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Shiloh Discussion Group
Tony Willoughby

Anniversary Hikes

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Dates: 04/06/2011

Times:  5:00 AM to 6:30 PM

Location:  Shiloh National Military Park   Summary: Join Shiloh rangers and volunteers as they lead in-depth hikes on the actual days of the battle. Participants must register in advance by calling 731-689-5696   Fees: $3 per adult, $5 per family, 15 and under free.   Details:


Fraley Field: The Battle Begins, 500-700am

Visitors will meet at the Visitor Center at 5:00 am. After arriving at the visitor center and paying entrance fees, hikers will divide into two groups. Visitors participating in the Northern advance will drive to Tour Stop #9 where their hike will begin. This group will retrace the steps of Peabody's reconnoitering party. 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 just as the CS and US troops met on April 6, 1862. The Northern advance will require a two mile hike while the Southern approach will require a one mile roundtrip hike. Each of the hikes will cover moderate terrain.

The Union Center and the Retreat of Prentiss, 7:30 - 9:30 am

As the fire-fight in Fraley Field gave way to general battle, the Confederate army began to implement its plan as the Union forces scrambled 

to confront the great grey host. Prentiss' Division, fighting in front of its camps, 

was pushed back steadily as the Confederate Brigades of Shaver and Gladden 

surged forward. With only 7 regiments at his disposal, Prentiss put up a fierce 

resistance from 7 -9 am., when Chalmers' Brigade moved east 

of Spain Field and outflanked the Union resistance. The terrain to hike will 

be "Moderate to Difficult." Hikers will meet at the first right turn past Tour Stop #9.

Following General Cleburne, 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Patrick Cleburne eventually became one the Confederacy's outstanding Generals before his death at the Battle of Franklin in 1864. On April 6th, though, at the Battle of Shiloh, Cleburne 

had a particularly rough day as his brigade fragmented and lost 

large numbers of casualties under the strain of action. This tour will begin at 8:00 am at the Shiloh Church (Tour Stop #5) and follow Cleburne and his brigade though the first day of battle and assaults against Sherman and McClernand on the western side of the battlefield. The tour will cover approximately four miles and will include hiking through ravines and over rugged terrain. Sturdy hiking shoes and water are recommended. The program will end at the Confederate Memorial (Tour Stop #2).

Alone on the Left: Stuart's Brigade, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Although Colonel David Stuart's brigade was part of Sherman's 5th Division, they were camped separately on the opposite side of the battlefield from their general when fighting broke out. Follow the action of this small brigade as they attempt to protect the left flank of the entire Union line. Also, learn what happened to the 71st Ohio Infantry, of Stuart's Brigade, who were accused of running away during the desperate struggle. Visitors will meet at the Tent Hospital site (Tour Stop #14). 

The hike will cover moderate terrain at a distance of approximately 1.3 miles.

The Chicago Light Artillery, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

When the Civil War began, Northern and Southern communities faced the challenge of converting peace-time militia clubs into military organizations. The Chicago Light Artillery 

enjoyed prominence as that city's preeminent corps of civic soldiers.

The militia organization eveolved into two batteries that fought at Shiloh.

These two batteries were battery A and Battery B of the 1st Illinois 

Light Artillery. This program examines the evolution of civilians into soldiers by following the fortunes of Willard's battery A, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. Visitors will meet at the Peach Orchard (Tour Stop #16). The type of terrain to hike will be "Moderate."

The Union Center and the Hornets' Nest, 12:30 - 2:30 pm

As the Confederate left flank was engaging the remnants of Sherman's and McClernand's divisions around Jones Field, and as the right flank struggled with stiff resistance and difficult topography east of the Hamburg-Savannah Road, the attempts to push back the Union center frustrated Southern leaders. While the approach across Duncan Field was covered by Union infantry with a clear line of fire, the Confederates were forced into directing their attacks through a thicket of thorny brambles where unit cohesion, mobility, and firepower were greatly diminished. The result was that all frontal attacks against the Hortnets' Nest position failed, and it was not until the Federal flanks gave way that allowed the Southern infantry to encircle the Union center at about 5:30 pm. The distance of the hike is approximately 2.25 miles with the terrain being "Easy to Moderate." Hikers will meet at Tour Stop #10.

Holding the Left Flank: General John McArthur, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

As Stuart's Brigade was pushed back by Confederate attacks, help came forward from units of General McArthur's Brigade and other

regiments to help fill the gap between Hulburt's Division and the isolated brigade. By afternoon these regiments faced the full fury of the last Confederate assault led by General Albert Sidney Johnston. In the fighting the 9th Illinois would suffer the highest loss of any Union regiment on the field. This tour will start at the Peach Orchard (Tour Stop # 16). The tour will cover cover approximately one mile and will mainy be on trails and through one ravine. Participants should wear appropriate foot-ware and bring water.

General John McClernand's Last Line, 2: A Fatal Failure on the Federal Right, 3:00 - 5:00 pm

This program will explain how the Union divisions of McClernand and W.H.L. Wallace tried and failed to maintain contact in the dense woods and deep ravines of Duncan Field. It will describe the Confederate pursuit of the Union forces as the Northern soldiers abandoned Jones Field. The discussion will also include the capture of the 58th Illinois Infantry and the mortal wounding of General Wallace. The terrain will be "Moderate to Difficult" with a hiking distance of 2.5 miles. Visitors will meet at the Confederate Memorial (Tour Stop #2).

Footnote Feature beginning 15 minutes before the main program. "The Report is Faulty": Interrogating Official Reports of the Battle.

General Grants Last Line and the Myth of the Confederate "Missed Opportunity," 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

As the sun was going down on the first day, a hastily assembled force of Confederate Brigades led by Braxton Bragg attempted to make one "final push" Bragg thought would win the day. Grant's chief of staff J.D. Webster assembled every available artillery piece and infantry soldier in a 1/2 mile line of defense to prevent Union forces from being pushed into the river; the attack never came. Follow the Confederate's to their high-water mark of the battle, learn why the Southern attack never occurred, and the controversy that resulted from this action. Terrain will be difficult including traversing deep ravines. Hiking distance will be 2.5 miles. Visitors are recommended to wear appropriate foot-ware and bring water. Hikers will meet at the Indian Mounds parking lot.


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Dates: 04/07/2011

Times:  8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Location:  Shiloh National Military Park   Summary: Join Shiloh rangers and volunteers as they lead in-depth hikes on the anniversary of the bloody Battle of Shiloh. Participants must register in advance by calling 731-689-5696   Fees: $3 per person, $5 per family, 15 and under free 

 Details: The Union Counterattacks!:

General "Bull" Nelson and the Union Left, 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Follow the slow, fierce fighting of General William "Bull" Nelson's Division as they attempt to retake Union camps on the eastern portion of the battlefield. Hike the path of Colonel Willaim B. Hazen's Brigade as they meet stiff Confederate resistance that morning over the bloody ground known as the Peach Orchard. Learn about the hastily thrown together defense of Confederate General Jones M. Withers along the southern end of the Wheat 

Field and Sarah Bell's cotton field. Then hike the Confederate right 

past the ravine strewn ground that slowed Union Colonel Jacob 

Ammen's Brigade that day.The distance of the hike is approximately 1.5 miles. 

Terrain will be "Easy" over level ground and roads. Hikers will meet 

at the visitor center no later than 8:00 am.  

The Western Sector of the Battlefield, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

As the battle began anew on the morning of the 7th, disorganized and fatigued Confederate infantry, which had congregated in the Union camps in search of food and shelter, faced Federal reinforcements un-bloodied by the previous days fight. Follow Lew Wallace's Third Division, who had not participated in the previous day's fight as they encounter stiff Confederate resistance until relentless Union pressure forced the Southerners through Marsh's Brigade camp and toward Water Oaks Pond and the Crossroads. The distance of the hike is 2.25 miles with the terrain "Moderate to Difficult." Hikers will meet at the Michigan Monument.

Wisconsin at Shiloh, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

The battle of Shiloh shocked the State of Wisconsin, and the losses suffered by Wisconsin units lead to important consequences both on the battlefield and at home. This program follows the fortunes of the 14th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment as they fought on the second day of the battle. Follow the unit's battle action as the soldiers move through "Hell's Hollow" and the capture of a section of Cobb's Kentucky Artillery Battery. Not only does the program describe the second day of fighting, but also explores the bond between a home front hundreds of miles away with the soldiers' suffering in the field. The terrain will be "Moderately Easy." Hikers will meet at Tour Stop #2.

Today the Word is "Follow" not "Go": Beauregard and the Confederates' Last Effort, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This program will discuss the fierce, determined Confederate defense presented on the second day. On Monday, April 7, General P.G.T. Beauregard was faced with a mounting crisis, and a 

rapidly deteriorating army. Program includes a description of Beauregard 

leading Colonel Preston Pond's Brigade to the Confederate collapsing left 

to combat General Lew Wallace's Division. Program will explore the 

Southern by their aggressive posture. A discussion of the gallant fight of 

the Orphan Brigade, and an explanation of the break down of Confederate organization

due to several factors willbe examined.

An interpretation of the desperate counterattacks to blunt General Buell's attack will also 

be offered. One topic which will be discussed is: How important was

Beauregard's personal leadership in saving the Confederate army from

destruction? Terrain will be "Moderate to Difficult" passing through woods

off-trail and across streams. Meet at Shiloh Church 

(Tour Stop #5).

The Crossroads, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The intersection of the Corinth-Pittsburg Landing Road and the Hamburg-Purdy Roads witnessed some of the most intense action on April 7th. These crossroads were vital to Confederate communications, making their retention necessary so that the Southern army could make good its retreat to Corinth. As Federal pressure along the Hamburg-Purdy Road strengthened about noon, the Confederate army, which had not been reinforced during the night, began to waver. Using the level terrain of Woolf Field and Water Oaks Pond area to mount brigade and division sized attacks, fresh troops of Buell's Army of the Ohio forced Beauregard and his staff to realize that further resistance was futile, and a retreat ordered at about 2:30 pm. The terrain will be "Easy to Moderate," with a hiking distance of 1.5 miles.


  Contact: Visitor Center   Email: Joe_D_Davis@nps.gov   Phone: 731-689-5696   print this page

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Battle Anniversary Hikes   Dates: 04/08/2011

Times:  9:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Location:  Shiloh National Military Park   Summary: Join Shiloh rangers and volunteers as they lead in-depth tours on the anniversary of the bloody battle of Shiloh. Participants must register in advance by calling 731-689-5696.   Fees: 3$ per person, $5 per family, 15 and under free  

Details: Fallen Timbers Car Caravan: Confederate Retreat to Corinth, 9:00 am - 11:00 am

On the afternoon of April 8th, Confederate General John C. Breckenridge led the only viable Confederate force that could offer serious resistance in the event of Union pursuit. At Fallen Timbers Breckenridge's cavalry screen led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, attacked the Union reconnaissance force and bloodied the Yankees' noses. Breckenridge kept up the aggressive posture while the Confederate survivors continued their slow, painful retreat to Corinth. This car caravan will lead visitors to locations

outside the park that are important to the story of Shiloh. Visitors will

see the important fork in the road that delayed the Confederate advance

on April 5th, the location of Fallen Timbers, and Mickey's Farm where thousands of Southern wounded received 

treatment, and where many are buried.

1. Visitors will meet at the Visitor Center.

2. Drive to the "fork" near the Spearman place.

3. Drive to Fallen Timbers.

4. Drive to Pebble Hill Church and discuss Confederate rearguard and hospital.

5. Drive to Lick Creek and discuss the hazard the Creek presented to the Confederates.

6. Drive to Michie and interpret the importance of Pea Ridge.

7. Drive to the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and discuss Corinth's strategic importance.

Draw a Badger out of Its Hole: Sherman's Northern Approach to Corinth, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Before the Battle of Shiloh, General Ulysses S. Grant quipped that the Union army would be forced to go down to Corinth and draw the Confederates out of their entrenchments, "as you would draw a badger out of its hole." When General Henry W. Halleck moved against Corinth he treated his enemy 

just as one would a dangerous animal, very carefully, with little

willingness to take risks. This car caravan begins at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. Length of tour is 8 miles driving and 2 miles walking.

  Contact: Joe Davis   Email: Joe_D_Davis@nps.gov   Phone: 731-689-5696

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Jim--as you see there is one hike especially for you ....I want to encourgage all that plan to come to sign in as soon as you can as if there gets to be TOO many they may cut off --thats why they overlapped hikes so there wont be ttoo many per hike and you have to stand around and wait for slow ones to catch up and then the hike gets cut short d/t lack of time to complete entire hike.And when it says wet ytrails  It''ll Be wet--very wet...Any questions let me know..Mona

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Mona, "Jim--as you see there is one hike especially for you" I will accept the accolades due the Badgers Boys in Blue in their name.  There are actually 2 for the Boys, "The Union Center and the Retreat of Prentiss" and "WI at Shiloh."  I could think of a few dozen more, but no one ever seems to ask me (I can also think of a few dozen reasons why they don't ask).


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