Sunday, March 25, 2012

Afternoon Routine

After the morning chores there was the welcome call to lunch which the soldiers jokingly called "roast beef".  The noontime meal was much the same as breakfast had been and amazingly the same as supper would be.  Unless some appropriated rations were available, every meal was hardtack, army beans, salted meat and coffee. The salted meat could be beef or pork and tins of sardines were also commonplace.

The afternoons were for drilling and some free time if possible. Their camp in Cloud Field was bounded by Brown's Ferry Rd., winding from Pittsburg Landing to Hamburg-Savannah Rd. While drilling, the 17th & 25th Kentucky Infantries would have formed on the ferry road.  For longer marches they would undoubtedly proceed westward to the intersection and, on "Column Left",  head south along the main road.

Modern view from Brown's Ferry Road down Hamburg-Savannah Road to the south.  Wicker's Field is adjacent to the distant grassy area on the right (about 1/2 mile) and a small pond lies about 1/4 mile beyond .
Photo by the author- all rights reserved

The troops were also allowed some free time for swimming and exploring the countryside.  Immediately to the east of their camp were seven curious earthen works that puzzled the men from Kentucky.  They were obviously man-made, but for what purpose?  The debate invariably led to the conclusion that these mounds must have been the defenses for an ancient village, but who could have built them?  Certainly, none of the Indian tribes with which they were familiar.

Editor's Note:  Today, the Orientation Center for the Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark sits just a few yards east of the 17th's campsite.  I recommend touring the park in person or by visiting .

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