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Shiloh Park hosting first big living history demonstrations since 2018 this weekend

A scene from a 2017 Battle of Shiloh reenactment held near the park.

Shiloh National Military Park is commemorating the 162nd anniversary of the battle this weekend by hosting living history demonstrations featuring artillery, infantry and cavalry, book signings by two authors, and period music performed by Steve and Lisa Ball.
As always, entrance to the park is free.
“2024 is the 162nd anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. The Shiloh battle anniversary activities will be our first signature event for 2024, and our first large scale living history demonstrations since 2018. We invite everyone to come out to the park and remember the epic battle and the Americans who fought here in 1862,” said Park Superintendent Catherine Bragaw.
On Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, Shiloh will present living history demonstrations on the battlefield with reenactors garbed in Union blue.
Living historians will demonstrate the tactics, drill, and firing procedures utilized by the infantry, cavalry, and artillery during the Civil War. Each day will culminate with a combined arms demonstration featuring all three branches of the army working in unison. The public is also invited to tour the period army camp.
Period music performances will be provided by Steve and Lisa Ball. Steve Ball hails from Columbus, Ohio, and has devoted the last 20 years of study to Civil War music.
He has performed all over the Midwest playing at living history events, symposiums, Civil War roundtables, re-enactments, and other historical venues. Ball has released two CDs and is currently working on a new CD devoted to the music of Stephen Foster.
Ball also collects vintage instruments, mostly guitars, the earliest being an 1845 Martin acoustic guitar. Ball will be joined by his wife Lisa, who plays upright bass and sings harmonies. Each performance features different musical themes: Music of the Civil War, Music of the Women of the Civil War, and Music of Abraham Lincoln.
On Saturday, from 1-3 p.m., authors Kevin Getchell and John E. Talbott will be on site to sign copies of their works.
Getchell’s seminal work, “Scapegoat of Shiloh: The Distortion of Lew Wallace’s Record by U.S. Grant,” delves deep into the controversy surrounding Gen. Wallace’s actions at Shiloh on April 6, 1862. The book questions past conclusions and re-examines Wallace using contemporary documents to expose a much larger problem U.S. Grant’s army was experiencing that spring. “Scapegoat of Shiloh” was a 2014 winner at the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.
Talbott will be signing his books: “In the Shadow of The Devil: William K.M. Breckenridge in Fielding Hurst’s First West Tennessee U.S. Cavalry” and “Recollections of Thomas D. Duncan, A Confederate Soldier.” Each book sheds new light on cavalry operation in West Tennessee during the war, and some of the fascinating participants whose stories have long been forgotten.
All anniversary demonstrations and activities will take place in Duncan Field between Tour Stops 3 and 4 on the battlefield auto driving tour. Rain or severe weather will cancel living history demonstrations and move other activities indoors.
Schedule of activities
Saturday
•8 a.m. – 5 p.m. – camps open to the public
•10 a.m. – artillery demonstration
•11 a.m. – infantry demonstration
•11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. – “Music of the Civil War” – Steve and Lisa Ball
•12:30 p.m. – cavalry demonstration
•1–3 p.m. – book signing by authors Keven Getchell and John E. Talbott
•1:30–2:30 p.m. – “Music of the Women of the Civil War” – Steve and Lisa Ball
•3 p.m. – combined arms demonstration (cavalry, artillery, and infantry)
Sunday
•8 a.m.–3 p.m. – camps open to public
•10 a.m. – artillery demonstration
•11 a.m. – infantry Demonstration
•12 p.m. – cavalry demonstration
•1 p.m.-2 p.m. “Music of Abraham Lincoln” – Steve and Lisa Ball
•2 p.m. – combined arms demonstration (infantry, artillery, and cavalry)

(Ed note: This story was updated on April 4 to reflect that only Union forces will be portrayed.)

13 Comments

  1. Stan Howell on April 4, 2024 at 11:10 pm

    How is it living history when you only show one side of the battle? Sounds more like erasure of living history.

    • Laura on April 5, 2024 at 9:06 am

      Why only union?

      • Steven S. on April 7, 2024 at 5:50 pm

        Why only union reenactors?

  2. Jesus Rodriguez on April 5, 2024 at 12:36 pm

    Why only the north and not the south I mean come on why only show one side of history to spare the feelings of those who are cry baby’s about all this get over it that stuff happened over a hundred years ago

    • Rudy Schulz on April 8, 2024 at 6:04 pm

      Well. It’s no wonder the yankee army won the battle, there were no southern soldiers there.

  3. Jeff on April 6, 2024 at 7:45 pm

    Why only Union soldiers?

  4. Confederate Patriot on April 7, 2024 at 8:24 am

    Because the same Marxists who are tearing down Confederate Monuments and renaming Military Facilities control the National Park System.

  5. T Reid on April 7, 2024 at 8:46 am

    “(Ed note: This story was updated on April 4 to reflect that only Union forces will be portrayed.)”

    No thanks. Won’t be attending with my family. We appreciate proper historical events, not ideologically purged ones. Do better.

  6. Wanda king on April 7, 2024 at 6:42 pm

    This is a Battlefield, you wouldn’t have a battle field, without a battle. You would not have a battle with one side.so if you are afraid to represent both sides , don’t do it at all

  7. Eric Bennett Rasmusen on April 7, 2024 at 7:46 pm

    Does the Park Service realize how stupid it looks? Well, more accurately, how stupid it is?

  8. Stephen Drew Echard Musgarve on April 7, 2024 at 7:49 pm

    what a sad joke.

  9. Cheryl on April 7, 2024 at 11:49 pm

    How do you expect a good turn out when you only welcome one side? By the way, I’m an author. I grew up in the Washington DC area. I was taught to respect everyone no matter what their race, color, beliefs, religion, ancestry, etc. This is not the American way. How are we going to live together in harmony if you bring back segregation?

  10. Stuart McClung on April 8, 2024 at 9:12 am

    An unfortunately far cry from the same programs at Gettysburg. I hate PC!

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