My Father and Shiloh

I may have been a teenager but if so, I had just barely made that plateau. I was still boy enough to "play army" and to dream of great deeds and laurels. It was a perfect age to visit the Shiloh battlefield.

It was our first visit to any Civil War battle site but my Dad had spent years studying the war. He seemed to know the name of every member of every regiment from Wisconsin where I was raised. We stood where Grant had taken his dipper of water under fire. We walked the Sunken Road where some Wisconsin men had helped in a tough defense and then the woods across the way in which the Confederates mounted their 60 cannon.

I remember lying prone in that sunken road where the soldiers of a Wisconsin regiment had faced the furious charges all day long. We were amazed at how shallow it was, not nearly the depth one would expect of a "sunken" road. I could nearly feel the thump of the bullets in the ground around me and the thwack of the lead hitting the rail fence. I was almost afraid. I was certainly excited. How did all those men do all those things? Why didn't they all die?

We were everywhere over many hours, all the while my Dad commenting on individual soldiers from privates to Generals, about what they had done "right about here." (I remember he commented that he was amazed anyone with the name of Wallace could have been as inept as Lew was with his fruitless marching and counter marching on the first day. Dad's FIRST name was Wallace. He figured maybe THAT was the difference.)

There was fun that day. And there was reflection. And there was the birth of my own interest in the Civil War. My father was the midwife. Through all these years since the early 1960's I have continued to learn about it. And through it, about humanity and life itself. And most of that learning has come through books. I love books. They are the life blood of time. They take us as close as we can get to a visit in the world of the past. I hope our selections will take you there in the same spirit in which my father took me to Shiloh. --- Scott Brundage

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Scott Brundage
P. O. Box 2585
Chelan, WA 98816
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