Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fallen Timbers

The final brand new spot for us to visit at Shiloh was Fallen Timbers.  After two days of comabt William T. Sherman followed the retreating Confederates with a small brigade.  Mostly this was done to make sure they were not preparing to begin a third day of battle than with thier own plans of bringing on a third day.  Nathan Bedford Forrest led a cavalry charge with only a few hundred men and it stopped the Union pursuit.  Really both sides were content to have the battle over, the Union was in the best shape to pursue as Buell's Army of the Ohio had seen the least combat but Shiloh was unlike anything anyone had ever expereinced so all involved were fine to just have the battle over with.

I had been in this area before back when there was zero signage so its impossible a decade later to know if I was in this spot or something a quarter mile away.  There is now a Civil War Trails marker.  The area was called Fallen Timbers because the trees here had all been cut and were still laying on the ground.  It would appear that the trees are all grown up again so it is difficult to see much of the lay of the ground.  But its a nice spot to wrap up the story of Shiloh so I'm sure it will be a spot I visit again on future visits.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nelson's March

One site we visited was something that was entirely new to us.  We decided to try to follow Nelson's march.  Armed with a local map we followed roads that had to have been on the old roadbed.  Much of it was still dirt roads which was an exciting experience.

Eventually we ended up in a spot where we thought we were close to the river but would need to cross a farmer's field to get there.  The crops were long since out and there was a truck path through the field.  It was a bit muddy so we decided to walk it instead of risking the rental car.  A short distance into the field some locals came along, they were bowhunters and were glad to chat with us.  They offered us a ride in the back of their truck as they said it was probably too muddy for us to walk to the river.  We gladly accepted the ride and ended up at the river a bit south of where Nelson crossed.

Directly across from us was where Dill branch entered the Tennessee River.  In 1862 it would have looked a lot different as that rock wall wouldn't have existed (I would assume that's a TVA improvement) but one can easily imagine what it would have looked like.

And then looking north one can somewhat see where Pittsburg Landing is. 

All in all I think this might have been my favorite part of the Shiloh visit as it was something we had never seen before.  And something we might not have seen without the help of a few local bowhunters.

Friday, November 20, 2015

AS Johnston's headquarters

Since we visited Grant's headquarters it only makes sense to visit Albert Sidney Johnston's as well.  I've been there before.  Its usually a spot I drive past the first time as the only sign for it is a low wooden marker directing you where to turn off highway 22.  Now there is a larger Civil War Trails sign as well as more NPS signs that I remember. 

This is the spot where Johnston camped the night before the battle and where he had a morning council with his generals to decide whether or not to engage the enemy.  The early morning pickets brought on the engagement but Johnston used that as the sign to continue with their plans. 

The site is not NPS property (at least as far as I know) and the homemade information papers inside the large sign at the site would indicate that it isn't NPS as well as one would expect them to have more permanent markers. 

When I first started visiting this spot 10 or so years ago it felt out of the way and seldom visited, today it appears its becoming a more standard spot in the tour even if its not within the official park boundaries.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grant's Headquarters

Grant's headquarters at the Cherry Mansion in Savannah is actually a site I've been to quite a bit but its nice to see how the interpretation presented there has expanded over the years.  Its a private residence and I've never been there on the few occasions that its been opened for tours, maybe some day but not yet. 

There are quite a few signs there, ranging from the more recent Civil War Trails versions to the older NPS versions, and the even older Tennessee Historical Society signs.

Crump's Landing would be upriver (south) around that curve.  Today the town across the river from Savannah is called Crump's so those structures on the far bank are technically Crump's today but in 1862 Crump's Landing would be around that bend a bit.

The view from the Cherry Mansion into the town of Savannah.  It can't be made oout in the picture but near that gas station is a pair of cannons and cannon ball monument placed by the NPS to mark Grant's headquarters.  It would be placed there to be easily seen by tourists rather than route them through a neighborhood, especially since there wouldn't be a spot to place those cannons in the neighborhood.

Monday, November 16, 2015


During my last visit to Shiloh the park was closed due to the government shutdown so we instead focused on some of the areas outside the park that we've never or seldom visited.  One such site was Adamsville.  I've been there before but its with the park being the crown jewel its not often that I spend much time in Adamsville itself.  Along the road between Savannah and Adamsville, and beyond, there are state historical markers that explain the sites significance but is hampered by a character limit that makes them usually all too general.

Now there is this wonderful little park with a Civil War Trails marker.  Sadly I bet its been up for years showing how long its been since I've been able to tour Shiloh as I like.

Then using a county map we followed the back roads between Adamsville and Shiloh so that we were approximating part of Lew Wallace's march to the battlefield.  Not knowing all the appropriate property ownerships in the area we did not walk the road remnant that would have taken us to Snake Creek.  I know there is NPS land there but not sure how far it extends, and even if we would find much at the creek.  That's a hike for another day.  But this road along the way is almost certainly the road Wallace's division marched along to the battlefield.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Seattle cemeteries

After a day of doing things geared more to my wife's liking (Pike Place, etc) I convinced her to add one final Civil War thing to our trip, a visit to two cemeteries that had a large number of veteran graves.  The first one was Lake View cemetery.  The main reason people visit this cemetery is because it is where Bruce Lee is buried, but near the gate is a Confederate section.

Obviously these are veterans who moved west after the Civil War, not Confederates who lived in Seattle prior to the war, but it was interesting to see how many there were that decided to be buried together rather than in family plots.

Just north of the cemetery is a Union cemetery.  On the map it looks like the cemeteries connect but there is a road between the two.  You cannot walk between the two easily, except along the road so if you visit just understand that you'll likely need to drive there even though they are next to each other.

Similar to the Confederate cemetery the headstones are laying down.  I wonder why this is. 

This sign had the names and locations of all the burials but some moron defaced it.  I hope in the meantime the sign has been cleaned up.