "the Pleasant Land," she is talking about the property we now call "Duncan Field." Contrary to most people's assumptions, Elsie says the Duncan family lived west of the current national park, not on Duncan field itself. However, she says Middie lived in the Duncan Field house. That's one of the most interesting stories in the diary.
  3. The person referred to as "Jim" is James K. Polk Duncan. He was about six weeks past his 15th birthday when he enlisted in the Confederate army. This may be important to your story because Jim and at least one of his brothers enlisted in a Kentucky regiment without ever leaving Hardin County, Tennessee.

Here's the link: https://shilohdiary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/elsie-diary-text-part-1.pdf

 

John

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S.J.

I agree with those who say that locals thought of Pittsburg Landing as the immediate area near the landing. However, when I was growing up there in the 40s and 50s the local address was Pittsburg Landing and the post office was on the park in the building that now houses the book store. I had several family ancestors who lived on or near the battlefield at the time of the battle, but they were not there during the fighting. 

 

Grandpa                                                                                                                                          

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