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Perry Cuskey    261

This is a picture I took at Shiloh last fall. Who wants to take a crack at naming where it is? Here's a kinda sorta hint: It's not the Sunken Road. :) 

20170319_131322.jpg

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Perry Cuskey    261

That's a good guess Hank, but it's not the Corinth Road.

I'll give another hint this evening if no one figures it out. 

 

 

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Ozzy    451

Perry

Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me again, there is an obelisque at the end of this quiet lane (symbolic of Indiana, a few Ohio, and one or two Tennessee monuments.) Otherwise, the leaf covered pathway presents as devoid of markers, memorials and munitions.

A possible observation

Ozzy

 

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Perry Cuskey    261
13 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Perry

Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me again, there is an obelisque at the end of this quiet lane (symbolic of Indiana, a few Ohio, and one or two Tennessee monuments.) Otherwise, the leaf covered pathway presents as devoid of markers, memorials and munitions.

A possible observation

Ozzy

 

Ozzy, this one is kind of tricky. It's hard to tell, but there are no monuments along this particular road. Well actually there is one, but it's a fair distance behind me in this picture. 

Another hint below. :)

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Perry Cuskey    261
1 hour ago, WI16thJim said:

Beauregard Road.

 

That's what I would probably guess if I didn't know otherwise, Jim. 

Here's another hint, and this one might give it away - think Yanks instead of Rebs. :)

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Perry Cuskey    261

We have a winner! :)

Hamburg-Savannah Road it is. The 'catch' about the picture is that, as Mona guessed, it's from the section of the road north of Highway 22, between there and Snake Creek. It's technically inside the park, but since it's across the highway from the rest of the park, and blocked by a gate to keep vehicles out, I doubt it gets many visitors. In fact, this was the first time I had ever been over there myself. Michele and I walked along it maybe half-a-mile or so before turning around near that downed tree across the road. And like I told Jim, I probably would have guessed it to be Beauregard Road if I didn't already know what it was. So congrats to Mona - she's now officially the River Road Queen. ;) 

Here's a screenshot from Google Maps. The red circle near the top shows the approximate location of the picture. 

River Road.jpg

 

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Perry Cuskey    261

I forgot to mention, even though it's kind of obvious - but Lew Wallace and his men traveled down this stretch of road on their famous (or infamous) march to the battlefield on April 6th, after crossing Snake Creek. You're looking north in the picture, so their line of march would have been toward the camera. 

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Ozzy    451

Well Done, Mona!

And thanks to Perry for "pointing out the obvious" ...because it required half an hour for me to confirm your claim that "Lew Wallace brought his 3rd Division down that lane (modern-day Hamburg-Savannah Road)."  But after comparing the Thompson Map of 1900 to the present road network, the claim is indeed true: modern Hamburg-Savannah Road runs east of Glover Branch (old Tilghman Branch) as it should.

So much road aligning and "straightening" of water courses has taken place since the Battle of Shiloh, it is difficult to pinpoint some historic locations with present-day maps. The loss of Owl Creek Bridge prevents knowing the precise course of the Shunpike with certainty; and the introduction of Route 22 (crossing Snake Creek so far east of historic Hamburg-Savannah Road) negates using Route 22 as anything but a modern-day construct. (Does Route 22 follow any historic roadway?)

The good news: possibly unintentionally, a section of road persists to this day at Shiloh NMP in much the same condition/alignment as existed in 1862... that leaf-covered, little-visited segment of Hamburg- Savannah Road.

Ozzy

 

References:  Google Maps

Thompson Map of 1900 (in DW Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged) page 134

http://archive.org/stream/battleofshilohor00unit#page/n133/mode/2up

 

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Ron    117

I'm glad that Mona' answer of the River Road was the road in question.  The picture showed a presently unused road what seems to have been used in past times.  Mona's answer is correct and that means my answer would have been correct also.  Congrats Mona.

Ron  

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Perry Cuskey    261

There are other sections of roads in the park that follow their wartime course, but yes, there has been a lot of adjustments, if you will, including by Thompson himself. And some wartime roads ("paths" is probably more accurate) aren't even there anymore, even as traces.  Some of them were still there when the park was first created, but are now completely gone. The two guesses that Hank and Jim made - the Corinth Road and Beauregard Road, look similar to that picture of the Hamburg-Savannah Road in stretches, and follow their respective wartime routes. 

I kind of doubt that the Hamburg-Savannah Road was unintentionally left intact though. If Thompson had felt it needed straightening or curving somewhere, it would have happened. But most visitors to the park still arrived via the Tennessee River up until about the 20's or early 30's, and I'd guess that then as now, the River Road didn't see a lot of visitor traffic. So there probably wasn't much point in making any significant changes. 

On Route 22, I don't believe it follows any historic route, no, at least north of the park. The "old" Highway 22, prior to the modern-day version opening in the early 60's I think it was, followed the Main Corinth Road through the park. A point that board member C.D. Rickman made during the anniversary weekend when the subject came up. C.D. said that locals referred to the new highway as the "bypass," and I think he added that long-time residents still do. 

Perry

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Ozzy    451

As regards the improvement of roads leading into the park... I would suggest prior to 1920 the bulk of Northern visitors arrived at Shiloh NMP by steamer. Southern visitors (predominantly those who lived nearby) probably arrived at the Park by wagon or motorized vehicle; but until the road from Corinth was reliably improved, I would suggest the majority of all visitors (travelling more than 100 miles to reach the site of the Battle) arrived by boat. [Which is part of the significance of that 1927 photo taken at Florence, Alabama of the Tennessee Belle. I imagine some of the Shiloh Veterans aboard her arrived at Florence by train.]

http://steamboats.com/museum/davet-photos7.html  Dave Thompson Collection, top image page 7.

No proof... just a theory

Ozzy

 

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Perry Cuskey    261

From my previous reply:

"But most visitors to the park still arrived via the Tennessee River up until about the 20's or early 30's"

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Ron    117

Yes Perry, your are right.  This road is the Hamburg-Savannah road looking north towards the Snake Creek Bridge (not seen in the picture). 

Jim,  not the Beauregard Road.  All you have to do is drive about 3 miles in a NE direction.

Mona, Again, very good.  I'll say you are exactly right.  If you move north on the road about 500 yards and drive a nail into the road, you got it.  I hope Perry sent you the grand prize. 

A point of observation is that the road is very flat with no high or low spots. If this is true, this would mean the road had been improved with a new surface and rolled flat.  This road, in the picture, looks very serviceable for use in modern times except for the lack of the Snake Creek Bridge.  Its my belief this road was used by the visiting tourists in earlier times.  All you got to do is remove the tree trunk.

Look close at the picture.  I think you will agree that you see a chain under the tree trunk hanging from one side only.  If so, this is probably the chain used to close the road in days long gone.  

Ron

(yes, I am still alive and kicking, just late in responding)

        

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mona    141

yes this part of the road is flat then one will go down a good hill to the bottom..which alot of the time one would need boots to slosh through to get to the bridge site.because you are walking through the bottom

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Stan Hutson    19

If you want to talk about roads at Shiloh, next time you are at Shiloh talk to Dude.  He grew up in the area, works as a Seasonal Interpretation Ranger, and he knows the area.  Some of his theories on roads will make you raise your eyebrows, as in, he has valid points, and the roads being "moved" over the years changes things (troop locations, etc.)

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Ozzy    451

And here is how U.S. Grant "viewed" the road on March 24th 1862: gun-barrel straight, from south to north, until it hit the bottoms (notice how wide was the flood in those bottoms in March 1862, where the Wallace Bridge resisted repair until April 4th.)

Pittsburg.jpg  MGen US Grant's Pittsburg Map

 

[Detail of Pittsburg Landing, March 24th 1862 found in Atlas of the Civil War.]

Cheers

Ozzy

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Ozzy    451

And now that we know what we're looking for: here is Sherman's Shiloh Map (Drawn before the Battle)

image.png

When Sherman's "River Road" (twisted slightly counter-clockwise) is compared to US Grant's estimation, it is discovered that both Generals portrayed the Hamburg-Savannah Road to be long and straight (and I believe) easily identified. It is also obvious that both Generals were aware of this road... which proved crucial on April 6th. Unlike the Sunken Road (which appears to have been selected by accident), the River Road was chosen. It is my belief that during Grant's mid-afternoon meeting with Sherman, he authorized General Sherman to fall back to the River Road, and no further. Part of the reason was due necessity to keep possession of that road, and its Snake Creek Bridge, which Lew Wallace was ordered to use on his trek to Pittsburg Landing. The other reason, I believe, was simple practicality: here was an easily identifiable line, on the correct side of Tilghman Branch, cut into the ground for an army to adopt as its own. "Form along that line!" becomes a lot easier, and quicker, when the line is already prepared.

Also, I believe General Grant's direct orders to the 81st Ohio and at least one other unit directly impacted on setting up the River Road for use as "Grant's Last Line -- northwest segment." Webster's Siege Guns accomplished a similar role along the east-west segment: created a rallying point for troops to extend from, east and west.

Ozzy

 

 

 

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Perry Cuskey    261

I'm not sure I understand the emphasis on Grant and Sherman being aware of the Hamburg-Savannah Road. Has it been suggested somewhere that they weren't aware of it?

I think the Sunken Road's selection was more a matter of circumstances than accident. (Which is also how I'd characterize the choice of the Hamburg-Savannah Road late on the 6th as part of the final defensive line.) The troops from Wallace's & Hurlbut's divisions were on the way to help Prentiss and Sherman, but the situation had quite clearly changed before they got there, especially on Prentiss' front, making a continued advance rather senseless.  (You can't see Prentiss's position from the Peach Orchard/Sarah Bell Cotton Field area today due to the intervening woods, but contemporary accounts make it clear that they could do so at that time.)The common-sense decision was made to stop and form a new line, the only question being where. The Sunken Road made for a natural choice for Wallace's men under the circumstances, and Hurlbut, after initially setting up in Sara Bell's Cotton Field,  eventually aligned  his Peach Orchard front along approximately the same axis. What was left of Prentiss's division became a good way of connecting those two divisions, and making the new Union line more or less continuous, even though there were still gaps to fill.

So even though it wasn't a line that was formed by design, I don't think it was completely by accident. It was a result of circumstances combined with a series of common-sense decisions. 

As you say though, roads make for logical stopping/rallying points, which is something that Bjorn pointed out on one of the anniversary hikes last April, focused coincidentally on the western section of Grant's Last Line along the Hamburg-Savannah Road. There were several things that went into making it an obvious stopping point for the retreating Union troops at that point in the battle. 

Perry

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Ozzy    451

Perry

One of the curious aspects encountered during study of the Battle of Shiloh, revolves around its maps: no two maps of Pittsburg Landing drawn prior to 1865 match each other. The maze of roads in vicinity appears to have been too great a challenge to accurately record: perhaps each map-maker differed in regard to focus, and emphasized "major roads," or "roads most used," or "roads particularly useful." or roads potentially useful... Whatever the focus, it is satisfying when "points of agreement" are discovered, one map to another, as it assists in unravelling the road network and siting significant actions; as well as revealing the "thinking and mindset" of the map-maker.

As you exposed to the rest of us with your recent photograph of the River Road: that road is impressively long and straight (ignore the post-battle re-aligned segment behind you, for a moment.) Sherman and Grant also noted this characteristic of the River Road (aka Hamburg-Savannah Road) and recorded it, via their maps. (The River Road further benefited by having a potentially important bridge along its line, to the north.) Of the two maps, Sherman's is more accurate for alignment (NNW -SSE as opposed to North-South) but Grant's is more accurate for including width of the impassible bottoms in the weeks leading up to Battle of Shiloh. The flooded Snake Creek prevented use of the River Road north to Crump's Landing until late on April 4th, when LtCol McPherson "finished" major repairs to the Wallace Bridge. (Finished not exactly accurate, because the approaches to the bridge had yet to be installed, leaving the Snake Creek crossing incomplete up through April 6th 1862.)

And it does not appear that any Federal troops made use of Wallace bridge, until... about 9:45 on morning of April 6th, General Grant, while riding west to meet with Sherman, encountered elements of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry lined up, awaiting orders. Grant dispatched Lieutenant Frank Bennett, Company A, to ride north along the River Road to Crump's, "give my compliments to General Lew Wallace, and tell him to come immediately, you being the escort." [http://archive.org/stream/historyofcompany00flet#page/50/mode/2up see page 50]. From this moment, the River Road becomes disproportionately important, relative to all other roads (in the mind of U.S. Grant). Maintaining control of the Wallace Bridge, and the road leading to it, are vital. Many of Grant's subsequent actions, over the course of the day, may be viewed with "control of the River Road" in mind.

Now, consider the "old farm lane" put to use by Colonel James Tuttle: can you find it on the map of Grant or Sherman?

All the best

Ozzy

 

N.B.  As regards "obvious stopping point" -- in reference to an orderly withdrawal of Sherman's and McClernand's troops towards the east -- have a look again at Sherman's Pittsburg Landing map: where did he place the "Tilghman Branch?" Since Grant and Sherman must have made use of Sherman's map in their discussions on April 6th, I believe it was beneficial, if not necessary, for Grant to clarify the proper relationship of River Road to Tilghman Branch, and its potentially protecting ravine, to reassure Sherman of the advisability of use of the River Road as "fall-back position." 

 

 

 

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Ozzy    451

Here is one final challenge...

Name a single Federal soldier, who made use of the River Road (a.k.a. Hamburg-Savannah Road), in completing a journey between Crump's Landing and Pittsburg Landing -- in  either direction -- prior to April 3rd 1862.

Ozzy

 

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mona    141

i am going say --us grant...he arrived in savannah march 17th and he rode down to the landing several times..and on one trip the horse slipped in the mud and this is were he received the severe injury to his leg.

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