DescriptionTen miles southwest of Savannah, the 4,200-acre Shiloh Battlefield preserves the site of the first major Western battle of the Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh, fought April 6-7, 1862. The park contains 156 monuments, more than 200 cannons, a national cemetery and more than 600 historic tablets.
After the fall of Fort Donelson, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant moved his army up the Tennessee River, where he awaited reinforcement. Unannounced, Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston struck first in a surprise attack that drove Union forces 2 miles toward the river.
The intense battle raged all day, and Johnston was mortally wounded near the Peach Orchard. Grant's reinforcements, the Army of the Ohio commanded by Don Carlos Buell, arrived during the night. The next day the outnumbered Confederates, commanded by Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, were driven back. In the afternoon they retreated to Corinth, Miss.
More than 109,000 soldiers, most of them inexperienced recruits, battled at this site. After 2 days 23,746 were dead, wounded or missing, making the Battle of Shiloh the bloodiest fight since the war's beginning. It also was a turning point in Union strategy; Grant said afterwards, “I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest.”
Union dead, originally interred on the battlefield, were subsequently moved to the national cemetery at Pittsburgh Landing. The Confederate dead still lie in mass burial trenches, five of which are marked.
Points of interest on the battlefield are marked, and a 12-mile auto tour has 20 stops with wayside exhibits. Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark features several preserved prehistoric mounds.
Also part of the park, Corinth Battlefield's visitor center, Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, features interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations that examine topics such as slavery, the military importance of railroads and Reconstruction. The center is 23 miles southwest of Shiloh Battlefield in Corinth, Miss.; phone (662) 287-9273.
Things to SeeShiloh Battlefield Visitor Center
GEM DescriptionMore than 109,000 soldiers fought here for control of a railway during the Civil War.