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 Posted: Mon Sep 1st, 2008 04:06 pm
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calcav1
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Joined: Tue Nov 20th, 2007
Location: Corinth, MS
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Perry,
I've been with the park for 9 years, the last 4 at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center.


5fish wrote:

Or maybe a Local farmer wanted to use the field for farming again and plowed over any grave markers.
It is time to recheck the historical record on the burials at Shiloh to see if it supports this line of thought and then call the Anthropologist with those machines that scan under the ground to see if any grave sites have been missed. 

If there are any military graves in that field they should be marked and honored.

 

5fish, Veterans visiting the park in the 1880-90's learned that local farmers had been discovering graves while plowing their fields. There is no indication that the farmers were plowing over grave markers in an effort to work their fields, but in the process of farming graves were uncovered and bodies disturbed. This is one of the drving factors that led to the establishment of the Shiloh National Military Park.

As for "rechecking the historical record", well that is easier said than done. On October 13, 1909 a tornado struck the park and severely damaged the cemetery lodge which served as the park headquarters. Debris from the park was found 45 miles away in Alabama. Lost in the storm was the location of the "missing" Confederate burial trenchs, locations which were known at the time but not yet marked. We know there are several burial sites on the east side of the park but without knowledge of the exact location it is impossible to mark them. During a survey conducted several years ago by NPS archeologists an attempt was made to locate one of the sites using ground penetrating radar. The site is on broken ground with many large trees and we were unable to confirm the location. We knew we were in the vicinity but could not say with any certainty just where the trench is. As for "marking and honoring" the graves, known and unknown, I think a visit to the park would confirm to you that this has been accomplished.

Concerning the fighting along the Hornets Nest/Sunken road line I would highly reccomend you read "Shiloh: Bloody April" by Wiley Sword. Wiley does an excellent job of interpreting the charges against the Union center. Wrap10 listed Tim Smith's two books which will also go a long way in explaining the establishment of the Park as well as many of the myths that surround the battle.

Lastly, do not be too critical of D. W. Reed if he seems to concentrate on the action at the Hornet's Nest. Along with the rest of the 12th Iowa, Major Reed fought on the edge of the Hornets Nest at Duncan Field. He was wounded in the right leg twice and captured and then abandoned by the Confederates. More than any one person he is responsible for the establishment of the park and it was not lightly that he became known as "The Father of Shiloh Park."

Tom

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