Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Invasion of the Union Camps

Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of Peabody Road and Reconnoitering Road, in the Shiloh National Military Park.
County: Hardin
Coordinates: N 35° 7.615    W 088° 20.8
  35.12691666    -88.34666666
Waymark: None


As the sun rose, Union soldiers camped here and at nearby sites looked forward to a peaceful and leisurely Sunday. A flood of Rebel infantry, however, was about to engulf them from the southwest.

Whitelaw Reid, a Northern reporter, described the lack of preparation in the Union camps, "Some, particularly among our soldiers, were not yet out of bed. Others were dressing, others washing, others cooking, a few eating their breakfasts. Many guns were unloaded, accouterments lying pell-mell, ammunition was ill-supplied - in sort, the camps were virtually surprised...."

By the end of the day, the Southerners had overrun most of the camps. Many Union soldiers spent the night without food, bedding, or other supplies left behind in haste.

"Shells were hurtling through the tents while, before there was time for thought of preparation, there came rushing through the woods the lines of battle sweeping the whole fronts of the division-camps....".
-Whitelaw Reid
War Correspondent, Cincinatti Gazette


More information:
NPS: Shiloh National Military Park
CWT: Shiloh
Wikipedia: Battle of Shiloh