By the time we reached the battlefield at Shiloh, Tennessee, I pretty much had my fill of misery and death resulting from the War Between the States. Like at Vicksburg Mississippi, Andersonville Georgia and the other Civil War sites there was an auto tour route you could drive. Shiloh's was nearly 13 miles long with 20 stops. All along the way were interpretive signs and monuments. After awhile one gets pretty well monumented out. This though was one of the more detailed pieces.
The key to Shiloh was Pittsburg Landing. The Union forces controlled the Tennessee River and were able to unload troops and supplies at this spot. Early on in the conflict the Confederate forces were able to drive the Union Army back to the banks of the river. Thousands congregated here and refused to fight anymore (Yeah!) while reports of disasters filtered in from the field. Later in the day Union reinforcements appeared on the opposite shore and throughout the night additional troops poured in by steamboat and road - 24,000 in all. Revitalized, the Union forces moved in on the Confederate Army and the tide turned against the Rebels.
The losses on both sides of the conflict were tremendous. The Confederate dead were so much that mass graves were created in trenches within the landscape. This is just one of several mass graves.
The Battle at Shiloh lasted two days and in that short period of time 23,746 men were killed, wounded or missing - more casualties than America had suffered in all previous wars. Nothing can really give you an idea as to how horrible this battle was but this may in one small way.
And here is Bloody Pond today. Hard to picture isn't it?
At the end of the auto tour you drove by the cemetery. I couldn't take anymore, snapped a picture through the trees and drove on down the road to hopefully a happier site on my list of things to see.
Incidentally, the Biblical meaning for the name Shiloh..."peace".