“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Shiloh in Hardin County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

The Hornets’ Nest

The Hornets' Nest Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 16, 2009
1. The Hornets' Nest Marker
Inscription. After being driven from their camps by attacking Confederates about 9:00 a.m., more than 4,000 Union soldiers retreated to the woods to your left, and took position along the "Sunken Road," the dirt wagon trace in front of you. Here, on high ground commanding Duncan Field and the adjoining woods, Federal infantry took cover behind oak trees, fence rails, and dense undergrowth.

During the next eight hours, Confederate infantry charged the road and the wooded stronghold they called the "Hornets' Nest" eleven times. Repeatedly they were repulsed by swarms of minie balls.

A 5-minute walk down the Sunken Road leads to an exhibit on the surrender of the Hornets' Nest. The ground you will be walking over is the scene of some of the most desperate and deadly fighting in the Civil War.
Location. 35° 8.286′ N, 88° 20.405′ W. Marker is near Shiloh, Tennessee, in Hardin County. Marker is on Corinth-Pittsburg Landing Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Located at stop three, the Hornet's Nest, on the driving tour of Shiloh National Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Shiloh TN 38376, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 2d Iowa Infantry (a few steps from this marker); 6th Indiana Infantry
Battle Map - April 6, 1862 Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 16, 2009
2. Battle Map - April 6, 1862
(within shouting distance of this marker); 15th Michigan Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 58th Illinois Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 1st Ohio Infantry (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); 5th Kentucky Infantry (about 500 feet away); 7th Illinois Infantry (about 500 feet away); Ross (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Shiloh.
More about this marker. In the center is a drawing depicting the fighting, with the quote: "Then the supporting infantry, rising from their recumbent position, sent fort a sheet of leaden hail that elicited curses, shrieks, groans, and shouts, all blended into an appalling cry." - Capt. Andrew Hickenlooper, 5th Ohio Independent Battery

Also in the center is a portrait of Col. Randall Gibson. Col. Randall L. Gibson, a Yale graduate, led four charges against the nearly impregnable Hornets' Nest. Each time his men were overwhelmed by murderous storms of minie balls, shot, shell, and canister.

On the far right is a map of the action in this sector
2nd Iowa Monument and Wayside Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 16, 2009
3. 2nd Iowa Monument and Wayside
- The Hornets' Nest - April 6, 1862 - Midday. The Hornets' Nest line extended from here to the Peach Orchard, 1/2 mile to the southeast. At the top of the marker is a timeline showing the span of the battle, with the time of the Confederate attacks on the Hornets' Nest indicated.
Also see . . .  The Hornets' Nest. Civil War Landscapes tour of the Hornets' Nest. The page includes links detailed maps of the battle. (Submitted on October 10, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Duncan Field and Sunken Road Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, March 16, 2009
4. Duncan Field and Sunken Road
The name is somewhat deceiving, as the road was not quite so "sunken" at this sector. The ground afforded the Federals a clear view across Duncan Field, allowing them to defend against a much larger Confederate force.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,041 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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