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Civil War Trust

2013 Donor Weekend

Memphis, Tennessee
March 1-3, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013
Tour Details:

7:30 – 6:30 pm          Battle of Shiloh Staff Ride Battlefield Tour with Brig. Gen. Parker Hills (Ret.), - Heavy walking tour. This tour not only covers the battle history, but will discuss leadership, history and psychology.

Detailed Description: Many years before the battle was fought, Carl von Clausewitz described in his classic tome the horrific conditions at Shiloh. In On War the Prussian soldier astutely predicted what would befall the leader of a battle-worn army when he wrote; "As the forces in one individual after another become prostrated, and can no longer be excited and supported by an effort of his own will, the whole inertia of the mass gradually rests its weight on the will of the commander." Then, precisely 30 years later--the 6th of April 1862--the Confederate army's commander at Shiloh was beyond assuming the weight of the mass, having bled to death in the warm Sunday afternoon sun. Yet the opposing general remained virtually unscathed, and late on that unendingly black night in a pelting rain, division commander Brigadier General William T. Sherman approached his friend and army commander fully expecting to receive the order to retreat. His red beard dripping with rain, Sherman cautiously initiated the conversation with the words, "Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?" Grant agreed with a simple "Yes," then sharply puffed his cigar and replied, "Lick 'em tomorrow though." Grant was carrying the weight of an army.

The CWT Shiloh tour on March 2, 2013, will discuss the leadership lessons of the Battle of Shiloh, with liberal doses of Clausewitz interspersed, just as modern soldiers receive during a military staff ride. Since Shiloh was the first major blood-letting of the war, fought by two largely untrained and untested armies, the lessons of the battle are often obscured by the smoke of battle; thus, they must be carefully gleaned. This tour will take you to where the gray matter was burnt, not just the gunpowder, and you will understand not only what happened, but why. Of course, you will see Bloody Pond, the Hornet's Nest and Pittsburg Landing, along with other famous battlefield sites. But this tour will take you deeper by delving into the psyche of the commanders, exposing not only the lessons of history, but the lessons of psychology and of leadership. On the fields of Shiloh you will see what Clausewitz described on the pages of On War.

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