Cruising

Cruising; Side trip to Shiloh and Corinth

Pittsburg Landing from Tennessee River

Pittsburg Landing from Tennessee River

On our way up the Tennessee River I saw on our river charts that we would pass what was Pittsburg Landing. Pittsburg Landing was the starting point of General U.S. Grants campaign to capture the major railway crossings 22 miles away in Corinth, Mississippi.

Both Cynthia and I wanted to see the battlefield and area but had to postpone until we passed close by when connecting onto the Tombigbee river and canal. It worked out that we stayed at Aqua Harbor Marina and scheduled some work to be completed on the boat. We had a couple of days wait until the work could be completed so we took advantage of the Marina’s courtesy cars and made our way to the battlefield.

Split rail fence along "the sunken road"

Split rail fence along “the sunken road”

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A look from the fence line

Called the parade ground, this is where Grant drilled his troops waiting for General Buell to arrive with his troops and begin the march upon Corinth.

Every time we visit a historic battlefield we have mixed feelings. It is exciting to see where these battles took place. But to imagine the human tragedy of the fighting is completely different. We visited sites called, Hornet’s Nest, Bloody Pond, the Peach Orchard, Dill Branch Ravine. These sites where tremendous fighting took place with charge after charge repulsed by fire. I am overwhelmed by the bravery of these men that marched into a hail of bullets across open fields, or pushed through forests so dense that horses couldn’t move through, or across ponds and through ravines.

Something that caught my attention was the tablets marking information, and troop positions. One of the Armies was the Federal Army of Tennessee. Tennessee was a member of the Confederacy and a slave state. Yet there was a Federal Army of Tennessee, fighting the Confederate Army of Mississippi. These armies were made up of men from other states, but it just brings to mind that these people were not from different cultures or lands they live very close to each other.

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These depict the frustration of the Calvary unable to move in the dense woods, and the frustration at having to withdraw from the battle.

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The fates representing life, death, and defeat. The faces in the stone represent on the right willingness and optimism on the left dispar and defeat

Memorial to the Confederacy, shows the enthusiasm and willingness to fight

Memorial to the Confederacy, shows the enthusiasm and willingness to fight

I asked a park representative about the Federal Army of Tennessee. Tennessee was very divided with the more industialized east Federal and the agrarian west more Confederate.

I came away from our day with a better knowledge an a heavier heart for what had happened on that spring day with peach trees in full bloom.

In about 36 hours of fighting, confusion, smoke and chaos there were 23,746 casualties.

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Gates to the Military cemetery dedicated in 1866.

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This is a Federal Cemetery, however, there are two Confederate soldiers buried here.

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There are a number of mass graves throughout the battlefield where the Confederate soldiers were buried.

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The Confederate soldiers were not kept out of the cemetery. It was the decision of Confederate veterans that the soldiers be buried where the died and not moved to existing cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following day Cynthia and I traveled to Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. Built near the sight of the Battery Robinet, where some of the heaviest fighting occurred during the siege and battle of Corinth over control of the railroad crossroads. Some of the fighting was house to house through what was then the town area of Corinth.

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Castings representing warriors fallen.

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The castings were placed by the walkway to the interpretive center.

Bronze casting

Bronze casting

After two days we had a better feeling for what happened but it also left us reflective of the sacrifices that were made on both sides of the conflict.

This post should come out about the time we reflect here in the United States and honor our Veterans
Thanks for all you’ve done.

 

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