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Perry Cuskey

Anniversary Hikes

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As with the living history weekend events, below is a copy-and-paste of the anniversary hikes. If, like me, you can't make it to this year's hikes, reading through this list will give you a good reason to start planning a visit for the 2010 anniversary. In the meantime, if you can't make it this year, I'd only advise reading the list below when your head is not in close proximity to a wall. The banging sounds might worry someone.

You can read the original list on the Shiloh NPS site by clicking on the following link:

Anniversary Hikes

Below is the list of hikes from that web site. Please note that if you plan to attend, they do ask that you make reservations ahead of time for each hike you wish to join. You'll also notice that Bjorn Skaptason, a former park ranger and one of our members here, is back to lead more hikes again. I'd suggest joining him on at least one hike, more if possible. Be sure to introduce yourself, and mention that you're a member here. That is, if you can catch up to him. Rumor has it that his walking speed is a touch faster than my running speed...

Reservations must be made in advance to participate in the battlefield hikes.  To participate in one or more of the battlefield hikes, please contact Park Rangers Joe Davis, Charlie Spearman, or Chris Mekow at the Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center at 731-689-5696. Registered participants should meet the guides at the appointed sites, and are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing and footwear as some terrain will be difficult.  Visitors attending more than one hike are encouraged to have food and water available.

The following are the anniversary hikes which are being offered, with starting times and distances of each program.

Monday, April 6th, 2009 Battlefield Hikes

5:15 a.m. ------ FRALEY FIELD:  THE BATTLE BEGINS

Meet at Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center at 5:00 a.m.

Hiking Distance: Union Hike-2 Miles Roundtrip, Southern Hike-1 Mile Roundtrip

Type of Terrain:  Moderate

Join Park Volunteers Bjorn Skaptason, and Jeff Gentsch on a two hour battlefield hike which will introduce visitors to the events surrounding the opening shots of the battle. These hikes will follow the approach of the Northern and Southern soldiers and will arrive in Fraley Field at sunrise.  After arriving at the Visitor Center, hikers will divide into two groups.  Visitors participating in the Northern advance will drive to Tour Stop #10, where their hike will begin. 

This group will retrace the route of the Federal reconnoitering party ordered out by Colonel Everett Peabody.  The second group will drive to the edge of Fraley Field, where their approach will begin.  This group will retrace the Confederate skirmishers trek and take their position in Fraley Field.  The two groups will encounter each other at daylight in Fraley Field, just as the Union and Confederate soldiers met on that historic morning of April 6th, 1862.  The Northern advance will require a two mile roundtrip hike, while the Southern approach will require a one mile roundtrip hike.  Each of the hikes will cover moderate terrain. 

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ----- BATTLE IN THE RAVINES: GENERAL CHALMERS CONFEDERATE ASSAULT

Meet at the first right turn past Tour Stop #10

Hiking Distance:  3.25 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderate to Difficult

Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch to explore the Confederate assaults against the Union left flank.  As the Confederate line began to extend east and west of the initial contact points, poor planning and intelligence undermined their effort to turn the Federal left flank away from the Tennessee River.  Groping and grasping to locate the end of the Federal line on the eastern section of the battlefield, Confederate officers were hard pressed to find solutions for the lack of accurate maps, difficult terrain, and stubborn Union resistance.  This allowed the Federal units to blunt the Confederate attack, profoundly influencing the course of the battle.

This program will discuss the initial advance and redeployment of the Southern troops as they were attempting to locate the left flank of the Union defensive line.  The use of maps in conjunction with existing terrain will illustrate elevation differences.  The hike will view ravines on the Confederate right which provided a tough tactical obstacle for the Confederate brigades of General James Chalmers, and General John Jackson.  These ravines combined with a stubborn Northern defense caused a considerable time delay for the Southern forces.  The program will also visit the death site of General Albert Sidney Johnston, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of leading troops from the front lines and leading troops from the rear of the advance.

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ------ ALONE ON THE UNION LEFT: COLONEL DAVID STUART`S STUBBORN DEFENSE 

 

Meet at the Tour Stop #11

Hiking Distance:  1.25 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderate to Difficult

Colonel David Stuart and three isolated Union infantry regiments, with no artillery support, withstood the fierce assaults of two Confederate infantry brigades, supported by two artillery batteries.  Because of Stuart`s determined stand, the left flank of the Union line was not turned early in the battle.  This Northern defensive position allowed Federal reinforcements the needed time to move forward and deploy on the Peach Orchard battle line. 

Join Park Ranger Chris Mekow as he explains why Colonel David Stuart and his Northern soldiers were present in this particular location.  This hike will also describe the fierce attacks of General Chalmers` and General Jackson`s Confederate brigades and how these assaults developed.  The lingering controversy surrounding the "hard-luck" 71st Ohio Infantry Regiment, accused of fleeing in front of the enemy, will be examined.  Included in this program will be a walk through a deep ravine which played an important part in the story. 

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ------ IN THE SHADOW OF THE BATTLE LINES: WARRIORS AND NON-COMBATANTS AT SHILOH

Meet at the Tour Stop #7

Hiking Distance:  2 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderately easy, utilizing paved roads, and trails

Join Bjorn Skaptason to explore the fierce fighting north and south of Shiloh Methodist Church.  Few battles involved more non-combat personnel and civilians getting caught up in the military combat than Shiloh.  On the day of the battle the Shiloh Chapel-Pittsburg Landing area was "home" to over 40,000 people - fighting soldiers and non-combat military personnel, civilians, and residents.  What was the significance of the fighting around the Shiloh Church?  What non-combat factors affected the fighting?  How did enlisted soldiers who were unable to participate in the combat contribute to their regiments?  This program will discuss the fighting on the west side of the battlefield around Shiloh Church, but will also examine the stories of the those people who struggled to survive in the shadow of the battle lines by looking at non-combat factors on the morning of April 6th, 1862. 

The program will discuss the intense fight in Rea Field, south of Shiloh Church, including the determined stand of Captain Allen Waterhouse`s Illinois Battery, and the Confederate flanking maneuver in this area.  This hike will also discuss the Union defensive position, and the assaults by the Southerners against the crossroads, north of Shiloh Church.  A description of the experiences of non-combatants, such as civilians living on the battlefield, women and families in the Union camps, and military personnel not involved in the battle will be presented to the group. 

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ------ THUNDER IN THE THICKETS: THE DOUBLE ENCIRCLEMENT OF THE HORNETS`S NEST

Take the first left past the Confederate Monument and park on the gravel circle.

Hiking Distance:  2.75 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderate

The double encirclement has either been a quest of military planners, or a coincidence of battle that has lead to resounding victories and humiliating defeats.  Using the double envelopment of Union forces in the center of the Northern line on April 6th as a focal point for comparison, a discussion of the similarities between Shiloh, Cowpens, and the Battle of Cannae will offer fresh historical perspective on warfare in general, and Shiloh in particular.

Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch and explore the topography of Tilghman Branch, discuss the historiography of the Sunken Road - Hornet`s Nest position, and how it influenced the "horseshoe" shape of the double envelopment.  The program will continue describing the fighting along the Hornet`s Nest position, and discussing the topography and how it affect the combat, and eventually the surrender of the Sunken Road.  This program will also include a stop at General Benjamin Prentiss` surrender site.

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ------  GENERAL McCLERNAND`S FIGHT IN THE BRUSH: THE COLLAPSE AND RALLY ON THE UNION RIGHT

 

Park on the asphalt area west of the Michigan State Monument.

Hiking Distance:  2.5 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderately difficult, utilizing park trails, with cross-country hiking through fields, woods, and ravines

By the mid-afternoon of April 6th, 1862, Union resistance on the west side of the battlefield was bending under the pressure of heavy Confederate attacks.  By 3:30 p.m. General William Sherman, and General John McClernand withdrew their division to the eastern side of Tilghman Branch ravine, and General McClernand was struggling to maintain contact with Union units on his left flank. 

Join Bjorn Skaptason as he hikes across this important terrain, and discusses the movements of the soldiers of the North and South.  Why did the Confederates fail to take advantage of an enormous opportunity to crack the teetering right flank of the Federal line?  Walk the ground of Colonel Preston Pond`s Confederate assault, and of the Confederate fratricide, discuss the rally of General William Sherman`s Division, and learn about the arrival of General Lew Wallace`s Union Division.

4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ------  A DESPERATE FINAL STAND: GENERAL GRANT`S LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

Meet at the Visitor Center

Hiking Distance:  4 miles

Type of Terrain: Moderate to difficult, & rough; Good hiking shoes recommended  

By the afternoon of Sunday, April 6, 1862, General Grant`s Army of the Tennessee appeared to be defeated and in danger of being wiped out by Confederate attacks.  The Union forces had been pushed back all day and had lost heavy numbers of casualties.  By nightfall, though, Grant`s army had managed to hold on to Pittsburg Landing with a last defensive line paving the way for victory on April 7th

Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman for a four mile hike exploring how this defensive line was formed and visit the high water mark of the Confederacy.  Participants will gain a feel for how the terrain influenced the flow and outcome of the Battle of Shiloh.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 Battlefield Hikes

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ------ "THIS BATTERY WAS A HOST IN ITSELF": CPT. TERRILL`S REGULARS & THE FIGHT FOR THE WIDOW BELL FARM

Meet at Tour Stop #14

Hiking Distance:  2 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderately easy, utilizing park trails, with cross-country hiking through fields and woods

General Don Carlos Buell`s Army of the Ohio labored under a severe disadvantage in artillery during the second day of fighting of April 7th, 1862.  Only three under-supplied batteries supported his army.  Fortunately for General Buell and his men, these units performed with exemplary courage and skill during the bloody second day at Shiloh.  That performance was largely due to the leadership of a small cadre of career officers, like Captain William R. Terrill.  Why did the regular artillery perform so well at Shiloh?  How did these regulars differ from other batteries on the field?  How exactly did these tough redlegs "serve the guns" on April 7th, 1862?

Join Bjorn Skaptason as he describes the organization and the early history of Captain Terrill`s Regular Army Artillery Battery.  The importance of both Union and Confederate artillery on the battlefield of Shiloh will be discussed.  Follow Terrill`s Battery across the fields of Shiloh, as the role of the battery is described, including the action on the Widow Bell Farm.

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. -----SECOND DAY OF DEVASTAION: FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY TO A THREE ARMY BATTLEFIELD

Take the first left past the Confederate Monument and park on gravel circle.

Hiking Distance:  2 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Moderate to Easy

The engagement of April 6th, 1862 changed the face of the Pittsburg Landing - Shiloh community forever, but in the short term it seriously affected how the armies moved and fought on April 7th, the second day of battle.  Furthermore, with the addition of General Don Carlos Buell`s Army of the Ohio the previous night, the battlefield became even more congested and difficult to navigate, especially considering that there was no time to convert the two Union armies into a homogenous force.

Join Dr. Jeff Gentsch as he provides a description of the battlefield on the morning of April 7th, 1862, with emphasis on the muddy conditions and the detritus of battle, and how they transformed the community into a battlefield.  Follow the movement of the Army of the Ohio as these Northern forces press the Confederates back over the ground won by the South on the previous day.  The program will discuss how Confederate defenses were implemented using concealment and reverse slope positions.  This hike will allow the participants to view the Union perspective of the reverse slope conditions.  The presentation will also discuss how the damage that occurred on April 6th had a profound impact on troop movements on April 7th, the second day of combat.  

1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ------ TURNING THE TIDE: GENERAL JOHN McCLERNAND`S COUNTERATTACK

Meet at the park`s picnic area located on State Highway 22.

Hiking Distance:  2.5 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Difficult, passing through woods off-trail, and across deep ravines

By the morning of April 7th, 1862, the divisions of General U. S. Grant`s Army of the Tennessee that fought in the battle on April 6th were disorganized and exhausted, having suffered enormous casualties the day before.  Yet, like their Southern opponents, they were required to get organized and fight another day.  How did the divisions attacking on the Union center during the morning and early afternoon manage to regain some fighting power?  How did their attack succeed, and in what ways did it fail?  This program will focus on the Union attack across the left center of the battlefield, and on Confederate attempts to repulse the Federals, and regain the momentum of the battle. 

Discusses the advance of General McClernand`s Division, and the situation of having to reconnect with General Sherman`s Division.  The program will describe the difficulty of maintaining alignment in the forested area, and the Confederate defense.  The presentation will also interpret the experiences of Henry Morton Stanley, of the 6th Arkansas Volunteer Infantry.

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ------ STRUGGLE FOR THE CROSSROADS: THE CONFEDERATES FIGHT TO SAVE A VICOTRY

Meet at tour stop #5

Hiking Distance:  1 Mile

Type of Terrain:  Easy

The area near the crossroads of the Hamburg-Purdy Road and the Corinth Road was one of the most fought over portions of the Shiloh Battlefield on both days of the battle.  By noon on April 7th, the Confederates had been pushed back to the vicinity of the Crossroads and Woolf Field.  A desperate and bloody struggle was being waged as both sides attempted to gain control of the field of combat.  The battle action was also beginning to be influenced by the physical conditions of the tired soldiers of both North and South.

Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman as he describes the fighting near Water Oaks Pond.  The program will discuss the fierce Confederate counter attacks, some of which were led by General P. G. T. Beauregard personally.  These assaults were an attempt to regain the initiative and to attempt to preserve what had appeared to be a Southern victory on the evening of April 6th, 1862.  The presentation will also provide a description of the last Confederate stand near Shiloh Church, before the withdrawal order was given by General Beauregard. 

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 Battlefield Hikes

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ------ "THAT DEVIL FORREST": UNION PURSUIT AND THE BATTLE OF FALLEN TIMBERS

Meet at Visitor Center.

Car Caravan Distance:  Approximately 8 Miles

Type of Terrain:  Tour by Vehicle

Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and follow the route of the Union pursuit of the retreating Confederates after the Battle of Shiloh.  Participants will visit the location of the Fallen Timbers Battlefield where Colonel, (who later would receive the rank of General), Nathan Bedford Forrest led Confederate cavalry in an attack on Union General William Sherman`s pursuing troops.  Colonel Forrest would be badly wounded in this battle action.  The program will conclude near the location of Mickey`s farmhouse where Confederate General John Breckenridge commanded the rear guard.  This particular location was also a site for a field hospital where Confederate wounded received medical treatment.  This program will present information on the nature of the Union pursuit and explain why the pursuit would be stopped.

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ------  PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND SHILOH

Meet at Visitor Center

Hiking Distance:  1 Mile

Type of Terrain:  Easy, walking along open ground and paved trails

This Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial program will explore President Lincoln`s relations to the Battle of Shiloh and how it affected his personal life, his role as Commander-In-Chief, and historic memory of the battle.  President Lincoln understood the importance of the country west of the Appalachian Mountains to the war.  His family members, friends, and neighbors fought at Shiloh, and some of them lost their lives in this memorable engagement.  What impact did the Commander-In-Chief have on this battle?  What impact did it have on Lincoln himself.  How do President Lincoln`s words, as much as his policies, affect our memory of Shiloh and the American Civil War?

Join Bjorn Skaptason as he describes Abraham Lincoln`s life in Illinois, his argument for war, and the Union war policies in the spring of 1862.  Explore Lincoln`s personal acquaintances with Robert Ingersoll, and William and Fanny McCullough, and his personal experiences as a result of the Civil War such as the death of Samuel Todd.

Fees: $3 per Individual or $5 Per Family (Park Entrance Fee)

Contact: Shiloh Visitors Center

731-689-5696

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Wow, the anniversary is less than a month away now. Time flies when you're banging your head against a wall. :)

Would anyone like to start a discussion related to any of the upcoming hikes? Sort of as a warm-up to attending if you're going, or a consolation prize if you're not. I know we're getting pretty close to the anniversary now, but no time like the present. If you're attending the hikes, it could give you a chance to get a little pre-hike study time in.

Remember too, if you plan to attend and have not yet registered, you need to do so. Give the park a call at 731-689-5696, and tell them you want to register for the hikes.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate again this year. Last year was pretty nice after a bit of a cold and soggy start. The year before that was just flat cold. Even had a little snow at one point. So keep an eye on the weather, and plan to dress accordingly. Either way though, I'd recommend taking along at least one jacket, just in case. Especially if you're going on the Dawn Patrol hike. That one can get pretty chilly. But, I would strongly recommend going on that hike if you can. When you're out in the park before sunrise, and then find yourself standing in Fraley Field as dawn breaks, you'll understand why it was worthwhile.

Perry

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Perry: it was a toss up between trying to make the pre dawn hike or going on the last hike of the day, A Final Desperate Stand General Grant's Last Line of Defense. I chose the latter among others because I did not want to have to drive from Savannah to Shiloh in the dark. What a wimp you say! Might still try and sneak out to Farley Field after the crack of dawn. I signed up for 3 hikes on Saturday and 2 on Sunday so it should be entertaining. Sharon

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Sharon - headlights. :)

Just kidding. I know after last year, I'm not sure I'd care to drive across the bridge over the Tennessee River again when it's dark and foggy at the same time. The park is absolutely beautiful in the mist, but crossing that bridge when you can't see beyond your front bumper, that was interesting. :)

The hike about Grant's Last Line should be very good. They did a similar one a couple of years back, that I think was the longest hike of the weekend. Darn cold, but worth it. The climax was crossing Dill Branch Ravine, re-tracing the futile Confederate assault in that area. Due to all the trees and undergrowth it's really tough to get a sense of just how large that ravine is until you're down in it. But then you get a sense of why I call it Dill Branch Canyon instead of Dill Branch Ravine. That thing is huge.

Can't remember for sure, but I think if you were to leave Savannah around 6:00, it's getting pretty light by then, and you can still be to the park nice and early. Both of the past couple of years, I got to the park by about 6:00 or 6:30 on the 7th, and had just about the entire park to myself until it was time for the hikes to begin that morning. You can get some great pictures, but even barring that, just being out there that time of day is worth it. But, the same is true for sunset as well. Just hard to beat sunrises and sunsets in a Civil War park. Especially one as off by itself as Shiloh.

Perry

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Perry: You are right about the headlights, the ones that are coming in the opposite direction that I a going. I will take your advise & try to get to Shiloh as early as possible because I really do want to take pictures at dawn. Any special place a person should shoot for? How about good locatons for sunsets? Bet the east side of the river would be good. Sharon:cool:

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Are we going to have a "Shiloh Discussion Group Convention"  for the lack of a better name during that weekend??  If so,  maybe we need to set up a date and time..  I think I am going to drag in there on Saturday about noon..  Maybe a little earlier..

In regards of where to take the best pictures at daylight..  If there is fog anyplace in the woods is pretty neat..  Photographing  monuments and cannon in the mist can result in some really great pictures..  The Peach Orchard, Review Field, Bloody Pond all make pretty good pictures around sunrise and sunset...

Rebel

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In regards of where to take the best pictures at daylight.

Thanks for the info. I should have more than one opportunity to be at these various places throughout the days I will be there April 4-7.:)

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Are we going to have a "Shiloh Discussion Group Convention"  for the lack of a better name during that weekend?? 

That sounds like fun.  Mona & I are going to be around.  I think Jim is still coming Right Jim?  A local should have a good idea where we might meet & when.  Sharon:D

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Hi Yall--first Perry's puppy is a Golden Retreiver and the hikes  are Monday,Tuesday,wednesday(Sharon I think you typed monday/Tuesday)I sure hope more sign up as yesterday-sunday-There were at most 5 people-including sharon and I-on 1 hike -then anywhere from 1-3 the rest of the way.they place a notice in the local papers.also I'm working with the owner of Cherry Mansion to have it open for tour probably on sunday as she'll be out of town that Sat.--But I'll let yall know and I highly recommend that visit as its been several years since she's opened it.some of the hikes appear to be a private guided event so sign up if you plan as they The rangers are beginning to be concerned.And as to the get-together-I'm going to be right there Ive volunteered to help park cars on Sunday--but when I know the time I cantell them I need to go-so let me know.

counting down the days--Mona

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Mona.....

When Perry and I drove by the Cherry Mansion when visiting Shiloh several years ago, we both stayed in the car since there were multiple large barking dogs roaming the area.  They were excellent guard dogs and sure kept us in our place!  :shock:

The Manassas Belle

 

 

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Yes the owners have BIG dogs--and only open the home to visitors very few times a year.I spoke to the o' last evening and she's trying to plan Sunday afternoon with tours.And all dogs will be kenneled at that time so you wont have to worry about that--just the "town dogs"

Mona

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Ugh! I have tried to remove this post but the technology has failed me!:? Thought you uns might enjoy another one of those articulate, capable, handsome Union generals, one of James B McPherson's right hand men!!

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Glad everyone liked my St. Patrick's avatar. (And if anyone ever threatens to pinch you on St Patrick's Day because you don't have any green, bring up this web site and point to your computer. You'll be covered. ;)) The dog is actually a special breed known as an Irish Hatted Smiling Retriever.Honest. :D

Sharon - That's Black Jack Logan, isn't it? He's of interest to me because I've wondered if his career path during the war might have been similar to what happened with Everett Peabody, had he survived Shiloh. But, I'll save that for another time.

Mona - thanks for your efforts concerning the Cherry Mansion. That would be wonderful if the owner agreed to open the house to visitors for a day or two around the anniversary. (Those dogs that Eileen mentioned gave me quite a start. We were stopped in front of the Cherry Mansion when one of them got right up beside my door before I knew he was there, and cut loose with a bark that sounded like a cannon going off beside me.) I've never been inside the house, but like everyone else, I'd love to do so someday. Sort of like the Stone House at Manassas. (Inside joke. Literally.)

On the small number of folks signed up for the hikes so far - just guessing, but part of that, or maybe more than just part, might be due to the economy right now. Not as many folks traveling. But I'm also going to guess that you'll get a fair number of people who don't sign up for any of the hikes until they arrive at the park that weekend. I'll bet you get a pretty good number of folks when all is said and done. I hope so anyway.

Tom - Are you or Nita going to be working at the park over the anniversary? Or perhaps at the Interpretive Center down in Corinth?

Perry

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That's Black Jack Logan, isn't it?

Yes Perry it is Major General John Alexander "Black Jack " Logan from Illinois. I do not think he was at Shiloh because he was recovering from serious wounds received at Ft. Donelson He was affiliated with the Army of the Tennessee for years & briefly took over command of the army after the death of McPherson at Atlanta on July 22, 1864. Sherman gave Oliver Otis Howard command of the Army of the Tennessee after McPherson's death instead of Logan. It was the West Point thing. Am not sure Black Jack ever forgave him. He did retaliate by supporting bills in Congress to cut the General in Chief's (Sherman's) pay substantially after the war. They passed. As they say paybacks are a b----.

So what is the Peabody connection? Sharon

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Perry,

I will be working the parking detail up at Shiloh. I'm not sure where I will be though. In the past I have been in the road in front of the bookstore so I'll be there or in Wooolf Field. Nita is till unsure if she will be at Shiloh or Corinth. Probably at Shiloh as the manager is recovering from some surgery and there will be two book signings. Corinth is traditionaly very quiet over that weekend.

Tom

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Count me in on the Cherry Mansion tour..  Also, I have seen a portion of a post referring to John A Logan.. but cannot seem to find the post it is related to.. He is from my hometown and I have an interest in him..

Also, on a different subject.. Has anybody noticed any misfiring cannon on the home page??  I am not sure they are firing when they should be..

Mona..  I am all signed up for the hikes..  I don't think the rangers should fret.. I think it was last year I did not sign up before I got to the park..

Rebel

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Hi rebel--I also have had the cannon continue to fire even after I've read all and like this am the cannon was not firing one this section but I knew I'd not read an entry dated 3-19 so I've also taken to scrolling down and checking dates on the entryt and over to the left all the new entries has helped.See you soon.I do think thatb there are alot of locals that are waiting till the last mionute as I remember signing up several on the Sat before the hikes.So I'm still optimistic.Mainly hope that we dont have the rain like last year so yall wont need boots.

Mona

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