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Dark Destinations > Locations - S > Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh National Military Park Other destinations within a
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Filed Under: Historical Locations > The Civil War
Historical Locations > The Civil War > Tours
Paranormal Hot Spots > Haunted Parks
Added By: TheCabinet
Added On: June 01, 2007 - 10:26 PM UTC
Last Modified: July 10, 2007 - 09:52 PM UTC
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Shiloh National Military Park, USA (Shiloh, Tennessee)
The Battle of Shiloh
The battle took its name from a small log church named Shiloh Meeting House near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.  Ironically enough, the word Shiloh is Hebrew for "place of peace."  It was here that Major General Ulysses S. Grant set up a base of operations in March 1862.  He was ordered to this location by Major General Henry W. Halleck to set up base, but not to engage the Confederate Army.  He was to wait for the forces under Major General Don Carlos Buell to march their way from Nashville.  Once the two armies were combined, the plan was to launch an attack on nearby Corinth and sever the western Confederate railroad communications, then protected by the Confederate Army under General Albert Sidney Johnston.

General Johnston was aware of the Union designs on Corinth and decided to engage Grant's army before Buell could arrive and drive them back into the western swampland.  After poor weather conditions delayed any troop movements, the Confederate troops finally made the march to Pittsburg Landing on April 5.  Then at dawn of April 6, they launched a surprise attack on Union positions around the Shiloh Meeting House.  The Union troops and generals were completely surprised by the Confederates streaming out of the woods, but stiffened under the attack.  A bitter day of battle broke out in what was dubbed Shiloh Hill.

The Union troops quickly lost ground.  They were forced to retreat, set-up a defensive stance to battle some more, but retreat yet again.  Due to poor planning, the Confederate lines also became a bit of a jumbled mess and there was chaos all around.  In the midst of battle, a bullet struck General Johnston in the leg.  While seemingly a minor wound at first, the General had sent his surgeon to help wounded Federal soldiers.  Without his aid, his boot quickly filled with blood and he soon died from the loss of blood, leaving General P.G.T. Beauregard in charge of the Confederate Army.

Meanwhile, Grant's army had retreated to the safety of massed artillery and rugged ravines that would serve to protect the front.  Faced with exhausted troops and a strong Union defensive line, Beauregard halted the attack.  The surprise attack had caught the Union troops off guard, but instead of driving them west into the swamplands, they had retreated east to a good tactical position next to the Tennessee River.  Regardless, Beauregard was confident that victory would come the next day.  That night, the screams of the wounded and dying on the battlefield reached both camps and a thunderstorm moved into the area.  Neither side would get much sleep.

While Beauregard drew up his final attack plan, Major General Buell's Army had arrived overnight to supply reinforcements to Grant's army.  At dawn of April 7, the combined armies launched a counter-attack that this time caught the Confederate troops off guard.  Now completely outnumbered (an estimated 54,500 to 34,000), the Confederate Army now had to fight off the advancing army.  After a series of counter-attacks, the exhausted Confederate troops were finally pulled back and returned to Corinth.  An equally exhausted Union Army did not pursue them and the two-day war was over.

The Battle of Shiloh was devastating for both armies.  In total, Union casualties were 13,047 (1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded, and 2,885 missing) and Confederate casualties were 10,694 (1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, and 959 missing or captured).  The combined casualties made the battle the bloodiest battle ever to take place on American soil at that time.  It would be eclipsed multiple times before the Civil War was over.

Ghosts of the War
Not surprisingly, there are reports of assorted paranormal activity on the battlefield to this day.  According to some, the Battle of Shiloh is still being fought to this day by the soldiers that lost their lives there and don't know that the battle (or the war) is over.  Visitors have reported hearing the sounds of gunshots, drums, horses, marching, and other sounds from the battle long ago echoing through the park.  While there are accounts of these phenomena during the day, most of it appears to happen after dark when the Park is closed.  The sounds of the Battle aren't the only strange encounters people have encountered.  The Battlefield also contains a couple of other curious happenings.

Bloody Pond
One of the more predominant spots of activity is at what is today called Bloody Pond.  During the battle, soldiers from both sides came to the pond to drink and clean their wounds.  It is said that both soldiers and horses died in the pond and that the water turned a blood red as result.  People have reported seeing the water suddenly take the color of a dark red to this day.

The Lady in White
Another legend concerns a lady dressed in white who is said to appear on the battlefield to care for long-lost soldiers.  Some believe the woman is the wife of one of the soldiers and is looking for his body on the battlefield.  Others believe that she may have been a local resident who was killed in the crossfire of the battle.  Regardless of which it is, she is reported to come to the aid of park visitors lost or in need of help at the park, only to disappear if someone else comes upon them.

The Beauregard-Keyes House
One of the more curious hauntings associated with the Battle of Shiloh doesn't even take place here.  Instead, the battle is reenacted on occasion in a house located in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  The house was the former residence of Confederate General Beauregard and people have reported seeing the walls suddenly fade away, only to be replaced by the scenery of the Shiloh Battlefield in the midst of the Battle.  Apparently Beauregard is still trying to rally his troops and perhaps overturn the results of his worst defeat.

The Battlefield Today
The site of the Battle of Shiloh is today preserved as Shiloh National Military Park and offers over 4,200 acres of territory to tour.  In the park you will find the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, Shiloh National Cemetery, and Shiloh Indian Mounds.  You can drive around the park in a self-guided tour of all the major locations of the battle itself.  The Park is open from dawn to dusk.  See the site below for more information.
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Related Sites
Shiloh National Military Park
The official site of the Shiloh National Military Park, the location of the Battle of Shiloh in the Civil War. It is said that the park is haunted today.
Ghosts & Spirits of Tennessee: The Spirits of Shiloh
Page dedicated to the paranormal happenings at the Shiloh battleground in Tennessee from the Ghosts & Spirits of Tennessee.
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See Also on
Blog: The Ghosts of Shiloh (04/25/08)
Blog: Are You a Dark Traveler? (03/08/09)
Blog: The Haunted Battleground of Shiloh (04/06/09)
Available from
Civil War Ghosts
Ghosts and Haunts of the Civil War: Authentic Accounts of the Strange and Unexplained
Strange Tales of the Dark and Bloody Ground: Authentic Accounts of Restless Spirits, Haunted Honky Tonks, and Eerie Events in Tennessee
Stories from the Haunted South
Is It Really Haunted?: A Concise Resource for Ghost Enthusiasts
Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War
Shiloh: A Battlefield Guide (This Hallowed Ground: Guides to Civil Wa)
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Monument at Shiloh National Military Park
June 2007 photo of a monument at Shiloh National Military Park.
From: TheCabinet
Bloody Pond
June 2007 photo of Bloody Pond in Shiloh, which visitors have reported turning the color of blood.
From: TheCabinet
Shiloh Meeting House
The Shiloh Meeting House in June 2007, which the Battle of Shiloh got its name from.
From: TheCabinet
The Hornets' Nest in Shiloh National Military Par
The scene of the infamous Hornets' Nest from the Battle of Shiloh. Photo taken June 2007.
From: TheCabinet
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

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AngelaMSSPI Nov 15 2009, 07:24 AM UTC
I really enjoyed your page on Shiloh, I have been coming here since I was a small child. I had my first paranormal experience at the Bloody Pond when I was 8 yrs old. I saw the reflection of a wounded soldier standing behind me, when I turned around he was gone. I do believe the battlefield is haunted, Our Research group has captured EVP at this battlefield. There are also occasions at certain times of the year when a red algea grows in the pond and gives the eerie appearance of the water being bloody, it is my favorite place on the battlefield to visit, I just found out recently that I have 3 distant uncles who fought and died at Shiloh in the Peach Orchard next to the Bloody Pond, one for the North and 2 for the South, they are all buried there the union one at Shiloh Church and The Confederate ones in a mass grave on the battlefield. Thanks for the great page, I enjoyed it very much. Angela L. MSSPI
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