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Monday, February 21, 2011

101 Places to See Before You're 12 - A Battlefield

A Battlefield

On our way home from Mississippi on Saturday the boys and I decided to stop by the Shiloh National Military Park which straddles Mississippi and Tennessee.  I've visited battlefields before but was surprised at how large this one is - 4,000 acres.  We saw a lot of bikers and hikers throughout the park.  We also saw two large Boy Scout Packs hiking and spending the day exploring the grounds.

The Battle of Shiloh was a two day battle in April of 1862.  Approximately 109,000 troops were involved in the battle and 24,000 troops were killed.  The battle is named for the Shiloh Methodist Church that still stands near the battlegrounds.

The park has a wide variety of monuments, tablets, and historic markers throughout the battlefield and grounds.  We could have easily spent an afternoon here and really should sometime.

More than 3500 Civil War soldiers are buried in the National Cemetery.  2,359 of them are unknown. 

We were interested in the original Methodist Church which still stands today.  The surrounding area is where some of the bloodiest portions of the battle were fought on Sunday morning at sunrise.   

While a very somber place to visit, we were glad we did and would love to take Dad with us sometime when we are traveling to visit family and have the time to stop and visit.  And this was our 40th 101 Places!  You can read about the others here.

From the Book:
#41 - A Battlefield
The air was filled with smoke, the sound of gunshots and cannons, the clash of swords, and cries from the wounded.  It's quiet and peaceful here now, but long ago, history was made in this place.  Men fought and killed one another; were brave or overcome with fear; became leaders or just struggled to survive.  They fought for causes they believed in and were willing to die for, to protect their culture and tradition, or just because they had no choice.  Seeing a battlefield can make your heart ache, but it's important to remember those whose lives were changed there, and the reasons they went there in the first place.

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