Tennessee’s 2012 Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event

Thursday, April 05, 2012 | 08:02am

PICKWICK DAM, Tenn. –The Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature Event, Invasions by Rail and River: The Battle of Shiloh, held April 4-5 at Pickwick Landing State Park, was an event worthy of the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Shiloh, now one of America’s most important Civil War battlefields.


The firing of an official Shiloh cannon kicked off the commemoration followed by opening ceremonies designed to nobly honor the memory of Shiloh’s more than 23,000 dead, wounded and missing. Colors were posted for the United States of America and Sons of Confederate Veterans by the Company A, 13th U.S. Colored Troops and Sons of Confederate Veterans.


“The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle to date during the Civil War, and I’m honored and humbled to have participated in this event paying homage to the sacrifices so many made here 150 years ago,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said.


Co-chairs of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, hosted the event.


A special highlight of the event was the announcement by the Civil War Trust detailing three recent preservation efforts on the storied battlefield. The efforts include the transfer of 167 acres of hallowed ground to the National Park Service, the announcement of a $1.2 million campaign to save an additional 491 acres of battlefield land at Shiloh and an update on progress to preserve 267 acres at nearby Fallen Timbers.


Following an introduction from Dr. Carroll Van West, Trust President James Lighthizer and Trust chairman emeritus John Nau joined federal and state officials for the preservation announcements. Country music superstar and Civil War Trust board member Trace Adkins made a special guest appearance at the event.


“The significance of Shiloh battlefield is unquestioned, the need to preserve as much as possible is paramount,” said Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation and co-chair of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. “We applaud this gift of the CWT to our state, our nation and the future.”


The Signature Event also featured a musical performance by The 52nd Regimental String Band, a forum with America’s foremost historians on the battle of Shiloh, living history demonstrations, a special Civil War Sesquicentennial exhibit offering rare and unique artifacts from the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee’s Looking Back Project and the red carpet premiere of the new Shiloh documentary, The Story of Shiloh: Fiery Trial.


In conjunction with the 2012 Civil War Sesquicentennial Event, Tennessee launched the first statewide Civil War mobile application for Apple devices. App features include maps, flags, rich descriptions and the historical significance of 50 people, 50 places and 100 artifacts.


"The Civil War Sesquicentennial has focused the world’s attention on this pivotal time in our nation’s history,” said Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
“Tennessee wants to ensure that
our citizens, students and the many visitors traveling through our state during the Sesquicentennial have the necessary tools to plan their trip and to have the best possible experience. This Civil War app takes learning about Tennessee’s role in the Civil War to a whole new level while engaging the next generation of Civil War enthusiasts.”


The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission leads a statewide effort to promote, fund and preserve the complete story of Tennessee’s Civil War and its legacy. Tennessee is the only entire state designated by the U.S. Congress as a Civil War National Heritage area.

Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Signature Events will take place through 2015. Please visit


Press Releases | Tourist Development