This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park

This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park

by Timothy B. Smith
     
 

Around the turn of the last century, feelings of patriotism, nationalism, and sectional reconciliation swept the United States and led to a nationwide memorialization of American military history in general and the Civil War in particular. The 1894 establishment of the Shiloh National Military Park, for example, grew out of an effort by veterans themselves to

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Overview

Around the turn of the last century, feelings of patriotism, nationalism, and sectional reconciliation swept the United States and led to a nationwide memorialization of American military history in general and the Civil War in particular. The 1894 establishment of the Shiloh National Military Park, for example, grew out of an effort by veterans themselves to preserve and protect the site of one of the Civil War’s most important engagements.

Returning to the Pittsburg Landing battlefield, Shiloh veterans organized themselves to push the Federal government into establishing a park to honor both the living participants in the battle and those who died there. In a larger sense, these veterans also contributed to the contemporaneous reconciliation of the North and the South by focusing on the honor, courage, and bravery of Civil War soldiers instead of continuing divisive debates on slavery and race.

This Great Battlefield of Shiloh tells the story of their efforts from the end of the battle to the park’s incorporation within the National Park Service in 1933. The War Department appointed a park commission made up of veterans of the battle. This commission surveyed and mapped the field, purchased land, opened roads, marked troop positions, and established the historical interpretation of the early April 1862 battle. Many aged veterans literally gave the remainder of their lives in the effort to plan, build, and maintain Shiloh National Military Park for all veterans. By studying the establishment and administration of parks such as the one at Shiloh, the modern scholar can learn much about the mindsets of both veterans and their civilian contemporaries regarding the Civil War. This book represents an important addition to the growing body of work on the history of national remembrance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572335837
Publisher:
University of Tennessee Press
Publication date:
09/30/2006
Series:
Voices of the Civil War Ser.
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,066,392
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Timothy B. Smith is on staff at the Shiloh National Military Park. He is author of Champion Hill:  Decisive Battle for Vicksburg and This Great Battlefield of Shiloh:  History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park.

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1Isolation1
2"An Act to Establish ..."17
3The Shiloh Commission31
4"The Work of Converting Mere Land into a Park"45
5"Preserved on the Ground"55
6Conflict and Consensus73
7"These Here Sticks"93
8The Changing of the Guard107
Conclusion: History, Memory, and Shiloh National Military Park129
App. 1Enabling Legislation131
App. 2Land Purchases134
App. 3Shiloh National Cemetery Superintendents135
App. 4Commissioners and Superintendents136
App. 5Monuments and Dedications137
App. 6Shiloh Church139
App. 7Shiloh Historiography140
Notes142
Bibliography166
Index173

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