Sunday, September 25, 2016

9/25 To Shiloh National Military Park

It was a bright and sunny Sunday morning.  This was our morning view from the dock.

The Grand Harbor Marina has a courtesy car that we drove to the Shiloh National Military Park.  The National Park Service made the battle come alive.  
The battle only lasted 2 days but 23,000 men were casualties of the battle.  Casualties were defined as killed, missing or injured.  Over 2000 died in the battle itself.  Many would die later from their injuries.  The tour starts at the visitor center, where they show an in depth film about the battle, the strategies of the Union and Confederate Armies, and the remembrances of some of the soldiers who survived.  It was very well done.

The tour is 13 miles long.  As you drive along, there are over 20 stops.  At each stop, there are tablets.  When stand at the tablet,  you have the view of the one of the soldiers during the battle.  If the marker is rimmed in red, it is the Confederate Army of the Mississippi; rimmed in blue is the Federal Army of the Tennessee; rimmed in yellow is the Federal Army of the Ohio.  The shape of the tablet lets you know which day of the battle it was, either April 6th or 7th.  The Union forces had set up headquarters at Shiloh Church. 

The Confederate Army on the first day had circles and captured 2100 Union soldiers on the first day.  The reinforcements for the Union Army arrived by boat on the Tennessee River to give a much needed assist that allowed the Union to claim victory the next day.  This statue commemorates that death was the winner of the laurel wreath.
Fraley Field is where the fighting commenced.  It was a farmer's field.  Today, it is kept as a field so as to prevent it from being taken over by trees.

This line of artillery demonstrates how close the soldiers were to each other.
Many died in hand to hand combat.  All could see the men that they were shooting.  It was a brutal war.  In one area after another, there were monuments to the dead on either side.

As I was walking to one of the monuments,  I saw this feather on the ground.

It was a somber visit but I am so glad we took the tour.  For lunch, we went to the Hagy Catfish Hotel.  It is right on the Tennessee River, a portion that we passed yesterday.  This was a busy down home restaurant with excellent catfish.

We headed back to the marina.  It was 94 degrees!!  That is just too hot.  A boat came in late in the day.  It was the Good Fortune from Pensacola FL.  The little cannons on the side shoot water. 

A new boat arrived with a looper flag on it.  We helped to catch their lines.  They bought their boat in FL and are taking it home to Huntsville, AL.  They will do the loop next year.  John and I brought our boat to Wilmington last year and then started the loop this year.  I am happy for their plan.

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