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Shiloh NMP circa 1907

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Ran across the following letter about a year ago, but misplaced it... until found it again in a file with Jacob Lauman information. It is the Letter of Captain Henry L. Hadsell of the 28th Illinois Infantry (originally Co. I) to Edwin L. Hobart of the 28th Illinois, Co. D. Written April 12, 1907 at Barry, Illinois and is of interest:

  • Hadsell had just returned from the 45th Anniversary at Pittsburg Landing;
  • He describes the roads at the Park and their upkeep;
  • Trees of 1907 are compared to trees of 1862;
  • Interesting revelation of where bodies were laid out, after the battle;
  • Captain Hadsell was convinced that the Camp of the 28th Illinois was on the other side of the road.

"Edwin L. Hobart of Denver, Colorado

                                                                                                                                                                Barry, Illinois, April 12th, 1907

Dear Ed

You don't know how disappointed I was when I received your letter before starting for Pittsburg Landing saying you would not be with us. The trip was a grand success from start to finish, and Captain Holman [W.T. Holman of 21st Missouri, Rutledge MO] deserves great credit for his services in making it what it was. Everybody was pleased and satisfied; we arrived on time Saturday morning, April 6th. My first move was to break for our old camp, which was no trouble to find, accompanied as I was by S.M. Howard, George Reece and Debold Furrer; these were all of the 28th that were present.

We found our lines all correct (except our camp, which they have on the right side of the road instead of the left; it is only a few rods different, however, so that I have no kick.) The battle lines of every regiment are marked with cast iron tablets, with inscription of the regiment, etc.; we all decided they had done decidedly well; our own battle lines were correct, to a dot. They have a nice stone tablet located on our first line Sunday morning, near the Peach Orchard, with a record of the regiment inscribed upon it. That, I was proud of!  Oh, Ed, I thought of you when there reading the inscription, knowing how you would appreciate it. There is also a tablet in front of the siege guns showing where the 28th stood in line of battle Sunday night, and also where we made the charge on Monday morning. I went down to the spring below our old camp, and also visited the Indian Mound where we laid our dead; all of these grounds looked natural except for the growth of young timber that has come up since, the old timber having been cut out.

The old field between our camp and General Hurlbut's headquarters looks natural. All of the old fields on the battlefield are kept in grass, and the young timber has been kept trimmed up and the leaves burnt, so that it is truly a handsome park of 336 acres. The cemetery is located on top of the hill above the landing, just to the right of the road, and overlooks the Tennessee River; the yard of about four acres is inclosed with a fence and is laid off in blocks; each regiment has a marker. 

I visited our old camp twice, second time hired a carriage and took my wife and we drove all over the battlefield, and attended Shiloh Church. The old church burned down, but they have a new one on the foundation of the old. All of the roads have been preserved by grading and graveling them; I was told by the superintendent that there are 25 miles of roads on the field, graded and graveled.

Well, Ed, I could write a week about what I saw, but will close, having given you only the outline. Every state that had troops there have put up handsome monuments. Illinois is nice, but Iowa beats them all, and now I will turn you over to S.M. French for further particulars and information. 

Hoping to hear from you soon, yours, etc.,

H. L. Hadsell"

[Above letter found in the book, A Story of Vicksburg and Jackson 'Lest we Forget' and compiled from Official Records of the US and CS Armies, by Edwin L. Hobart; Denver, Colorado 1909. Pages 24-25.]

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/camps_r.htm    (Union Campsite map, showing 28th Illinois camp)




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when you look at the map i can see how the camp is postitioned on the opposite side of the road and out of line of the other camps

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