Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Welcome to Tennessee

Stones River National Battlefield Visitor Center

Today, my Dad and I made our way to Nashville, Tennessee, for the first of several days of touring some Civil War battlefields which have long been on our list of places to visit. Upon arriving in Nashville, our first order of business was to head to Murfreesboro to check out Stones River National Battlefield. While it is relatively small, and while much of the field has been lost to development and business, this is a site which is still worth your time. A great Visitor Center, a nice museum, a good short introductory film, and a driving tour covering the heart of the battle are some highlights at Stones River which you won't want to miss. Most meaningful for me was the large National Cemetery, containing the remains of over 6,000 Civil War soldiers from the Battle of Stones River, as well as other battles in the Nashville area. There will be much more to come on Stones River National Battlefield.

Stones River National Cemetery

Tomorrow, we will make our way to southern Tennessee to see the hallowed ground of Shiloh. I have wanted to visit Shiloh for as long as I can remember. After all, the battle and I share the same birthday. Shiloh began on April 6, 1862, and I was born 125 years later to the day. So, what better way to celebrate a 25th birthday, and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Shiloh, than to finally visit the park. Of course, we are a few weeks early, but I think missing crowds of visitors, throngs of reenactors, and general mayhem is a good thing. I think visiting 149 years, 11 months, and a few days since the battle is close enough.

While we are there, we'll swing down to Corinth, Mississippi, to see the NPS Interpretive Center and Civil War earthworks surrounding the town. We are also going to make a sojourn up to Fort Donelson as long as we are in the neighborhood.

So, stay tuned to the blog, as I can promise lots of new photos, stories, and reflections as your humble blogger visits some of our country's most hallowed sites.

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