Thursday, May 8, 2008

Michigan state monument

Michigan's regiments seemed to catch a lot of bad luck at Shiloh. The 15th Michigan met the Confederate advance near Spain Field with empty cartridge boxes. The ended up fighting well later in the day but had a very rough start. On the other side of the coin Ross' Battery did good service during the day but near the close of the battle on the first day they were captured. Oddly Michigan choose to place its state monument right were this sad even took place. Some disagree with me but I think they chose this spot (on the edge of Cloud Field) because no visitor can come to Shiloh and not see the monument. You would have to plan your visit around not seeing this monument to miss it. It was put up before such things as an audio driving tour but if you take that tour or follow the park's suggestion you cannot escape seeing this monument. Which is fine, its well done as soldier monuments go, I've just always thought it was odd to put it near where the worst moment for Michigan was in the battle.

E Pluribus Unum Tuebar Siquaris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice
This monument is erected and dedicated by the people of Michigan to the memory of her soldiers who fought and fell in the battle of Shiloh. The 12th Michigan Infantry met the first Confederate line in the early morning of April 6, 1862, and helped to resist its sudden advance. 27 killed, 54 wounded, 109 missing - total, 190 men. The 15th Michigan Infantry, unassigned, although not supplied with ammunition, moved to the front as the battle opened, endeavoring to meet the Confederates with bayonets, but was forced to return to the Landing for ammunition, after which it "fought with conspicuous gallantry" until the close of the battle. Losing 23 killed, 74 wounded, 5 missing - total, 102 men. Ross' Battery B, Michigan Light Artillery was conspicuous in the desperate struggles of the first day in the "Peach Orchard" and near the "Bloody Pond", fighting until ordered to retire. While preparing to execute this order, it was changed and captured by Confederate cavalry within a few feet of this monument, losing four of its six guns. Losses: 5 wounded, 56 missing - total, 102 men. More enduring than this granite will be the gratitude of Michigan to her soldiers of Shiloh.

Here is a picture of the monument from when it was dedicated.

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