Shiloh National Cemetery Monuments

United States soldiers who died in the battle of Shiloh were buried in Shiloh National Cemetery.

Congress passed legislation in 1862 to allow for the government to purchase land for burying its soldiers. In 1866, Shiloh National Cemetery was established to bury soldiers who perished during Civil War battles along the Tennessee River. Over the years, soldiers from other wars have also been buried at Shiloh National Cemetery, but many of the monuments within the cemetery commemorate those lost in the Civil War.

Military Units

The Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee took place in April of 1862 between Confederate and Union soldiers. A total of 241 military units that fought in this battle: 128 Union units and 113 Confederate units. The Shiloh Battlefield website allows you to search the cemetery for monuments that commemorate these units that fought in the battle. Once you have selected the side, state and unit, the site will show you the location of each of the monuments, its type and other information, including a picture of the monument.

Field Officers

The field officers in the Civil War were important to each unit. Some of these officers were killed in action, while others led their units to heroic victories. Monuments honoring 31 of the field officers who fought in the Battle of Shiloh are spread throughout the cemetery. The cemetery website allows you to look up each field officer’s individual monument, giving you the location of the monument, as well as a picture and the unit information of the officer.

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State and Confederate

Many of the Union states sent soldiers to fight in the Battle of Shiloh. Each of these states has a monument within the cemetery to commemorate their soldiers who fought there, as well as those who died. Some of these monuments are simple towers, while others feature statues of soldiers. The Confederate soldiers killed in the Battle of Shiloh were buried in trenches, rather than receiving individual burials. Only two Confederate soldiers are buried by themselves in the cemetery. The cemetery features five monuments that commemorate the five found burial trenches of the 11 or 12 that exist. One large monument commemorates the Confederate presence at the battle.

Historic Plaques

The Shiloh National Cemetery holds mostly soldiers killed in the Civil War, but until the cemetery was closed in 1984, soldiers from other wars were also included, such as World War I and II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Because the cemetery holds so much history, other plaques have been placed in memorial around the cemetery. These include the memorial of the first engagement at Shiloh on March 1, 1862, the first tent field hospital in April of 1862 and a memorial to the United States Gunboats Tyler and Lexington.