Shiloh National Military Park | PARK AT A GLANCE

Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh National Military Park


Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh, Tennessee, preserves the battlefield on which Union and Confederate forces fought a two-day battle early in the Civil War on April 6-7, 1862. With huge losses on each side, the country realized that it was in for a long and bloody conflict. After the first day of fighting, the Rebels had driven Union troops back to their original landing point at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. With victory in hand, the Confederate commanders decided to rest the troops overnight and finish off Grant and his army in the morning. However, fresh Union reinforcements arrived that night, and the next day’s anticipated Confederate victory turned into a demoralizing defeat. The Confederate living and wounded retreated back to Corinth, Mississippi, a strategic railroad town that was key to controlling what was at the time the southwestern United States.

Shiloh National Military Park also includes locations in Corinth, which is about 25 miles south of Shiloh. The Union Army did not immediately pursue the Confederates after their retreat on the 7th, instead waiting nearly a month to do so. Corinth had become a giant hospital and morgue due to the number of casualties. The Confederates were low on food, medicine, and other vital supplies. Once Union troops surrounded them in late May, Confederate General Pierre Beauregard decided that his men could not defend the town if full-fledged fighting broke out and quietly slipped out of Corinth on May 29th. Union troops occupied the city the next day.

Five months later on October 3-4, 1862, the Confederates launched an attack against Corinth in an attempt to retake the town, but well dug-in Union troops were able to fend them off. This is known as the Battle of Corinth, whereas the May activities are known as the Siege of Corinth.

The Shiloh unit of the park includes a Visitor Center and small museum, a gift store, the Shiloh National Cemetery, and the preserved battlefield. A tour road takes visitors to important locations on the battlefield. Also within the boundaries of the park is what remains of the largest Indian mound complex on the Tennessee River. A hiking trail takes visitors through the complex.

The Corinth battlefield is not as well preserved, for much of it was within city limits and was already developed at the time the park was created in 1894. However, parcels of the battlefield that lie outside the city have been purchased over the years and were added to Shiloh National Military Park in 2000. Many of these sites simply mark locations where events took place or preserve a few Union and Confederate trenches, so these will only be of interest to true Civil War buffs. Only the Corinth Contraband Camp site offers anything in the way of exhibits.

The Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center is far superior to the Shiloh Visitor Center. It is the “Visitor Center” that should be at Shiloh, and if you really want to learn about the battle before venturing out onto the battlefield, it would not be a bad idea to start your visit in Corinth. It is only a half hour drive between Corinth and Shiloh.


The Shiloh Battlefield is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. The entire park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

The Corinth battlefield sites are open daily. The Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM, except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Shiloh National Military Park.


There is no fee to enter Shiloh National Military Park.


Shiloh Visitor Center
allow 1 hour

Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
allow 1-2 hours

Shiloh Battlefield Tour
allow 3 hours

Corinth Battlefield Sites
allow a full day along with the Interpretive Center

Shiloh National Cemetery
allow 30 minutes

Shiloh Indian Mounds
allow 1 hour

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Last updated on February 5, 2022
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