The Filson Civil War Field Institute: The Campaign and Battle of Shiloh

By Brian R. Pollock
Special Events Coordinator

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The troops marched toward Shiloh Church, even if their formation was a little ragged.Kent Masterson Brown set the scene for the two-day battle and led our group throughout the 4,000 acres of the park to walk the same ground as the soldiers walked in April 1862. Everyone returned safely after learning the details of the Campaign and Battle of Shiloh during a weekend of both rain and beautiful weather. 

The institute began on Thursday evening at the Veranda House in Corinth, Mississippi. Kent introduced us to Colonel Eugene Erwin who carried the battle-flag which was returned to Corinth to be on display at the Corinth Interpretive Center. The home served as General Braxton Bragg’s headquarters before and after the Battle of Shiloh. It was our headquarters to muster the troops. 

Reveille came early on Friday as we sat down for an examination of the Kentucky Defense Line and its Collapse to see the troop movements that led to Shiloh. This was followed by an overview of the tactical movements at Shiloh. After fortifying ourselves with a hot meal, the troops boarded the bus under Our youngest recruit, Will Pagan, sized himself up next to “Heidi”, erected by Illinois to honor their troops who fought at Shiloh. threatening skies to travel to Shiloh. We reached the park and began at Pittsburgh Landing to see where the Union ships bombarded the Confederates with shells throughout the evening of the 6th. As we looked out on the Tennessee River, we could almost hear the sound of the shells. Alas, we realized that was just the rain moving in as we marched back to the bus to continue the tour under cover. An intrepid few would disembark at various sites around the field to see how the men were deployed for the coming battle. The day concluded with a tour of the Corinth Interpretive Center. The battle-flag of the Sixth Missouri Infantry was presented to the center for display in their museum. We were also treated to the new monument to the Civil War showing the battles and divide between North and South. 

Just as with Shiloh, the tides changed for our Saturday morning and we had a beautiful day to tour the battlefield. Among the sites on Saturday were the site of Albert Sydney Johnston’s death, the Hornet’s Nest, and the Confederate falter at Dill Branch. The day concluded with the counterattacks by Grant’s and Buell’s combined armies. 

The new Civil War monument at the Corinth Interpretive Center was cause for much discussion and reflection. On the final day, only the heartiest returned for a later battle in the area. We walked in the footsteps of Colonel Eugene Erwin during the Battle of Corinth. We visited the outer works and saw the earthen mounds that surrounded Corinth and even after 150 years of erosion, it still created a formidable defense. 

The corps disbanded that morning with the promise of reuniting in Lexington in the fall to invade Kentucky and explore the history of the Civil War. Continuing on the success of this institute, The Filson will embark again on October 26-29, 2006 to discover the battlefields and important sites associated with the Confederate Invasion of Kentucky. We hope that you will be able to enlist with our regiment of The Filson Civil War Field Institute and traipse through the pages of history in the landscapes of the Western Theater.

For more information on The Filson's Civil War Field Institute, please visit our website

Standing on Pittsburgh Landing, the troops gazed out upon the mighty Tennessee River.

Fortifying the troops, the food in 2006 is a little better than hard tack and blue beef.

Volume 6, Number 2

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The Filson Historical Society
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