SHILOH, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Shiloh National Military Park, a masterpiece of Civil War interpretation and preservation, will hold the 150th commemoration of its strategic battle during a series of events taking place March 29-April 8.
The state’s 2012 Sesquicentennial Signature Event: “Invasions by Rail and River: The Battle of Shiloh” will be held April 4-5 at Pickwick Landing State Park in Pickwick Dam.
The Signature Event begins with the Looking Back project hosted by Tennessee State Library & Archives and also features a teacher’s workshop “Illuminating the Battle” hosted by Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation. There will be a red carpet film premiere of a state-of-the-art documentaryThe Story of Shiloh: Fiery Trial at 7 p.m. on April 4.
Official Opening Ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. April 5 and will feature a forum with America’s foremost historians on the battle of Shiloh, living history demonstrations, a special Sesquicentennial Civil War exhibit offering rare and unique artifacts from the Battle of Shiloh and a musical performance by The 52nd Regimental String Band. The event will kick off with the firing of an official Shiloh cannon at Pickwick Landing State Park.
Co-chairs of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, will host the event. Governor Bill Haslam has been invited to participate.
The symposium is jointly sponsored by the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, Tennessee Historical Society and Shiloh National Military Park.
The Shiloh National Military Park will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh with a “Grand Illumination” on the evening of April 7. Luminaries will be placed around the battlefield representing the 23,746 killed, wounded or missing at Shiloh. The illumination will begin at dusk and end at 10 p.m. Other special activities will take place April 6-8 including special ranger led hikes, at corresponding time and place, 150 years later. For more information on the events presented by The Shiloh National Military Park, visit www.nps.gov/shil/shiloh-150th-anniversary.html.
Other events not to be missed on March 29-31 are two reenactments that will feature more than 6,000 re-enactors and more than 100 cannons. The action will unfold during these locally organized reenactment events coordinated and sponsored by The Armies of Tennessee and the Blue-Gray Alliance. The Armies of Tennessee reenactment will feature a march to Shiloh from Mississippi. The Blue-Gray Alliance reenactment will transport soldiers by rail and river, as they were 150 years ago, directly into the battle. To register for these two events visit www.150thcivilwarevents.com/ or www.armiesoftennessee.com/.