Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reflections on Shiloh and Life

Every Civil War Addict has their own favorite battlefield.  Shiloh is mine.  I first visited Shiloh as a teenager and was struck by the quiet beauty of the place.  When I closed my eyes, I could hear the echo of the cannons.  At that time I was unaware of the ancestors I had who fought there, but that should have been obvious to me given the almost visceral connection I felt from the moment I entered the park.

In March of 2012 my wife and I visited Shiloh together.  She too had ancestors who fought there.  At one point in the battle, her ancestors in the 9th Illinois were directly opposite a regiment with my ancestors.  This was not an easy trip for us to make financially.  The college had limited the number of classes that we adjuncts were allowed to teach and I had to take off (without pay) from my part time police job.  We almost didn't make it, but still, Shiloh beckoned.

On this expedition we spent a day and a half at the park.  I hoped that making the journey despite the potential hardships might help give me some sense of direction as to where I wanted my love of history to take me.  I left with enough memories to last a lifetime.  God blessed me with a wife who enjoys history as much as I do.  We even visited Civil War battlefields on our honeymoon.  Not many guys can say that.

I am sitting beside her hospital bed as I type this post.  We are awaiting tests and test results.  I have faith that things will turn out okay.  They have to.  After all, Shiloh still beckons.

My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Civil War addict.