Every major battlefield in the Civil War had areas of intense fighting that became indelibly etched in the collective memory of the participating soldiers. The soldiers often gave these areas descriptive names, perhaps in an attempt to put words to the horror that swept over them: Bloody Lane at Antietam, the Angle at Gettysburg, and the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania. One of the first, and bloodiest, of the conflict was the Hornets' Nest at Shiloh.
Duncan Field marks the far right end of the Federal's Hornet's Nest line (as seen from the Federal's perspective, looking south). The other sections of the Hornets' Nest can be seen in the Hornets' Nest II (Hornets' Nest Center), Hornets' Nest III (Peach Orchard), Bloody Pond and Wallace Monument pages.
Image 1: 2nd Iowa Monument and Duncan Field. The picture, facing southwest, shows the 2nd Iowa monument. In the background is Duncan Field. It was along the woods in the background that Ruggles Battery was formed. This picture is north of the Corinth Road (which was immediately behind the photographer).
The 2nd Iowa wasn't actually situated on this spot on the field. They were positioned further along the Union line to the southeast (off the picture to the left) as part of Colonel John Tuttle's brigade. This area is actually where Col. Thomas Sweeney's brigade was formed, and is very close to the spot where Sweeney's line bent off to his right (off the picture to the right). Both brigades belonged to Brigadier General William H. L. Wallace's division. This monument, therefore, is pretty close to the far right end of the Union's Hornets' Nest battle line (the Ruggles Battery and Hornets' Nest interpretive plaques are nearby).
Image 2: Ross' brigade marker. This headquarters marker is for Ross' brigade, commanded by Colonel Julius Raith, which was the Third Brigade in Major General John McClernand's division of Major General Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee. This marker shows a view of Duncan field south of the Corinth Road, and gives a good idea of the size of the field. The Hornets' Nest line is in the left-side background in this picture. This marker is about a hundred yards west of Image 1, on the opposite side of the road.
The brigade's commander was mortally wounded about a quarter of a mile west of this position. See the Raith monument page for details.
Image 3: Hornet's Nest foot bridge. As visitors begin to walk the Hornets' Nest position east of the Corinth Road, they come to this wooden footbridge, which crosses Briar Creek. This picture looks southeast along the Hornet's Nest line. The open field to the right is Duncan Field. The monument in image 1 was about 100 yards behind the photographer when he took this picture.
This picture, and the ones that follow, are taken along the line of the sunken road. The sunken road formed a natural defensive position in front of the thicket seen on the left side of the picture.
Image 4: Hornets' Nest line. A view of the Hornets' Nest line, from the first rise southeast of the foot bridge. This is the shot seen from the high point in the middle of image 3. The monuments visible in the background are, from left to right, the 7th Iowa Infantry and the 12th Iowa Infantry monuments.
Image 5: 7th and 12th Iowa monuments. This is a photograph of the Hornet's Nest line, looking northwest, with Duncan Field on the left. The closest monument, on the right, is the 12th Iowa monument. The monument in the center is the 7th Iowa monument. Off in the background (with a car parked in front of it) is the 2nd Iowa Infantry monument, the monument found on image 1.
Image 6: 7th Iowa monument. Another view of the 7th Iowa monument, looking northwest along the line of the sunken road. The 2nd Iowa monument is just visible in the background, to the left of the 7th Iowa monument.
The Hornets' Nest photographs are continued on the Hornets' Nest II (Hornets' Nest Center) page.
The first photograph was taken in May, 2002 and captured on Kodak Gold 200 film. The other photographs were taken in March, 2000 and captured on Fuji ISO 200 film. All photographs were taken with a Nikon F-601 autofocus SLR, using a Nikkor 24mm - 50mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens.