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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tennessee History & Music: Shiloh & Nashville

My husband and I recently took along-planned Civil War Road Trip and Cruise, culminating in a great Civil War Cruise on the American Queen Steamboat from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans! But first we had to get from southern West Virginia to Memphis! My US Army Ret. husband is literally a SAR- Son of the American Revolution- and he has at least two relatives who died in the Civil War- one in the war-changing Battle of Shiloh, who is buried at the National Cemetery there. The last time Dan was there he was about 10 years old, and based on the college paper his sister Martha wrote in 1957, I did some research online, and was actually able to locate the grave of Dan's Great Great Grandfather, Pvt. William Hobbs, a Union Soldier from Illinois, on the Shiloh National Military Park and Cemetery website, and we went to it:
Dan's great-great grandfather, Pvt. William Hobbs

Pvt. William Hobbs, Illinois

At the Shiloh National Battleground and Cemetery

Thousands of Confederate soldiers remain buried buried in mass pits, such as this

The experience of visiting Shiloh Battlefield and Cemetery, at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., left me, personally, with great empathy for the South, and those, Black and White- for Black, as well as White, soldiers fought for the Confederacy- who fought for her. Over 23,700 men died at Shiloh in a few short days- to say it was an "epic" battle is somewhat of an understatement. During and after the war-changing Battle of Shiloh, thousands of soldiers were buried, en masse, in pits. But the Union Army later- having "won" the war- dug up and re-interred the Union soldiers in individual graves- each with a headstone, although many remain nameless. The Confederate soldiers, however, remain buried in mass pits, known as Burial Trenches- there are 5 of them at Shiloh- the only five they have been able to locate so far! To quote the official, government website: "all the Confederates buried in the trenches are unknown". Like the mass grave pits at Auschwitz, and throughout Europe, thanks to the Nazis.  The families of Confederate soldiers never knew what happened to their sons, their brothers, and their fathers, and in some cases their sisters, wives, and daughters; they simply vanished, never to be heard from again. Everyone talks about "Never Again", glibly, when it comes to WWII and the Nazi atrocities, but NO ONE talks about the atrocities that befell the Confederate soldiers of the Civil War and their families. NO ONE. There is not only a lack of national empathy or sympathy for the people of the south and what they went through, but, on the contrary, since 2008 a new and ugly, grotesquely ignorant "politically correct" hate for the south has poured forth. I am a "Native New Yorker"- and thus, a "Yankee", but I am Deeply angered by this, and by the recent attempt to reinvent US history and obliterate it, in the misguided, ignorant attempts to "ban" such things as the Confederate Battle Flag, known as "The Stars and Bars", destroy or remove monuments, and dig up graves of soldiers and officers. ONLY  THE NAZIS AND MURDEROUS, TERRORIST HATE GROUPS SUCH AS ISIS ATTEMPT TO OBLITERATE AND DESTROY HISTORY. THE NAZIS BUILT ROADS THROUGH HISTORIC JEWISH CEMETERIES TO TRY TO ERASE THEM, AND ISIS BLOWS UP HISTORIC SITES TO TRY TO ERASE THEM. BOTH WERE- AND ARE- ATTEMPTS TO OBLITERATE AND FALSIFY HISTORY BY DESTROYING THE EVIDENCE- THE FACTS.  The "Stars and Bars" is not a flag of "hate", it is a battle flag. Black and White people fought under that flag. It is a part of US history, whether you happen to like it or not, and to "ban" it, and pretend it didn't exist, is to be one with the Nazis and ISIS. And I'm not having any part of that.  Click here for information on Union and Confederate Burials at Shiloh
Click here to locate a Union Soldier's Grave at Shiloh 
At Shiloh National Battlefield & Cemetery

At the Shiloh Church

In the Shiloh Church
Shiloh Church
In addition to visiting the cemetery, we drove and walked around the Shiloh Battlefield, which is now a National Park, and stopped at the Church which was so important in the battle, as well as many of the monuments to both Union and Confederate soldiers, the Confederate Burial Trenches, and the infamous Bloody Pond...
I did some serious reading in preparation for this Civil War Road Trip, playing "catch up", as it were, with my US Army Ret. History Buff hubs! One of the first books I read was William Safire's "Freedom", about the people and events leading up to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. I also read Shiloh - A Novel, by Shelby Foote, which was an excellent way to begin to understand how real soldiers on both sides, both enlisted and officers, saw the Civil War as they fought it. Next on my agenda is to read Shiloh - the Battle That Changed the War, by Larry Daniels, which I bought at the bookstore at the Shiloh National Cemetery, as the only Shiloh books any of our WV libraries had was "the one about the dog". LOL I am currently reading Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississippi"- and thanks to our American Queen Civil War Paddlewheel Steamboat Cruise from Memphis to NOLA, I actually now understand some of it! LOL

From Shiloh we drove to Nashville, Tennessee where we took a great private Civil War Tour with Jim Hardaway, Historic Tours of Nashville, whom we found through Jim, who is a highly knowledgeable historian, not only took us to Battle of Nashville Civil War sites and other places of interest, and provided  us with a great deal of really cool info that even my US Army Ret., history buff hubs didn't know, but he was delightful company, as well! We visited several Battle of Nashville sites, AND he steered us to a great place for a yummy Nashville BBQ lunch! 
"In 1814 we took a little trip..." A history lesson in song at the Nashville City Cemetery!

Nashville City Cemetery Civil War sites

Jim & Dan surveying Battle of Nashville sites

Battle of Nashville map

A delish Nashville, BBQ lunch!

The OTHER Parthenon...
Belmont Mansion - Union Gen. Wood's HQ

We stayed at the truly excellent Hotel Indigo in Nashville, which is on historic "Printer's Alley" downtown, & walking distance to Broadway and all the fun live-music bars! We not only heard some great music at the Hotel Indigo's bar- and enjoyed fab, smoky TN whisky!- we had a LOT of fun wandering from bar to bar on Broadway until the wee hours, hearing an amazing amount of truly excellent live music! Nashville IS Music City!!
Great SMOKY Tennessee whisky at The District, Hotel Indigo

In the arms of Elvis! LOL

On Broadway...

We only had two all-too-short days and evenings in Nashville, and while BBQ & bar snacks are fun, we wanted to have one truly splendid Nashville "foodie" dinner! Thanks to Hotel Indigo's great desk staff, we were able to get a reservation at the wonderful (and hot) Husk, and had a truly phenomenal & inventive, gourmet, southern "foodie" dinner- no pix, as for once I left the camera in our hotel room- but I DID take a copy of their menu with me, as I wanted to remember every yummy bite! I had their Rappahannock Oysters, Roasted Over the Embers, Bone Marrow, and Bay Laurel, which were amazing for their luscious smokiness... We also had their Seafood Johnny Cake, Kimchi Purée, and Benne,  a delish melange of the Southern and the Korean (and yes, it works!), Shrimp & Grits with egg confit, and their Bear Creek Farm Beef, with Soured Radish and Grains (beer-fermented barely- it was DELICIOUS!), Beer Cheese, and Pretzel Cracker!
Husk Nashville

But before we did ANY of this, we first went to Gatlinburg- and after to Memphis- about which I will post about next!

1 comment:

Christina Young said...

Wow! Thank you for including me in your blog post Elisse! I am glad to learn about our own personal family history, as well as your amazing trip! You are a good writer! And I appreciate your thoughts. ♡