Shiloh National Military Park presents cannon demonstrations
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 8:01 pm
The sound of cannon fire will again rumble across Shiloh battlefield.
On Saturday and Sunday, Shiloh National Military Park volunteers dressed in period uniforms will present cannon firing demonstrations in the open area south of the park’s visitor center, according to park superintendent Woody Harrell.
“The weekend interpretive programs will focus on Civil War artillery and specifically on the combat roll played by Union and Confederate artillery batteries during the Battle of Shiloh. Artillery was used in both defensive and offensive situations during this desperate two-day struggle. Routinely, cannon were more capable in support of defensive tactics, but field artillery also played a role in offensive warfare, such as General Daniel Ruggles’ famous artillery concentration at Shiloh, which hammered the Union defenders of the Hornet’s Nest. We encourage the public to visit this battlefield location to view the cannon marking Ruggles’ Battery at stop No. 4 on the automobile tour, many of which are field guns manufactured in the Confederacy,” Harrell said.
“Soldiers wrote about the devastating effects of the artillery fire they experienced during the battle. One Union solider recalled how artillery shells began to crash among the trees, exploding above the heads of his regiment, remarking it caused them to hug the ground in earnest. Another eye-witness stated that for hundreds of yards the brush had been chopped to pieces by the heavy storm of projectiles, looking to him like a corn field that had been topped. It is hoped that these weekend interpretive presentations will provide the public an opportunity to visualize what the soldiers endured at Shiloh, as they fought for the beliefs they held dear,” added Harrell.
Each cannon firing interpretive program will last approximately 30 minutes, with one six-pounder cannon being fired three times during each presentation. The programs will include information on the different types of cannon and projectiles used during the war, and will describe the process used to load and fire a Civil War cannon.
The demonstration times are as follows:
Saturday — 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m.
Sunday — 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The current park entrance fee is $3 per person and $5 per family.
The public can make further inquiries about the programs by contacting the park Visitor Center, which is open daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at (731) 689-5696. Also, check the park website for further updates and future programs at www.nps.gov/shil.
Published in The Messenger 4.28.11