Visit to Shiloh with AoT
- Jack knows Steve Wakefield (aka "Wakefield" aka "AoT") having met him when he led our Chickamauga tour at June muster back in 2001. I'm sure he'd agree with all you say about his tours being informative and entertaining. At our first muster back in 1999 Steve gave us the tour of Shiloh. He brought the field to life the moment we entered Fraley field. In the early morning mists we stood in the trees and he cracked his hands together making the sound of gunshots and re-creating in our minds the first shots of the battle. Eerie, impressive and extremely memorable! Steve most definitely knows his stuff and imparts that information in such a way that enthusiasts of any level knowledge can be transported to another time.I chatted with Steve just last week in the CWiP chatroom (he frequently checks in to read the scrollback) and asked him where he was on the tour venture. Come to think of it, he didn't actually respond to the question but told me he's been very involved with reading and ruminating about WWI and WWII. As a matter of fact he's placed a lengthy post on the Civil War Interactive Premium Discussion Board concerning "WWII German-Russo stuff" saying he's working on an article and invited reactions to his thoughts. If any of you are members of CWiP and haven't checked the post, please do so. His head is definitely more into WW2 these days (said he was a bit burnt out CW-wise at the moment) and he's eager for feedback.Also agree with you on the Shiloh VC film being dated. Basecat had our group chuckling with comments about the Amish being present at Shiloh from the looks of the film. ;) Another pleasant memory of the trip!Best regards.Pat----- Original Message -----From: walterchr2002Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 7:16 AMSubject: [civilwarwest] Re: Visit to ShilohA small group of HS history teachers of which I am a member went on a
tour of Shiloh last fall. The tour was arranged thru the American
Historian's Organization and was conducted by two people Tom or Tim
Cartwright of Franklin (I think he is the Director of the Carter
House museum there) and Steve Wakefield of Memphis. Wakefield I
believe used to be a member here but he does not seem to be an active
member anymore but perhaps spme members know how to track him down.
It was undoubtedly the most informative and entertaining Civil War
battlefield tour I have EVER been on and I have been on a number of
them. I felt like the tour we received was superior to the couple of
Bearss-led tours which I have been on and the cost was considerably
less. These two people talked like they were planning on starting
a 'tour business' but I have not heard or seen anything further about
it in any Civil War publications. If you could track either of these
folks down I would highly recommend them. They were both walking
Civil War and miltary history encyclopedias. The recommended pre-tour
reading suggested by them was two back issues of 'Blue-Gray'
magazine which contained a detail self guided tour of the Shiloh park
and area and they were really good and helpful to me. The park
affords you none of the wide panaromic vistas available at Gettysburg
and it really is very difficult to get a real good over view of the
battle. However unlike Gettysburg you will not be distracted by the
large crowds, in mid-September last year on a perfect fall week end
the park was nearly deserted.
The two most memorable spots for me were Fraley's field at dawn and
the cemetary overlooking the River at late dusk. Also as someone has
suggested, if you can walk the length of the Prentiss line from
Duncan field to the peach orchard-bloody pond area very very
interesting. For me personally the VC was not all that helpful but
that was just me and the film shown is in dire need of updating.
There was an excellent book store right next door to VC.
The convoluted nature of the battle and the highly broken and wooded
terrain of the park makes it very confusing and hard to follow
without some advance study and a good guide if you can swing it.
Also as you say, although catfish is not my cup of tea, the place
just north (?) of the vistors center had many of my group raving. One
warning, the park is very remote and there are no places to run and
get a cold drink or sandwich during the middle of your touring - my
advice is bring your own tour rations!
I hope you have great weather and lots of fun!
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