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A Ponderous Avalanche: The Lost Hours of the Confederate Attack at Shiloh with Bjorn Skaptason

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Parking: Tour Route # 9 (Invasion of the Union Camps)

Hiking Distance: 2 Miles

Terrain: Moderate difficulty through off-trail ravines and forests

The Southern surprise attack on the outlying camps of General Grant's army was described by a Confederate General as an "Alpine Avalanche". Although there remains no doubt that the attack was a "surprise" in a military sense, the Confederate advance was so slow that by the time the leading formations came in contact with the Union line of defense the defenders were well-prepared to give their un-invited guests a bloody reception. This program analyzes two crucial hours of the battle –the period after the first contact between the Union patrol and Confederate pickets, and the first general attack on the Union camps. Why did it take two hours for the Alpine Avalanche to move less than one mile? Why did resistance by small parties of Federal pickets delay the Southerners so significantly? Join Bjorn Skaptason and explore the fighting on this significant sector of the battlefield.

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