Baldwin Boy Scout Troop 65 visited and toured Shiloh National Military Park in southwestern Tennessee, and the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center in northern Mississippi, from March 12-17.
The 10 Scouts, five Scouters, and one parent traveled 1,300 miles. They spent one night at the Scout Cabin, and four nights at Battlefield Campground, which adjoins Shiloh Park.
This was one of the longest and farthest traveled non-summer camp or high adventure camp-outs the troop has conducted since 2004, when Troop 65 went to Ontario, Canada, for the Great Lakes Camporee.
Troop 65 toured the battlefield just shy of the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, which happened April 6-7, 1862. The Confederates named it "The Battle of Shiloh" after Shiloh Church, located in the west-central part of the battlefield. The Union called it "The Battle of Pittsburg Landing," named for the steamboat stop located in the northeastern corner of the park, on the Tennessee River. The battle was won by The Union, led by General Ulysses S. Grant.
Heavy rains, lightning and some hail forced Troop 65 to improvise activities and plans. The hike of Shiloh Military Trail 1, a distance of 14 miles, had to be accomplished in two days due to weather delays. The hike was led by Patrick Dietz, acting senior patrol leader; and Andrew Morgan, acting assistant senior patrol leader.
A short camp chapel, led by Ryan Hundley, chaplain's aide, and Joe Bollig, committee member, was held at the National Cemetery.
During their trip, the troop saw landmarks, state monuments and other memorials, such as: the National Cemetery, Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh Church, Hornet's Nest, Bloody Pond, Sunken Road, Peach Orchard, War Cabin, Putnam Stump, CSA Gen. A.S. Johnson's death site, and Ruggles' Battery. They also saw exhibits and artifacts at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. In 1862, Corinth, a strategic railroad nexus, was second only to Richmond in importance to the Confederacy.
Shiloh was a memorable experience for the participants, who not only learned about a significant episode of American history, but also gained practical knowledge and experience about leadership and planning.