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RE: [civilwarwest] Re: Shiloh Sunken Road

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  • Tom Mix
    It s a fun read. I recommend it. ... From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of bjer50010 Sent: Wednesday, February
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 28 3:08 PM
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      It’s a fun read. I recommend it.

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of bjer50010
      Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 4:56 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Shiloh Sunken Road

       

      Tom,

      That's what the blurb at the end of the article said, but it
      mentioned the book was about to be published. I've heard good things
      about it and it is definitely on my list.

      Barry

      --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@...> wrote:

      >
      > Barry,
      >
      > Much of this is included in Tim's book "The Untold Story of Shiloh:
      The
      > Battle and the Battlefield" . A nice short read that I recommend.
      >
      > Tom
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      [mailto:civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com] On
      > Behalf Of bjer50010
      > Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 2:01 PM
      > To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Shiloh Sunken Road
      >
      >
      >
      > Bob,
      >
      > I am posting the relevant part of the article below:
      >
      > It was in "America's Civil War" in an article by Timothy Smith
      which
      > shatters some of the myths of Shiloh. I found the entire article on-
      > line.
      >
      > "Coupled with the Hornet's Nest, the Sunken Road has become the
      major
      > emphasis of the fighting at Shiloh. Visitors want to see the Sunken
      > Road and Hornet's Nest more than any other attraction at the park.
      > While some important fighting did take place at the Sunken Road,
      the
      > entire story is predicated on the myth of the road being worn below
      > the surrounding terrain and thus providing a natural defensive
      trench
      > for the Federal soldiers. In fact, there is no contemporary
      evidence
      > that the Sunken Road was sunken at all.
      >
      > "The road was not a major avenue of travel. The two major routes in
      > the area were the Corinth-Pittsburg Landing Road and the Eastern
      > Corinth Road. What became known as the Sunken Road was a mere farm
      > road used by Joseph Duncan to get to various points on his
      property.
      > As it had limited use, the road would not have been worn down as
      many
      > people believe. At most, it might have had ruts several inches deep
      > at various times during wet seasons. Post-battle photos of the road
      > show a mere path, not a sunken trace.
      >
      > "Not one single report in the Official Records mentions the road as
      > being sunken. Likewise, no soldiers' letters or diaries exist that
      > refer to it as sunken. Many buffs quote Thomas Chinn Robertson of
      the
      > 4th Louisiana in Colonel Randall L. Gibson's Brigade as describing
      > the road as 3 feet deep. In reality, that soldier was in no
      position
      > to see the road. Gibson's Brigade never reached the Sunken Road and
      > fell back in confusion. Robertson described a tangle of undergrowth
      > that blocked his view, and even remarked that corps commander Bragg
      > stated he would lead them to where they could see the enemy. The
      unit
      > thereafter moved forward to the right, thus never allowing the
      quoted
      > soldier to view how deep the road actually was. In all likelihood,
      > the Louisianan was describing the Eastern Corinth Road or possibly
      > even the main Corinth Road, both of which were heavily traveled
      > thoroughfares and thus would have been eroded. Federal regiments
      were
      > aligned on both roads at times during the battle.
      >
      > "Although the Hornet's Nest was a wartime term, the expression
      Sunken
      > Road did not appear until the 1881 publication of Manning Force's
      > From Fort Henry to Corinth. Thereafter, veterans began to embellish
      > the story. The Iowa units manning the position formed a veterans
      > organization that emphasized the Sunken Road. When the national
      park
      > was established in 1894, the Sunken Road became a major tourist
      > attraction as the park commission began to highlight certain areas
      to
      > attract attention and visitation. At the same time, the
      proliferation
      > of veterans memoirs in the 1890s and early 1900s keyed on the
      growing
      > popularity of this location, which grew deeper with each passing
      > volume, ultimately reaching a depth of several feet. As time passed
      > and more publications appeared, the myth became reality. Today it
      is
      > one of the best known Civil War icons that never existed.
      >
      > "Over the years, a variety of myths and legends about the battle
      have
      > crept into American culture, and today are viewed by many as the
      > truth. Several factors account for these falsehoods. The veterans
      did
      > not establish the park until 30 years after the battle. By that
      time,
      > memories had become clouded and events shrouded in uncertainty.
      >
      > "Likewise, the original Shiloh National Military Park commission
      that
      > initially developed the interpretation of the site may have let
      pride
      > affect its documentation of the Shiloh story. One of the best
      > examples is the heightened importance of the Hornet's Nest, which
      was
      > promoted by first park historian David Reed, who had fought in the
      > 12th Iowa in the Hornet's Nest. Finally, the Lost Cause mentality
      so
      > prevalent in the postwar South provoked antagonism against
      Beauregard
      > and laments for Johnston's death, as well as the idea that the
      > Confederates were simply outnumbered.
      >
      > "Buffs and even some historians who are not very knowledgeable
      about
      > Shiloh's history have perpetuated rumors and stories that are not
      > actually based on fact. It is regrettable that over the years the
      > truth about the battle has become distorted. Fortunately, however,
      > today's historians are looking at the battle from a different
      > perspective. Hopefully, as more research is published, the oft-
      > repeated campfire stories will be phased out and replaced by the
      > reality of Shiloh, which in itself is much grander and more
      honorable
      > than any of the myths that have grown up about the battle. After
      all,
      > truth is often stranger than fiction."
      >
      > JB Jewell
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@ <mailto:civilwarwes t%40yahoogroups. com>
      > yahoogroups. com, "Bob Huddleston"
      > <huddleston. r@> wrote:
      > >
      > > There was an article recently (America's Civil War?) which talked
      > about the
      > > term "Sunken Road" and concluded that the name was a post
      war
      > Veteran
      > > invention, not used at t he time by either side.
      > >
      > > Take care,
      > >
      > > Bob
      > >
      > > Judy and Bob Huddleston
      > > 10643 Sperry Street
      > > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      > > 303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@
      > >
      > > "Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half
      have
      > never
      > > voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."
      > > --Gore Vidal, author.
      > >
      > > SNIP
      > >
      > > Tom;
      > >
      > > You mention several important factors all of which are valid.
      > However,
      > > (there is always a "However), I wish to mention that the union
      line
      > > established along the old stage coach road that became known as
      the
      > sunken
      > > road, happened mainly because the retreating survivors of
      Peabody's
      > and
      > > Miller's brigades of Prentiss' division met the advancing troops
      of
      > > Wallace's and Hurlbut's divisions. These bodies of troops folded
      > into the
      > > old road, a line that stretched from the Main Corinth road at the
      > Duncan
      > > farm easterly along the road to the River (Savannah-Hamburg)
      road.
      > Accident
      > > was a chief reason the line formed here. Cover and position was
      > apparently
      > > at hand, and the rest became history. Grant approved the lines
      > when he
      > > inspected them later and said "Hold your line no matter what"
      or
      > something
      > > like it. He did not order the troops to occupy this position,
      they
      > did.
      > > The union soldiers that fought in the battle never considered the
      > road a
      > > sunken road. They did not mention it in their letters except to
      > refer to it
      > > as an old farm lane, not a sunken road. The term "Sunken
      Road"
      can
      > into use
      > > in the 1890's with the movement to establish monuments to honor
      the
      > civil
      > > war soldiers of both sides. This movement occurred through out
      the
      > country
      > > and lead to the establishment of the first six national military
      > parks.
      > >
      >

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