Shiloh 150th Events Slated March 29-April 8
One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War—a key Union morale booster early in the conflict—will be commemorated with a week of special events from March 29th to April 8th, 2012.
Situated near Savannah in southwestern Tennessee between Memphis and Nashville, Shiloh National Military Park memorializes the spot where armies under Major General Ulysses S. Grant won a key victory in the effort to control the western theater of the Civil War.
Observances at the National Military Park include a "Grand Illumination" that takes place on the evening of April 7. The 23,746 killed, wounded or missing at Shiloh will be represented by luminaria positioned around the battlefield. The illumination starts at dusk and ends at 10 p.m.
Special ranger led hikes will take place April 6-8 at times and places where action occurred 150 years earlier. For more information on 150th events visit Shiloh National Military Park.
The commemoration of the pivotal battle also features a free public Sesquicentennial Signature Event called “Invasions by Rail and River: The Battle of Shiloh” on April 4th and 5th at Pickwick Landing State Park (south of the battlefield on the Tennessee River). The state’s major event includes an April 4th premiere of the state-of-the-art documentary “The Story of Shiloh: Fiery Trial” at 7 p.m. Following the film there will be a question and answer session with director Chris Wheeler and Shiloh National Military Park Chief Ranger Stacy Allen. Another project called “Looking Back” features a teacher’s workshop “Illuminating the Battle,” hosted by Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation.
April 5th, the Official Opening Ceremony of the Signature Event takes place at 9 a.m. and features a forum of historians who’ll discuss the battle of Shiloh. There will also be living history demonstrations and rare artifacts from the Battle of Shiloh will be on display in a Sesquicentennial Civil War exhibit. The 52nd Regimental String Band will present a musical performance. The Pickwick Landing State Park event gets underway with the firing of an official Shiloh cannon.
Two major reenactments will gather more than 6,000 reenactors and more than 100 cannons over March 29-31. The reenactment events are sponsored by The Armies of Tennessee and the Blue-Gray Alliance. The Armies of Tennessee reenactment includes a march to Shiloh from Mississippi. The Blue-Gray Alliance engagement will actually transport soldiers by rail and river as occurred 150 years ago. Reenactments are not permitted in the national military park and a National Park Service video explains why. Click for more information on the reenactments.
The co-chairs of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will host the Signature Event—Commissioner Susan Whitaker, of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, and Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.