October 27, 2012

Day 43 - October 26, 2012: Back to Grand Harbor Marina

Today we went back to Grand Harbor Marina at the entrance to the Tenn Tom so that we could go see the Shiloh Battlefield. The fall leaves are beginning to be spectacular, especially in the early morning light.

7:00 AM on the Tennessee River near Florence, Al
The Shiloh Battle, on April 6-7, 1862, was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War with 23,746 casualties (more than all previous wars by the U.S. combined). It was fought when Confederate General Johnston stationed his army in Corinth, Mississippi to stop Union General Grant's army from advancing further south on the Tennessee River and through the Mississippi valley. While the Confederate Army almost overran the Union Army on the first day, the Union Army rallied with support from Gen Buell's Army on the second day to force a Confederate retreat. This was a signal to all involved that the Civil War was not going to be a simple uprising to be put down easily.

Here is a view of the Shiloh Battlefield which was in the visitor's center and is a combination of hand-crafted figures and trees in the foreground and a painting in the background. It is incredibly realistic and appears 3-dimensional, and this picture I took seems to capture that realism.

Simulated view of the Shiloh Battlefield
Following the battle, the Union Soldiers retrieved their wounded and buried their dead, while the dead Confederate Soldiers were left to eventually be buried in trenches. In 1866, the U. S. created a National Military Cemetery to preserve the buried remains. This cemetery marker says: 3,590 interments, 1229 known, 2381 unknown. The grave markers in the background make a somber statement.

Shiloh Military Cemetery
Visiting this battlefield was quite an emotional and sobering experience. It reminds us of the cruelty of war and the effect it had on our nation which in some respects has yet to be healed.

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful peek at some pretty interesting history...it's fascinating and I renew my comment that you're a really good writer! I'm making a list of places I want to visit. Stay safe