Anyway, some more background on the Shiloh photographs because well, there will be more.
A couple of years ago my brother calls me up and says he and my father are taking me somewhere for my birthday. This of course makes me nervous. So we end up going to a civil war demonstration at Shiloh in Middle Tennessee where we stayed with the parents of my brother’s college buddy in Savannah, TN. They were nice enough folks, just didn’t like black people too much. The town was beautiful. I’d love to go back there with a big ass view camera and just blow a few hundred bucks in film. So anyway, the day after we arrive, we head to Shiloh, which isn’t far away, for a “demonstration.” It’s not a re-enactment because there aren’t any “Union soldiers” at all so it’s just a bunch of confederates. It was interesting enough. Beautiful land. Very somber to think about what happened and see how troops had to live back then. A while back a posted a bunch of photos that showed cannons going off and the tents and such. Here’s the link but the gallery seems busted. Not sure what’s up with that. I’ll try and fix it. So anyway, the experience was really weird at the same time. There was an awful lot of talk along the lines of, “The south shoulda won man! War of northern aggression, ya know? It wasn’t about slaves, it was about rights!” Rights was of course pronounced more like rats, but whatever. There was this general attitude around the place that well, duh, we shoulda won and had our own country. Wouldn’t that have been great? It wasn’t about slavery and freeing the oppressed, no, no just states’ rights versus federal rights. Mmhmm.. Yes, indeed it was however, it was the issue of slavery that forced that debate and catapulted our nation into civil war because some fuckers down here in the south thought it was totally legit to enslave a race of peoples to work their farms and make then silly rich whilst they, the “owners,” didn’t really have to work very hard at all. Well, hmmm… yes, I suppose the south should have won? People are so stupid, even today.
The other thing that troubled me while I was there was the morbid amazement that comes with the idea of war and killing. I’m not a total pacifist but I’m damn close. I don’t get some glee out of picking up a used bayonet and proclaiming loudly and excitedly that, “Oh shit, I bet this went all the way through a bunch of guys!” Really? Seeing that weapon makes me sad. Most people seemed to get happy. “I bet that cannon would vaporize a dude! Awesome!”
Anyhow, it was all a bit unsettling. The land was beautiful. I can say that.