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 Posted: Sat Jan 28th, 2006 02:12 pm
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calcav
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Joined: Sat Jan 28th, 2006
Location: Corinth, MS
Posts: 160
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For those of you that don’t know me I am a Park Ranger at Shiloh though most of my time is spent at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. I just thought I’d take a few minutes to respond to some of the comments.

 

The Film. Yes it is old and horribly dated. It is also the first and longest playing narrative style film in the National Park Service. It was made in cooperation with several local and state organizations all of which still have immense pride in the project. Indeed quite a few locals were cast as extras. It was first aired on April 7, 1956 on the 94th anniversary of the battle. It was originally 35 minutes in length but was shortened to 25 minutes to allow it to be played every half hour. During this years 144th anniversary events it will be shown in its original format to celebrate its 50th year. And it is not just popular with the locals. Hundreds of copies of the video are sold every year out of the park bookstore. If you are interested in an updated film start your Shiloh visit at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. We have a brand new film that plays on seven plasma screens in a circular theatre. And there are no shirtless guys in slacks manning the artillery.

 

I’m sorry if someone felt a biased (northern) interpretation of the battle by the staff. All of our programs are approved by senior staff members for balance and accuracy. And to tell the truth all of the interpretive staff, with the exception of the Chief Ranger (Kansas) and myself (California), are proud southerners. If you question the material in a program, by all means voice your concerns (preferably at the end of the program) and the Ranger will be glad to cite the sources used in developing the talk. And please beware of those self proclaimed “guides” in period attire. They enjoy passing themselves off as licensed battlefield guides (a program still in development) and persist in presenting a skewed version of our history. If you desire a battlefield guide the Visitors Center can recommend a few local historians who are quite knowledgeable of the battle.

 

Road Signs. A project near and dear to my heart. Anyone approaching Shiloh from the North, East or West has had the assistance of numerous road markers and signs to guide them to the park. But the park is 40 miles from the nearest interstate highway and sometimes you wonder if you are ever going to find it. Until this last summer, anyone approaching from the south or trying to navigate sites in Corinth came away very frustrated. Hopefully that is now corrected. Since the new Visitor Center in Corinth opened I have worked with city and county officials as well as the DOT people from Tennessee and Mississippi to install an ambitious signing project. The first phase of the project was completed in August and 21 familiar NPS brown and white signs were erected in and around the city. The second phase was put on indefinite hold when Hurricane Katrina devastated coastal Mississippi and highway funds earmarked for our project were diverted south. However anyone traveling on Highway 72 or 45 will have no problem finding our site. Once you have got here we can provide maps to lead you out to the numerous earthworks that still ring the city.

 

Yes, visitation is down at Shiloh National Military Park, as well as at all the parks in the system. The gas prices have hit us all hard. But if you do find the gas money to come to Shiloh, PLEASE start your visit in Corinth. You’ll be glad you did. So do your part, get in the car and go visit a park this weekend, after all, they are your parks.

 

P.S. I prefer the broiled whole lemon pepper catfish at Hagy’s.

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