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CNN.com Lists Shiloh as a Top Civil War Battlefield

Shiloh DrummersShiloh DrummersMillions of visitors seek out a connection at Civil War sites annually, and the next few years are the time to visit as special events commemorate the conflict's 150th anniversary. For play-by-play commentary on the battlefield, you can hire a National Park Service-licensed guide at Gettysburg or Vicksburg to ride along for two-hour car tours. Parks also typically offer self-guided tours and orientation films and, on summer weekends, invite re-enactors to stage skirmishes, decked out with muskets and wool uniforms.

Shiloh National Military Park, 120 miles from Memphis, seems a million miles from anywhere, just as it did back in 1862. The battlefield is now a quiet rolling landscape beside the Tennessee River, but landmarks named during those clashes (Hornet's Nest, the Bloody Pond) evoke the soldiers' experience -- so profound that much of the acreage was donated by veteran groups, both Northern and Southern, who bought land and erected monuments to fallen comrades. The desire for control drove both sides to the battle of Shiloh.

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