Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee, is a must-see for any Civil War or American-history buff: You can almost hear the battle cries of the soldiers who fought there.
Located in the southern part of the state, near Savannah and 115 mi/185 km southwest of Nashville, this park commemorates one of the most crucial battles of the Civil War and the first major bloodbath: More than 23,000 soldiers were killed or wounded there in two days of fighting. The engagement took place when Union troops under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant pushed south in 1862 and were met by the Confederate army based in nearby Corinth, Mississippi. Grant emerged the victor, but just barely—had Union reinforcements not arrived at the end of the first day, the battle and the war might have turned out very differently.
Shiloh National Military Park covers a large area of rolling, wooded hills, and a convenient driving route leads to important battle sites. Try to get out and walk the grounds as much as you can. It's a very pretty area, made more poignant for the bloodshed that took place there. We especially enjoyed strolling the length of the "Sunken Road," where some of the fiercest fighting took place. Monuments throughout the park note the regiments and home states of the men who fought at particular spots. There are also many preserved prehistoric Indian mounds, and the Shiloh cemetery is breathtaking.
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