Shiloh and Corinth Trip

March 2007

 

    The Round Table's longest tour yet, five days, ventured the furthest distance from Roanoke that the Round Table has yet traveled.  Roughly a ten hour bus drive, participants studied material on the battle during the drive down, arriving late on Wednesday to find great food and lodging at Pickwick State Park on the Tennessee River.


Day 1

   

Traveling at warp speed, we have now entered the "Sovereign State of Tennessee", according to one monument we would later read.

 

 

View From the Hotel Room

 

 

That evening after dinner, Eddie Wheeler was given the comic book version of the battle.  Clive Rice had held onto the book for a year and a half waiting for just the right opportunity to give the gift.  Eddie accepted the gift with his usual good humor.

 

 

Sundown means that it will be bedtime soon.  A full day of touring is in front of us.

 


 

Day 2 - The Battle's First Day

Thursday morning we met Charles Spearman, our guide for Shiloh.

 

 

Shiloh National Cemetery was the first stop on the tour.

 

 

Pittsburg Landing just below the cemetery was next.

 

 

Outside of park boundaries, we stopped at the site of A.S. Johnston's last bivouac.

 

 

Later, tour participants were formed into line of battle at Fraley Field, scene of the battle's first combat.

 

 

The site of Shiloh Church is the perfect place for group photos.

 

 

This is the Floyd County contingent.

 

 

This is part of the Smith Mountain Lake contingent - Jack Vaughn, Roger Lewis, and Tony Konopka.  All three men are able to match their socks.  Roger Lewis, however, has contrarian tendencies and doesn't seem too concerned about what we think.  Maybe that's why the webmaster likes rooming with him.

 

 

Betty and Clive Rice.  The Rices did a great deal of work to prepare for the trip, making it a great success.

 

 

We toured the site of Johnston's mortal wounding and death.  Johnston was the highest ranking general to be killed during the war.

 

 

Bloody Pond - Who can forget Bloody Pond from the Visitors Center movie?

 

 

The Hornet's Nest

 

 

Duncan Field

 

 

That evening, park historian Stacy Allen gave one of the best talks the Round Table has ever heard - on his discovery about how bad wartime maps effected the battle.  The Confederates expected the Union army to be facing west, and the plan was to attack them in the flank from the south, Frederick the Great style.  To demonstrate, Stacy got on the flank of our very own Jack Vaughn.  Jack survived this only to have a waitress slam a door in his flank as he was leaving! 

 

 

The Marcheterre's of Nashville joined us for the tour starting with Stacy Allen's animated talk.  Without question, being on the front row, Mrs. Marcheterre got the full effect of the presentation.  We were still talking about it two days later.   

 


 

Day 3 - the Battle's Second Day

For the trip, Tom Moser was joined by an old friend, Clay Gregory, now living in California.

 

 

Iowa Monument

 

 

For Day 2 of the battle, we began at Grant's final line from the day before.

 

 

We toured Dill Creek Branch on foot and by bus, and got this great view of the river. 

 

 

Lew Wallace began his portion of the counterattack from here.

 

 

Our continued through an under-appreciated area, Jones Field, where Lew Wallace continued his attack

 

 

Water Oak Pond - A Confederate counterattack passed through this pond.

 

 

Tennessee Monument - "Erected by the Sovereign State of Tennessee".  Could that be a political statement?

 

 

This new gun of Ruggles' Grand Battery replaces an older one which the park service was "persuaded" to part with.

 

 

Our speaker that evening, Tom Parsons, a Navy man, spoke on logistics and the battle's aftermath.  In appreciation he was presented with this plaque.

 

 

Jim Atkison won this book in the evening's drawing.

 


 

Day 4 - Corinth

The statue of several soldiers in front of the Corinth Interpretive Center includes this figure patterned on Stacy Allen.

 

 

 

The symbolic significance of the interpretive center's water park was explained to the group by Jim Minor, another man who is present in statue form at the building's entrance.  Round Table members speculated about the depth of the swirling waters until one man found out for certain.

 

 

From Revolution....

 

To Reconstruction

 

 

Corinth was also home to a contraband camp where former slaves prepared for a new life of freedom.

 

We had a boxed lunch at the Interpretive Center.  Winds were strong, even blowing away the webmaster's half-finished lunch.  Braving rough conditions, Al Baril helps with trash disposal.

 

 

Meanwhile two officers take cover beneath the guns of the reconstructed fort.

"What should we do?"

"Let the skirmishers suppress enemy fire.  The battalion companies can advance on the right!"

"Or we could just get back on the bus."

 

 

Our next stop was the town of Corinth.  A walking tour of town includes several Civil War sites.  The Depot Museum explains the town's wartime experience.

 

 

This is the modern version of the strategic crossroads.  Three Round Table members sit on the bench as a distant train waits for the signal to continue.

 

 

The town's drug store, which dates to the 1860s, proved very popular.  Bill DeVries sat at the counter with the webmaster, who has an annoying habit of photographing any and every thing, even people peaceably trying to have a snack.  If you ever meet Bill, make sure to ask him the best ways to blow up a Korean bank vault.

Only a brief visit to the drug store shows why Corinth is famed for its beautiful women.  Unfortunately, photographic evidence of this is lacking.  Only a few seconds before, however, a gorgeous brunette was sitting in the back of the store, but she left after only a brief glance toward the webmaster.

 

 

Tom Moser was one of the evening's prize winners.

 

 

Gerald Via, Eddie Wheeler, and John Graham entertained that evening in the suite room.  The next morning, we packed up for the journey home.  The trip had been a great success, and we all had a wonderful time.  Where will our next bus trip take us?  Glorietta Pass?  Probably not.  Wherever it is, we'll have a great time.

 


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