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.
These pictures are from the left of the Union's Hornets' Nest line. The other sections of the Hornets' Nest can be seen in the Hornets' Nest I (Duncan Field), Hornets' Nest II (Hornets' Nest Center), Bloody Pond and Wallace Monument pages.
These pictures are a continuation of the shots on the Hornets' Nest II (Hornets' Nest Center) page.
Image 1: Harper's (Jefferson) Mississippi Battery. This is a view from the position of Harper's Mississippi Battery. It looks north across Sarah Bell's Old Cotton Field toward the Union's Hornets' Nest position near Sarah Bell's peach orchard. In the background, above the gun's barrel is the George Manse cabin. In this picture the cabin looks like a miniature model sitting on the barrel itself. In the background on the right is the Peach Orchard.
The open space in front of the Hornets' Nest, on the Union left, was the old cotton field owned by Sarah Bell. The field was not used for cotton at the time of the battle. The Confederates described it as a "mule lot". The north east corner of the field contained a peach orchard. To the west of the peach orchard was the wooden cabin of William Manse George.
Image 2: William Manse George cabin. This is a photograph of the William Manse George cabin. This small structure dates back to the battle. Battle damage is visible in the wooden slats of the cabin. It appeared as though you could enter the cabin in March, 2000, but the buzzing of stinging insects (hornets, perhaps?) suggested that doing so wouldn't be wise. In May, 2002 the cabin was cordoned off with yellow "do not enter" tape.
Image 3: The Peach Orchard. Sarah Bell's peach orchard, looking south-southeast from the Union's Hornets' Nest line. This picture was taken from a position near the far left of the Hornets' Nest line.
At the time of the battle, the peach orchard — which was thicker than is suggested by the trees currently planted there — were in bloom. The peach petals fell during the battle, covering the wounded and the dead lying beneath the trees.
Image 4: Mann's Battery, 1st Missouri Light Artillery. The guns mark the position of Mann's Battery of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery. The photograph looks east, with the Peach Orchard in the background. The stone marker to the right and behind the guns is the 28th Illinois Infantry monument. The sunken road and the Hornets' Nest battle line lay in the background on the left.
Image 5: Sarah Bell's field. A view of Sarah Bell's old cotton field, looking west. This shot, taken from the position of Mann's Battery (image 4), gives an idea of the width of the open field. In the distance is the 32nd Illinois Infantry monument.
Image 6: 32nd Illinois monument. This is a close up of the 32nd Illinois monument, seen in image 5. You get the best idea of the width of the field from comparing images 5 and 6.
Images 1, 4, 5, and 6 were captured in May, 2002 on Kodak Gold 200 film. Images 2 and 3 were captured on Fuji ISO 200 film in March, 2000. These photographs were taken with a Nikon F-601 autofocus SLR, using a Nikkor 24mm - 50mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens (except for image 6, which used the same camera and a Sigma 150mm - 300mm telephoto zoom lens).