Shiloh - A Sesquicentennial Commemoration

March 2012



   In the spring of 1862, Union forces engaged Confederate troops in a series of campaigns waged for control of Kentucky and western Tennessee.  At stake were a number of critical waterways and rail lines that led to the heartland of the South.  In commemoration of the sesquicentennial, we took an in-depth look at the major events, characters and consequences of the Western Theater of the American Civil War 150 years ago.




March 24, Saturday              

Join fellow travelers at our hotel for our welcome dinner.

Overnight at the Nashville Airport Marriott. (R,D)


March 25, Sunday                                  Forts Henry & Donelson

Depart Nashville for Fort Donelson National Battlefield.  Here we’ll discuss the Battles of Fort Henry (Feb 6, 1862) and Fort Donelson (Feb 11-16, 1862), the first two significant Union victories in the war.  The capture of the forts opened the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers as avenues of invasion into the heartland of the Confederacy. The success elevated Ulysses S. Grant from an obscure and largely unproven leader to the rank of major general, earning him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant in the process. O/N Hampton Inn, Union City, TN   (B,L,D)


March 26, Monday                                              Battle of Island #10

Today we’ll focus on the Battle of Island Number 10 (February 28 to April 8, 1862), an important Confederate fort at the New Madrid Bend of the Mississippi River. The Union victory marked the first time the Confederate army lost a position on the Mississippi in battle. The river was then open to the Union Navy as far as Fort Pillow, a short distance above Memphis. Only three weeks later, New Orleans fell to the Union fleet led by David G. Farragut, and the Confederacy was in danger of being cut in two along the line of the river.

O/N  Pickwick Landing State Resort Park, TN  (B,L,D)


March 27, Tuesday & March 28, Wednesday                     Battle of Shiloh

 In an attempt to destroy the Western Union offensive once and for all, Confederate forces under Albert Sydney Johnston attacked Grant’s Army camped near Shiloh Church.  We’ll spend two full days following the action of April 6 and 7; the bloodiest battle in United States history up to that time.  Stops on Tuesday will include Fraley’s Field, the Peach Orchard, Bloody Pond and the Hornets’ Nest.  On Wednesday we will tour Pittsburg Landing, Grant’s Last Line and Water Oaks Pond.  This crushing defeat ended Confederate hopes of blocking the Union advance into northern Mississippi.

O/N  Pickwick Landing State Resort Park, TN (B,L,D included both days)


March 29, Thursday                                      Corinth – Brice’s Crossroads – Iuka

A critical railroad junction second only to Richmond in military importance, Corinth played a key role in the Civil War's Western Theater.  Following the Battle of Shiloh, the Confederate army fell back to Corinth.  We’ll trace their route and visit sites associated with the siege of Corinth on October 3-4, 1862. 

This afternoon, we’ll tour the Battle of Brice's Crossroads (June 10, 1864). Despite being outnumbered nearly 2 to 1, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's contingent routed Union forces and cemented Forrest's reputation as one of the great cavalrymen. The battle remains a textbook example of an outnumbered force prevailing through better tactics, terrain mastery, and aggressive offensive action.  En route back to our hotel, we’ll visit Iuka Battlefield (September 19, 1862).

O/N  Pickwick Landing State Resort Park, TN  (B,L,D)


March 30, Friday                               Drive to Nashville International Airport (B)

8:00 am  Depart by coach for the three-hour drive to Nashville International Airport. 

We’ll make a 20-minute pit stop en route to Nashville.  Approximate arrival time at the airport will be at 11:30 am.  PLEASE make your flight reservation for 1:00 pm or later.

EXPERT GUIDE:  Ed Bearss is scheduled to lead this tour.

Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, Edwin C. Bearss is an author, lecturer and America's foremost battlefield guide.  Ed's encyclopedic knowledge and unflagging energy is legendary; Ed brings history alive like no other.  Two of his recent best sellers are Fields of Honor and Receding Tide:  Vicksburg and Gettysburg – The Campaigns that Changed the Civil War.


* Services of an Historian Guide

* Services of a Tour Manager

* 6 nights hotel accommodations

* one wine/beer welcome reception; 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners

* all taxes, baggage handling and gratuities; pre-trip notes, reading list and map book


Double Occupancy:  $2,550 per person

Single Occupancy:  $2,795

To enroll on this tour, print & complete the attached registration form and mail it with a $200 per person deposit check to: South Mountain Expeditions, P.O. Box 204, Keedysville, MD, 21756. Or call us at (301) 988-1852 or toll free at 1 (866) 914-1862. We accept VISA, Mastercard and American Express.