Shiloh

I have done very little of note this weekend. Last night, I spent the night with a friend and former co-worker I hadn’t seen in a while. His wife was out of town and, since mine had to be up extra early this morning for a Girl Scout trip, we spent a glorious evening bitching about work, talking about guns, and partaking of gratuitous quantities of our drinks of choice (his–Miller Lite, mine–Maker’s Mark). A grand, testosterone-laden night, if I do say so.

Still, as it always does, writing fought its way back into my conscious mind on the drive home and I came up with a decent idea for a short story. I got home and have spent a couple of hours researching online about Civil War cemeteries. That got me to thinking that, although I’ve been to nearby Shiloh National Battlefield a few times since I moved back to Tennessee, I’ve never posted pictures on here.

So, rather than bore you with details of my story (most of which I haven’t worked out yet), I’ll put up a few of my favorite shots of the Shiloh Battlefield Park:

Here’s one of the flag in the middle of the National Cemetery:

Here’s a tombstone in the same cemetery (I love the flower):

A shot of the business end of a cannon:

Nice shot of one of the monuments (this is the background on my laptop right now):

The Confederate monument, with a defeated Victory flanked by Death and Night:

A row of cannon’s facing the famous “Hornet’s Nest”:

The top of the Tennessee monument:

One of the five located Confederate trenches where the defeated dead were buried as many as seven deep:

View from the inside of the reconstructed Shiloh Church, from whence the battle took its name:

Cannon in shade:

A shot of a tourist wrestling the local wildlife (actually, my son Nic and his stuffed bear):

Ravine where Gen. Albert Sydney Johnston died after being shot in the leg. Johnston is the highest ranking military officer ever killed on U.S. soil:

The “Bloody Pond” where many soldiers and horses came to die during the battle. So many died here, legends say, that the waters ran red with their blood. (No, that’s not blood on there in the picture–it’s red clay from beneath the pond stirred up during recent rains.):

Gates to the National Cemetery (for my illiterate readers):

Here’s a shot of the cemetery itself:

So, there you are. It’s odd that such a peaceful place–Shiloh even means “place of peace” in Hebrew–could have been the site of nearly 34,000 brutal deaths over less than two days. I did like the park so much I included it a couple of times in Dead and Dying and, as I mentioned before, will likely do so again. A place with such an emotional and bloody history really speaks to the creative mind.

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About Lee Smiley

I write things. Maybe you'll read them.
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