J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.


Last weekend marked the beginning observances of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. To kick off scheduled week-long events, a reenactment took place near the park. Opening ceremonies included an appearance by Miss Tennessee, as well as reenactors portraying generals who fought there: Grant, Hardee, Albert Sidney Johnston (who was killed), Beauregard, Buell, Wallace, and Prentiss, to name a few.

Simultaneous battles took place before several hundred spectators. A ladies tea and soiree, followed by an 1860’s fashion show, were held under a big tent, surrounded by food vendors and sutlers selling any era item imaginable.

On Saturday evening, a period ball was held in the big tent, which was so filled with reenactors that it was difficult to move about. However, dancers still had a very enjoyable time. Music was performed by the 52nd Regimental String Band.

Sunday morning began with a period church service. Officers spoke about the roles they played during the battle, and then another reenactment took place before the event came to a close.

This week, a new film (finally!) will premier at the Visitors Center. The National Park Service will sponsor special events and talks. An annual illumination in the National Cemetery will be held next weekend, which will mark the real anniversary (April 6-7) of the Battle of Shiloh. (More photos to follow, so please stay tuned!)

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