Though today had been set aside for waiting for medicine, UPS delivered early, which left us time to check out the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center, which is still considered part of the Shiloh National Military Park complex. Corinth lies 23 miles away from Shiloh, in Mississippi, but the Battle of Shiloh led to the occupation of Corinth by Union troops, so they are considered connected.
In May of 1862, after the Union ‘win’ at Shiloh, Union troops began their march to Corinth, which was a crossroads for two major railroad companies in the South and the only direct connection between the cities on the Atlantic coast and those more interior. Without access to the goods coming in from the ports, the South was doomed to lose the war.
The Center starts by the parking lot, at the bottom of a hill. The sidewalk zigzags up the hill and as you are walking, you notice that there seems to be debris implanted into the walkway. In fact, these are casts of items that might have been found just as they were when the Union left Corinth towards the end of the war.
A lone hat. Bullets and their box dropped in the mud. A single belt buckle. A mail pouch.
A single shoe. Another hat. A crumpled jacket. A personal bag, with shaving kit, letter home and other personal items spilling out into the dirt.
The items of war.
Each item represent things that once belonged to someone’s loved one who might never have made it home.
Inside, there is a museum to walk through that show some of the railroad that made Corinth so vital. Depiction of how they made the bulwarks to fortify the city. Some of the old cannons used for defense.
There is also a movie that gives some first hand accounts of how the quiet little village of Corinth became a city of field hospitals and home for runaway slaves and a place the Union soldiers referred to as Camp Diarrhea, due to the dysentery and malaria that ran rampant through the city. Another reminder of the aftermath of war. Like Shiloh, a powerful place where the souls from the past remain to remind the future of what can happen.