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Shiloh National Military Park

Confederate Burial Trench

Confederate burial trench, looking north (36K)

Image 1: The largest Confederate burial trench, looking north. This is burial trench #3, the largest of the Confederate mass graves. It is suspected that there may be as many as 721 bodies interred here, buried seven deep. The monument in the middle right of the picture commemorates the burial trench. The monument on the far right of the picture is to the Union's 29th Indiana regiment.

Due to the warm weather and fearing disease, on Major General Ulysses S. Grant's orders Union soldiers buried the dead of both armies in mass graves immediately after the battle. Confederate dead and Union dead were buried in separate graves.
 

Confederate burial trench, looking west (41K)

Image 2: Confederate burial trench, looking west. This is the same burial trench as the above picture, taken from a different angle. It gives a better idea of the size of the grave. The monument in the picture commemorates the burial trench. The flag flying over the trench is the Confederate national flag, the Stars and Bars. (Note that this is not the St. Andrews cross battle flag that most people associate with the Confederacy, which is often erroneously called the "stars and bars".)

The small red marker to the left of the flag pole marks the location of a Union burial site. This is where men of the 45th Illinois Infantry were buried after the battle. Union dead throughout the battlefield were removed in 1866 and buried in the national cemetery.

These photographs were taken in March, 2000 with a Nikon F-601 autofocus SLR, using a Nikkor 24mm - 50mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens. The images were captured on Fuji ISO 200 film.