April 6th, 2020

Fraley Field: The Bloody Battle Begins

Time: 5:15 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Parking: Meet at Visitor Center at 5 a.m.

Distance: Southern Hike – 1 Mile Roundtrip

Union Hike 2 Miles Roundtrip

Terrain: Moderate

Join Park Rangers Chris Mekow and Timothy Arnold, on a two hour battlefield hike which will introduce visitors to the events surrounding the opening shots of the battle.

These hikes will travel the approach routes of the Union and Confederate soldiers toward Fraley Field, whose landscape witnessed the first exchange of hostilities and the beginning of the epic Battle of Shiloh.

These individual tours will both arrive in Fraley Field at sunrise. Visitors will decide which hike they will follow upon arriving at the Visitor Center.

The choices are to follow the Union reconnoitering party ordered out by Colonel Everett Peabody, while the Confederates will approach Fraley Field through the position of the 3rd Mississippi Infantry Battalion.

Green Division Faces Attack: The Failure of Prentiss

Time: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Parking: Park on Side of Peabody Road just before Tour Stop #9, Meet at Tour Stop #9

Distance: 2 Miles

Terrain: Moderately Difficult

The newest division in the Army of the Tennessee was commanded by Brigadier General Benjamin Prentiss.

Prentiss was surprised by the attack and held Col. Everett Peabody responsible for bringing on the action.

The morning attack on April 6th found the division unprepared to fight a major battle. Some units had just arrived, but some put up stubborn resistance that stunned Confederate forces. This program will end at the camp of the 18th Wisconsin Infantry, where Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston made several fateful decisions. Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman follow the defensive stand of this division and discover their fate.

Slaughter in the Ravines: Stuart’s Brigade at Shiloh

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Parking: Tent Hospital Site (Tour Stop #14)

Distance: 1 ½ miles

Terrain: Moderate

Follow Ranger Timothy Arnold and trace the actions of Colonel David Stuart’s Brigade as they attempted to protect the entire Union army’s left flank against General James Chalmers’ overwhelming infantry and artillery for several hours. Learn about their struggle, weapons, and adapted tactics as you walk the terrain where this action occurred. Also, learn about the “hard luck” 71st Ohio Infantry Regiment and the controversy surrounding their actions at Shiloh.

Car Caravan Tour of the Battlefield

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Parking: Meet at the Visitor Center

In commemoration of Shiloh’s 157th Battle Anniversary, Park Volunteer Hal Ellis will lead a four hour car caravan tour of the battlefield. This tour will allow visitors the opportunity to follow the battle in the chronological order as it developed. The tour will take visitors to the high points on the battlefield in order to interpret the story of the bloody Battle of Shiloh. While visiting historic sites such as Fraley Field, the Hornets’ Nest, and the Peach Orchard, participants will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Ellis and achieve a better understanding of the epic battle.

TACTICAL SURPRISE: THE UNION COUNTER-ATTACK OF SHERMAN AND MCCLERNAND

Meet at Tour Stop #12 - Jones Field

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Distance: 1 mile

Terrain: Easy

Late in the morning of April 6th, the embattled Union right flank stabilized near Jones Field. Division commanders William Sherman and John McClernand were faced with two options; to wait on the inevitable attack on their new position and continue to fall back, or, take the initiative and attack the unsuspecting Confederates. Ultimately, they chose the latter opportunity. Join Park Ranger Tom Parson and retrace the steps of the critical attack which bought precious time for General Grant’s beleaguered forces.

Without Music, There Would Have Been No Army: The Songs of War

1:00 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.

Visitor Center Auditorium

The American Civil War has been called the most musical war ever fought. When soldiers North and South marched off to war, they took with them a love of song that transcended the political and philosophical divide between them. Music passed the time; it entertained and comforted; it brought back memories of home and family; it strengthened the bonds between comrades and helped to forge new ones. And, in the case of the Confederacy, it helped create the sense of national identity and unity so necessary to a fledgling nation.

Join Ranger Chris Mekow for a 35-minute power point program on music in the Civil War. Find out if more songs were written and published during the Civil War than any other American conflict.

Fighting for the Left: The Confederate Drive toward Pittsburg Landing

Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Parking: Park across from Peach Orchard, Meet at Tour Stop #16

Distance: Approximately 2 Miles

Terrain: Moderate, except for crossing two ravines

The Confederate objective in the Battle of Shiloh was to turn the Union left flank and cut General Grant’s army off from Pittsburg Landing. By the afternoon of April 6th, General Stephen Hurlbut’s Division and parts of General John McArthur’s Brigade stood in the way of this objective. The Union defense led Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston to lead Confederate forces into battle. The struggle to turn the Union left continued through the afternoon until 4:00 p.m. Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman on this tour and explore the severe struggle which occurred on this part of the battlefield.

The Union Center and the Hornets’ Nest

Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Paking: Mreet at Tour Stop #10 (Hornets’ Nest)

Distance: 2 Miles

Terrain: Moderate, passing through thick woods and crossing small streams

Join Park Ranger Timothy Arnold to learn about the severe fighting in the famed “Hornets’ Nest” of Shiloh. This hike will discuss the establishment of the area as a Union defensive position, units involved, small arms weapons and artillery used, as well as the truth versus the myth of the life and death struggle in this area. Learn about the Confederate attacks led by Colonel Randall Gibson’s Brigade, the leadership of Generals W.H.L. Wallace and Benjamin Prentiss, and the fate of each officer.

“THE HOTTEST PLACE I EVER GOT INTO”: THE ARTILLERY OF RUGGLES AND SHOUP

Meet at Tour Stop #4 - Ruggles’ Battery

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Distance: 3/4 miles

Terrain: Easy

Beginning at the Corinth Road, this hike will follow the line of artillery gathered by Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles and Captain Francis A. Shoup to counter the Federal cannon in the Hornets’ Nest. Join Park Ranger Tom Parson as he describes the creation of the line and its role in subduing the Union center. Along the way individual cannon will be pointed out, describing the type of weapon, when and where it was manufactured, and other points of interest. Shiloh has an exceptional collection of Confederate manufactured artillery and most of them will be seen on this hike.

Grant’s Final Defense: Plugging the Line

Time: 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Parking: Park in Visitor Center Parking Lot

Meet at the Gates to the National Cemetery

Distance: 5 miles

Terrain: Difficult

Follow Park Ranger Paul Holloway for an exploration into General U.S Grant’s last line of defense, established near the landing on the first day of fighting. Desperately needing to hold his position, General Grant tasked Colonel Joseph D. Webster with constructing a final line of defense on the high ground between Pittsburg Landing and the Snake Creek Bridge, both of which Grant needed to hold open for reinforcements. This hike will travel down into Dill Branch Ravine to the Confederate side, and then examine the only major attempts to break the Union line.

April 7th, 2020

General Lew Wallace Outflanks the Confederate Line

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Parking: Meet at the Visitor Center

Distance: Approximately 2 Miles Walking and 2 Miles Driving

Terrain: Moderate

Major General Lew Wallace’s Division arrived late on the battlefield on the first day of battle but was ready to attack early the next morning. He started the Union advance on right and outflanked the piecemeal Confederate line forcing them to retreat back toward Shiloh Church. Although, Wallace was blamed for not arriving as early as expected on April 6th, he redeemed himself with his actions on Monday. Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and explore the battle action of General Lew Wallace’s Division against the left flank of the Southern resistance to begin the second day of battle at Shiloh.

THE LONG NIGHT

Meet at the Visitor Center

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Distance: 1 mile

Terrain: Easy

Join Park Ranger Tom Parson and hike along the camps of General Grant’s last line of defense. This program will discuss the experiences of the soldiers throughout the night of April 6th. A night of fierce storms, the sound of the firing from the gunboats Tyler and Lexington, and the unknown outcome of the battle weighed on the minds of the soldiers. The program will also discuss the preparations during the night in anticipation of the start of another day of fighting.

Nelson Attacks: Getting the Glory

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00pm

Parking: Visitor Center Parking Lot.

Meet at the Split Rail Fence Across from the Visitor Center

Distance: 4 miles

Terrain: Moderate to Difficult

Join Park Ranger Paul Holloway as he discusses General William “Bull” Nelson’s drive to get his men to the battlefield first and the difficulties in carrying out this desire. We will also explore the near disaster they faced near the Peach Orchard. Both the Union and Confederate sides will be discussed. The hike will cross ravines, creeks, and fallen trees.

Car Caravan Tour of the Battlefield

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Parking: Meet at the Visitor Center

In commemoration of Shiloh’s 158th Battle Anniversary, Park Volunteer Hal Ellis will lead a four hour car caravan tour of the battlefield. This tour will allow visitors the opportunity to follow the battle in the chronological order as it developed. The tour will take visitors to the high points on the battlefield in order to interpret the story of the bloody Battle of Shiloh. While visiting historic sites such as Fraley Field, the Hornets’ Nest, and the Peach Orchard, participants will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Ellis and achieve a better understanding of the epic battle.

Crittenden Pushes the Center

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Parking: Meet at Tour Stop #2 (Confederate Monument)

Distance: 2 Miles

Terrain: Moderate, passing through thick woods and crossing small streams

General Thomas L. Crittenden’s 5th Division of General Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio was the center of the Union line as it began its counterattack on April 7th, 1862. To the troops fighting their way through the center of the battlefield that morning, the severity of the previous day’s combat became readily apparent. When the Union Division commanded by General Thomas Crittenden approached the dense thicket, which the day before was dubbed, “The Hornets’ Nest”, they ran into very heavy resistance. Over several hours of fighting the Union advance ground to a halt. Join Park Ranger Timothy Arnold on a hike which will provide a glimpse into the division’s advance, as they attempted to negotiate the tangled wilderness of the Hornets’ Nest, and drive the enemy from the Daniel Davis Wheat Field and the Hamburg-Purdy Road, where it halted as the battle drew to a close.

A TRULY SAD MISTAKE: THE 2ND TEXAS IN THE PEACH ORCHARD

Meet at Cloud Field

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Distance:1 and ½ Miles

Terrain: Easy

Join Park Ranger Tom Parson as he conducts this hike describing the desperate attempt to hold back the Union onslaught on the Confederate right flank. Confirming the identification of Union and Confederate troops had been a troublesome issue for both sides during the battle, often with tragic results from friendly-fire. This program will discuss the activities of the 2nd Texas Infantry on April 7th, and the confusion which led to severe casualties for the men from the Lone Star State at the fight in the Peach Orchard

Medicine in the Civil War: To Survive the Army

1:00 pm - 1:40 pm

Visitor Center Auditorium

It is now estimated that more than 750,000 soldeirs died during the American Civil War with close to a half a million more wounded. One in thirteen veterans had the chance to return home without a limb. The medical departments in both armies were stretched to the limit. The systems in place to treat and even transport wounded from the battlefield at the beginning of the war were inadequate. Join ranger Chris Mekow for a point presentation on medicine and the army medical departments duing the Civil War. Discover how bad it really was, seperating myth from reality, and learn about devlopments that took place because of this bloody conflict.

The Struggle for the Crossroads: The Confederates Lose Their Chance at Victory

Time: 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Parking: Meet at Tour Stop 13, Water Oaks Pond

Distance: Approximately 1 Mile

Terrain: Moderately Easy

Starting at noon, Confederate forces began falling back to the intersection of the Hamburg-Purdy and Corinth Roads. The Southern forces struggled to launch counter attacks to save what had appeared to be a certain victory. The fierce struggle at Woolf Field and Water Oaks Pond turned the tide of the battle. On the afternoon of April 7th, General Sherman declared, “Here was to be the struggle” for the decision of the battle. Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and explore the battleground between Woolf Field and Shiloh Church, as he discusses the Confederate counter attacks and the Union advance on the afternoon of the second day of combat.

The Rest of the Story: Aftermath of Shiloh

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Parking: Tour Stop #5 (Please do not park in church parking lot)

Join Ranger Timothy Arnold as we wrap up the second day of fighting. Both armies begin to realize just how much loss they endured. In the days following the Battle of Shiloh, the Union Army regroups to continue their mission and the Confederates begin licking their wounds preparing for what comes next. Ranger Arnold will also cover the weeks following the battle leading up to the Siege of Corinth.

April 8th, 2018

The Final Fight of Shiloh: Col. Forrest Attacks, Fallen Timbers Car Caravan

Time: 8:30a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Parking: Meet at the Visitor Center

Distance: 8 Miles Driving and Some Walking

Terrain: Moderately Easy

The Battle of Shiloh ended when the Confederates withdrew from the Union camps on the evening of April 7th, 1862. Yet there was still fighting, and much more suffering to take place. On April 8th, elements of two Union divisions embarked on a reconnaissance in order to determine if the Confederates had really retreated. The cavalry screen, under the command of aggressive Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest, attacked a Union reconnaissance force. This aggressive defensive posture allowed the Confederate survivors to continue a slow, painful retreat to Corinth, Mississippi.

Join Park Ranger Charles Spearman and visit the site of the engagement at Fallen Timbers and hear the description of the final fight of Shiloh.

RESERVATION OR REGISTRATION: YES

Please call 731-689-5696 to pre-register.