Friday, September 11, 2009

Corinth, MS and Shiloh Battlefield

I didn't make the trip down the Natchez Trace in one day. My first stop was in Corinth, MS, about 30 miles west of the trace. From here I could visit Shiloh Battlefield, about 20 miles north over the border into Tennessee.

I was struck by the picture of this young boy. He was 10 years old and a drummer boy. Evidently he survived the civil war since it says he retired as a major general years later. I just cannot imagine my son at the age of 10 being in a war. It was bad enough when he went to Afghanistan several years ago as an adult.

It was hot when the battle was held and this was one of the worst battles in terms of casualties. More than 1/3 of the armies on both sides were casualties. They could not leave the bodies on the field, but they also could not take the time to bury them individually, so mass graves were dug for both sides. The Union won and after the war the mass graves of the Union soldiers were dug up and the individual remains reburied in a National Cemetery on the battlefield. To date the mass Confederate graves have not been dug up, but they have been memorialized. There are five mass graves on the grounds.

We took a route back home from Shiloh which brought us across the Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee River. The flood gates release water and the levels change quickly. It is some of the most turbulent water I have seen, especially to see fisherman standing in it just to fish.

Corinth itself was also sight of some battles. They found over this small area of railroad track. It is said this was the most expensive 12 square feet of ground of the Civil War. This was a major R.R. stop for both north and south bound trains, as well as east/west bound trains.

1 comment:

firesign58 said...

Shiloh is one of the Civil war battles best known by Southerners. Everyone knew what 'Shiloh' meant.

I am really enjoying your photos of Tennessee. You went into TN at least a couple of times in 2009! John and I have decided to buy some land and begin organic farming in southeastern TN. We love the area and will enjoy being among Southerners again. But I don't know if I can slow down and leave NYC any time soon! Too Type A and hyperactive still.