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Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh Church

North end of Shiloh Church cemetery (35K)

Image 1: North end of the Shiloh Church cemetery. This is the north end of the Shiloh Church cemetery yard, looking west. The cannon is pointed northeast, indicating the location of Confederate artillery. The marker in the center of the picture is for Trabue's brigade, from the Reserve Corps of the Confederate Army of the Mississippi.

Bankhead's Tennessee Battery (35K)

Image 2: Bankhead's Tennessee Battery. The photograph shows cannons indicating the location of Bankhead's (Confederate) Tennessee Battery. The marker indicates the position of Bankhead's Battery and the 11th Louisiana regiment, both of Colonel Robert Russell's brigade, Brigadier Charles Clark's division, of Major General Leonidas Polk's corps. This marker is slightly south and east of the marker in the first picture.

Bankhead's Battery, looking south (47K)

Image 3: Bankhead's Battery, looking south. The cannon in the picture is the same as the right most cannon in Image 2. The road is the Corinth Road. In the center of the background, just barely seen, is the present day church near the site of the original church.

Taylor's Battery (46K)

Image 4: Taylor's Battery, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. The cannons and the monument indicate the location of Taylor's Batter, 1st Illinois Light Artillery regiment, of Sherman's Division, in the Union Army of the Tennessee. The battery faces south, and is in the southern section of the Shiloh Church area. Shiloh Church would have been off the right side of this photograph, on the opposite side of the Corinth Road.

Current cemetery (41K)

Image 5: Photograph of the current cemetery. This portion of the battlefield is private land, belonging to the church. The current cemetery is still used by members of the church. Most of the grave markers are from relatively recent vintage. The current cemetery is on the western side of Corinth Road.

Old cemetery (44K)

Image 6: Photograph of the old cemetery. These markers are from the church's original cemetery. Although some of the markers are from after the battle, quite a few are antebellum. The old cemetery is on the eastern side of Corinth Road, north of where the original church was located.

When Brig. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman arrived at Pittsburg Landing with his division on March 16, 1862, they immediately marched inland to the area just north of the Shiloh Church. Sherman was ordered to take up a position far enough from the landing that there would be room in between for the rest of the army. This area was a crossroad. It was on the road that ran from Corinth, Mississippi to Pittsburg Landing. It was also on a road that ran from Purdy, Tennessee, across the nearby Owl Creek, and on to Pittsburg Landing.

The church was called Shiloh Church by the soldiers, but it was known locally as the Shiloh Meeting House. It was a one-room, log-hewn building. Ironically, this place of peace was the scene of vicious fighting.

In spite of warnings and the fact that he guarded an important crossroads, Sherman was no more prepared for the Confederate assault than any other divisional commander in the Union Army of the Tennessee. His men held out in the area of the church for a couple of hours, with Sherman personally directing them. His own horse was wounded, and then out right killed beneath him before he took an aide's horse. He narrowly cheated death on several occasions. In spite of his presence on the battle line, Sherman's division collapsed under sheer weight of numbers. Sherman reformed his men in the vicinity of Water Oaks Pond, before that position also fell.

Photographs 1, 2, 3, and 6 were captured on Kodak Gold 200 film in May, 2002. Photographs 4 and 5 were taken in March, 2000 and captured on Fuji ISO 200 film. All six photographs were taken with a Nikon F-601 autofocus SLR, using a Nikkor 24mm - 50mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens.