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Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh National Military Park

1055 Pittsburg Landing Road
Shiloh, Tennessee 38376

Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center
(731) 689-5696
Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
(662) 287-9273

Explore Shiloh National Military Park

�No soldier who took part in the two day�s engagement at Shiloh ever spoiled for a fight again,� recalled one Union veteran. �We wanted a square, stand-up fight [and] got all we wanted of it.� 

Besides preserving the site of the bloody April 1862 battle in Tennessee, the park commemorates the subsequent siege, battle, and occupation of the key railroad junction at nearby Corinth, Mississippi.

By mid-February 1862, United States forces had won decisive victories in the West at Mill Springs, Kentucky, and Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee. These successes opened the way for invasion up the Tennessee River to sever Confederate rail communications along the important Memphis & Charleston and Mobile & Ohio railroads. 

Forced to abandon Kentucky and Middle Tennessee, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, supreme Confederate commander in the West, moved to protect his rail communications by concentrating his scattered forces around the small town of Corinth in northeast Mississippi�strategic crossroads of the Memphis & Charleston and the Mobile & Ohio.

In March, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, commanding U.S. forces in the West, advanced armies under Maj. Gens. Ulysses S. Grant and Don Carlos Buell southward to sever the Southern railroads. Grant ascended the Tennessee River by steamboat, disembarking his Army of the Tennessee at Pittsburg Landing, 22 miles northeast of Corinth. 

There he established a base of operations on a plateau west of the river, with his forward camps posted two miles inland around a log church called Shiloh Meeting House. Halleck had specifically instructed Grant not to engage the Confederates until he had been reinforced by Buell's Army of the Ohio, then marching overland from Nashville. 

Once combined, the two armies would advance on Corinth and permanently break western Confederate railroad communications.

General Johnston, aware of Federal designs on Corinth, planned to smash Grant's army at Pittsburg Landing before Buell arrived. He placed his troops in motion on April 3, but heavy rain and difficulties encountered by marching large columns of men, artillery, and heavy wagons over muddy roads, delayed the attack. 

By nightfall, April 5, his Army of the Mississippi, nearly 44,000 men present for duty, was finally deployed for battle four miles southwest of Pittsburg Landing.

At daybreak, Sunday, April 6, the Confederates stormed out of the woods and assailed the forward Federal camps around Shiloh Church. Grant and his nearly 40,000 men present for duty were equally surprised by the onslaught. 

The Federals soon rallied, however, and bitter fighting consumed �Shiloh Hill.� Throughout the morning, Confederate brigades slowly gained ground, forcing Grant's troops to give way, grudgingly, to fight a succession of defensive stands at Shiloh Church, the Peach Orchard, Water Oaks Pond, and within an impenetrable oak thicket battle survivors named the Hornets' Nest.

From the west (Memphis, Tennessee, area): Take Highway 72 East to Corinth, Mississippi. From the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, take Highway 22 North to the Shiloh Battlefield.

From the south (Tupelo, Mississippi, area): Take Highway 45 North to Corinth, Mississippi. From the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, take Highway 22 North to the Shiloh Battlefield.

From the north (Jackson, Tennessee, area): Take Highway 45 South to Selmer, Tennessee. Continue south on Highway 45 to Corinth, Mississippi and the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, or take Highway 64 East to Crump, Tennessee, and then Highway 22 South to the Shiloh Battlefield.

From the northeast (Nashville, Tennessee, area): Take Interstate 40 West to the Parker's Crossroads Exit. Then take Highway 22 South to Shiloh Battlefield. Continue on Highway 22 South to the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center.

From the east (Chattanooga, Tennessee, area): Take Alternate Highway 72 West through Huntsville, Alabama, to Iuka, Mississippi. Take Highway 25 North (in Mississippi - Highway 57 West in Tennesasee) to Counce, Tennessee. 

From there, take Highway 142 North until it becomes Highway 22 North at the Shiloh Battlefield. To reach the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center from Iuka, Mississippi, continue on Highway 72 West to Corinth, Mississippi.

Shiloh Battlefield: The park is open every day except Christmas Day from dawn until dusk . The park visitor center and bookstore are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Peak season runs from April through Labor Day.

Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center: The center is open every day except Christmas Day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Peak season runs from April through Labor Day.

Places to Picnic

  • All picnics must take place at the park picnic area, which is located on the west side of Highway 22 one-mile south of the Shiloh park entrance.

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