Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Battle Begins: Fraley Field, Shiloh National Military Park

Here in Fraley Field, advance units of the opposing armies met for the first time just before dawn.  Confederate pickets on the high ground ahead opened fire on a union reconnaissance patrol which entered the field just behind you.  Here fell the first victims of Shiloh.  In the following 34 hours 3,400 more men would die or be fatally wounded.

Maj. Gen. William J.
Hardee, CSA
The fighting in Fraley Field and the surrounding woods lasted about an hour.  The Union Patrol was forced to retreat, as the first three waves of the Confederate assault swept forward.  Though not decisive in itself, this initial engagement gave the Union camps to the northeast warning that a Confederate attack was on the way.

The battle of Shiloh opened in Fraley field when Maj. James E. Powell’s reconnaissance patrol encountered Maj. Aaron B. Hardcastle’s pickets of the 3rd Mississippi Infantry Battalion.

Maj. Gen. William J. Hardee, commander of the Third Army Corps directed the confederate attack which followed the skirmishing in Fraley Field.

No comments: