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The impact of pregnancy has also been raised frequently, and Range notes that it can and has affected some of his gun crews. Pregnancy also can prevent a soldier from being able to attend training and delay her advancement. The Basic Leadership Course that potential noncommissioned officers must take, for example, requires candidates to march with heavy backpacks—a no-go for pregnant women.

None of this has convinced Range that integration is a bad idea, however. Romania, which opened combat jobs to women in , has sent roughly women into close combat in Iraq. Danish women, who must meet the same physical standards as men, have served in combat roles—including in Afghanistan—since Israeli women, like men, are required to serve at least two years in the military and are allowed in most combat positions. And Norway, one of the first countries to open combat jobs to women, in , made military service for men and women compulsory in When the DOD first began discussing integration, opponents questioned how the presence of women would affect that all-important element of battlefield effectiveness: unit cohesion.

Despite the relatively brief history of women in combat roles, the experience of other countries has provided researchers with some indication about what can help foster those bonds. Two of the biggest factors are entirely controllable and already being implemented in the United States: establishing neutral performance and fitness standards as the Combat Fitness Test will do and integrated training. A similar effect was observed when the United States first integrated minority troops in the 20th century.

Most branches of the American military have been training men and women together for years. Now they train together in combat elements, too. Or how a male soldier might react to seeing a woman killed in front of him.

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Following the War of Independence, in which women fought and died alongside men, the Israeli military banned women from combat for decades. Some people have raised concerns, particularly in the era of MeToo, about the possibility of an increased risk of sexual assaults. Others have wondered if some soldiers simply might feel more protective of females and thus act differently in battle.

The reality is that even in countries where combat jobs have been open to women for decades, females still make up small percentages of those units. I want to join the American artillery. Each one has its own alphanumeric designation. Infantry soldier? Combat medic?

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Field artillery cannon crew member? Many soldiers wear these designations proudly: They are emblems of the tribe to which they choose to belong. One might assume that as combat arms positions opened to females, they only would be filled by women who specifically requested those jobs. That, however, is not always the case. Sometimes those soldiers—like Eun Jaing—are not given much of a choice about where they will go.

Jaing grew up in Gwangju, South Korea, and later married an American soldier. In November , shortly after their son was born, the couple moved to the United States. In November , she enlisted as a parachute rigger for the U. Parachute rigging sounded like a good job—unless one of the chutes you packed failed. Jaing feared that if a fatal accident happened, she would end up in jail. Jaing arrived at Fort Carson as the second female 13B in Alpha Battery and the first in her section, or gun crew.

She remembers her male colleagues being a little awkward, almost timid, at first. They were afraid to talk to her the way they did with the men, she says. She found this to be true especially of the noncommissioned officers in her section, who were likely concerned about the appearance of inappropriate relationships. The challenge, therein, is that in male-dominated career fields, female soldiers might not receive the same kind of mentoring as their male counterparts—which may explain why promotion rates for women sometimes lag behind those of their male peers at higher enlisted ranks in the Army although females in the Marine Corps, who make up only eight percent of that branch, are regularly promoted at a higher rate than men.

A similar disparity is reflected in the officer corps, according to a Military Leadership Diversity Commission report. There, she made Wallace take the cannon breech apart and put it back together over and over again. But as the weeks and months progressed, over countless field exercises and predeployment trainings, Jaing was comforted by the idea that she was shooting in support of other soldiers—the infantry troops on the ground.

People she knew. Almost all Alpha Battery soldiers live and sleep in the same hot, cramped metal box in Uruzgan. The main area serves as communal space for playing cards, storage, and conversation; anywhere between one and four soldiers share each of the attached bunkrooms. At one end of the barracks, a single room is reserved for Wallace and Jaing. In early May, the two soldiers were sitting in their room when they heard the mortar alarms go off. By then they were used to the whistle of inbound ordnance; the FOB had been getting hammered by mortars and rockets since shortly after they arrived.

Wallace had made a game of guessing where they were going to hit: Left or right of her position? Forward or behind? The pair leaned against their metal walls and waited. Vigil knew the mortar had hit something from the sound when it made contact. There was a huge hole in the roof, right above where his room used to be. It was two rooms down from Jaing and Wallace. All Vigil could do was watch; protocol demanded he remain where he was. Inside the barracks, dust and dirt filled the rooms. Rattled—both figuratively and literally—but fine. When the mortar hit the metal building, it had turned into a giant tuning fork, sending nerve-jangling reverberations through the building and the soldiers inside, but everyone had escaped serious injury.

It was a reminder: There are people out there trying to kill you. A few weeks later, they succeeded. Maciel was the third U. Captain Range left Afghanistan this past August. His tenure at the helm was longer than most, a result mostly of circumstance but also in part by choice. Campbell is the home of the esteemed st Airborne Division and the Sabalauski Air Assault School, where field artillery soldiers learn to load and unload howitzers from helicopters—then follow them to the ground by rappelling out of the choppers. But Fort Stewart, in Georgia, is only a five-hour drive from her family in Castle Hayne, so when Wallace re-enlisted this fall, she took a position there.

On Wednesday, three quarters of a century after the beginning of the D-Day operation, more than veterans of that heroic effort gathered on a scrap of land outside Portsmouth to be thanked by the leaders of the great Western democracies. It was a day for everyone to reflect. In France, a handful of old soldiers gave their thanks at a deeply moving, memorial ceremony at Pegasus Bridge. Reg Charles, 96, the last surviving member of the team that landed by glider ahead of the main assault, saluted his fallen comrades, while the daughter of the first soldier killed on D-Day shortly after midnight on June 6 paid her own tribute at the same spot.

On Wednesday evening, Harry Read, 95, and Jock Hutton, 94, defied their years and parachuted into Normandy in time for Thursday's big set-piece commemoration on the French side of the Channel. Mr Hutton pulled a maroon beret from his modern jumpsuit, placed it on his head and saluted in the field in Sannerville. The Queen, a teenager when Operation Overlord was launched, pointed out in her closing speech that nobody had thought the survivors of D-Day would make it this far; many had said the 60th anniversary would be their swansong.

T hen it was the turn of the Queen to express her gratitude. John Jenkins MBE epitomised their remarkable spirit. Now, at 99 and walking with a stick, he took to the huge stage, specially built on Southsea Common, yards from the Channel on the outskirts of Portsmouth, to stirring applause. But then came the truths. Many veterans, who had gathered to share similar tales of bravery and distress, wept as they looked on. It changed me in a way; but I was just a small part in a very big machine.

We must never forget. Thank you. T he Queen stood again; the second time she joined a standing ovation in the space of a few minutes. Wednesday's National Commemorative Event was an opportunity for the world to thank the tens of thousands like John Jenkins who took part in D-Day; those who died and those who survived. The ceremony was attended by leaders of the 14 countries that had taken part in the Normandy landings. Germany, too, was represented by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Macron read out the final letter sent by a year-old resistance fighter to his parents on the eve of his execution.

I must hurry. My handwriting may look wobbly but it is just because I am using a small pencil. I am not afraid of death, my conscience is completely clear. It was still in his pocket when he landed on Sword Beach on June 6. He was killed the day after, leaving his wife and two young daughters. My thoughts at this moment, in this lovely Saturday afternoon, are with you all now. I can imagine you in the garden having tea with Janey and Anne, getting ready to put them to bed.

T he story of Captain Skinner bore painful similarities for year-old Alfred Fuzzard. He recalled finding similar heartbreaking correspondence as he helped pull the bodies out of the water on Sword Beach at the end of the first day of the invasion. I searched his pockets and he had pictures of his wife and lovely two children.

I suppose he was carrying it close to his heart. Wednesday's service was a combination of military pomp and wartime nostalgia. When it was over, the Royal Navy fired a four-gun salute timed to coincide with a military fly-past including a Spitfire and a Hurricane. Arthur Hampson, 93, who manned a landing craft on Juno Beach during D-Day, was one of the Britons to go into the fray alongside the Canadians. He recalled returning to Portsmouth the night of D-Day and drinking a pint in a pub not far from Wednesday's event.

Two men inside died. Arthur Bailey, 95, signed up at 17, lying about his age, to join the war effort. As he waded toward the Normandy shore, German bullets picked off those around him. But his orders were to press on to the beach and to leave the dead and dying to the medics. They were everywhere — in trees, in buildings, behind hedges. It was terrible.

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I was very lucky to survive. J im Bick, 94, was supposed to have dropped in by glider but the 6th Airborne Division ran out of them. Instead he was forced to cross the Channel by boat and wade ashore in the face of German fire. We did everything together and did what we could to look after each other. When the event was over, some of the veterans were selected to meet the dignitaries backstage. Among them was Jack Smith, 94, a former Royal Marine who was in the first wave of landing craft.

I f the veterans who gathered on Wednesday feared that younger generations were indifferent to their sacrifice they need not have worried. Hundreds of families, including many teenagers, gathered on Southsea Common to watch the events relayed on giant screens from a nearby arena. People gathered at vantage points along the waterfront to cheer MV Boudicca as the liner sailed past the Round Tower and into the Solent for the crossing to Normandy on Wednesday night.

There were cheers for the veterans aboard, recreating the journey they made to the D-Day beaches as brave young men in As the Boudicca sailed out of the harbour, sailors wearing their No1 uniforms and medals lined the decks of 11 Royal Navy warships escorting the ship into open water and saluted. I t's an early start tomorrow as a host of ceremonies and events are due to take place to mark D-Day. Gareth Davies will be back in the chair to take you through everything that's happening, and will also be keeping an eye on the movements of Donald Trump.

A statue will be unveiled and the first stone of a memorial will be laid, in the presence of veterans, British Prime Minister Theresa May and her French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. Once complete, the British Normandy Memorial will record the names of those under British command who lost their lives in Normandy between the D-Day landings and August 31 Also honoured will be the tens of thousands of French citizens who lost their lives. The Royal British Legion will hold a cathedral service attended by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prime Minister in the first town liberated by the allied forces.

A tri-service guard of honour will be led by 32 Engineer Regiment. Events include a Red Arrows flypast and a Red Devils parachute display. T he Rifles held a ceremony at the Pegasus Bridge memorial to mark the moment the gliders landed, with a speech from Major Howard's daughter Penny. French politician Christophe Blanchet told the crowd: "This bridge was to allow the liberation of France, and with it the rest of Europe. A recording of Major Howard's speech from a ceremony at the site 30 years ago was played before the Band and Bugles of The Rifles led their troops across the bridge.

R ifleman Peter Ramsden, of the Rifles 2nd Battalion, spoke of his pride in following in the footsteps of D-Day heroes. The year-old from Durham, and currently stationed in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, said: "It's a massive honour to march across Pegasus Bridge. T he officers and soldiers joined Arlette Gondree at for a Champagne toast at the cafe she owns next to the bridge, Cafe Gondree, in a tradition held since D-Day.

The cafe, where she lived with her family, was the first home in France to be liberated by the British and Ms Gondree's father dug up champagne he had hidden in the garden from the Nazi occupiers, to toast the British troops who freed them. Ms Gondree said: "There were 54 Germans in the village, fortunately they never found daddy's hoard.

In less than 15 minutes they took the key strategic target from the Nazis, blocking enemy forces and clearing the way for the Allies who would storm the beaches hours later. Eric and Donald Junior arrived in Doonbeg shortly after 10pm on Wednesday to cheers from locals as they swept up in Range Rovers. Eric told the crowd: "We love this place more than anything.

So thank you for this hospitality. It's awesome. Speaking from behind the bar, Eric said: "You guys are so warm to us every single time. You are truly some of the most incredible people in the world and I hope we've made you very very proud and I hope we've made Ireland very proud.

At Madigan's bar, Eric said: "So guys, just a little cheers to everyone in Doonbeg, we love you guys so much, thank you for treating us like family. We love everything about Doonbeg, we feel like home here, just great to be with each and every one of you. Thank you for the support guys, thank you. TrumpInIreland pic. T onight there will be a midnight vigil at the Pegasus Bridge in Caen. The bridges over the Caen canal and the nearby River Orne were assaulted in the opening minutes of D-Day. They had to be secured to prevent German reinforcements pushing the Allies back into the sea from the Normandy beaches.

At 16 minutes past midnight, a glider-borne assault by soldiers of the British 6th Airborne Division took them by complete surprise and took the bridges. A gunboat, moored next to Pegasus Bridge, the name given to the bridge over the Caen canal, will fire a salute. Peter Flensburg.

S ky News have cameras on board the MV Boudicca and have captured lovely images of families and old friends embracing. They spent three years together on the ship, finally returning home in - both living in the county of Dorset, but after stepping off HMS Redpole, they did not see each other again, until Wednesday. Later, they shared a pint at the pub on board the cruise ship chartered by the Royal British Legion to mark the anniversary, which they are both staying on.

Both became emotional when describing their starkest memory of D-Day - having to watch on as they saw Canadian troops killed in the water before then. The veterans told how they waited at anchor for 12 hours on June 6, before proceeding to Juno beach at 4pm. O ur video team have been hard at work preparing this highlights reel.

H aving been in the office all day working on the live blog, our Gareth Davies has gone down to Portsmouth to soak up the atmosphere for himself. Wonderful scenes at sunset. Privileged enough to have written about D-Day all day. Come home from work. And the 75th commemorations of the landing are on my doorstep. Totally awe-inspiring. D om Nicholls and Phoebe Southworth have spoken to the nonagenarian heroes. Seamlessly touching down in the fields and quickly jumping to their feet, they spoke about their memories of the largest airborne invasion in the history of warfare.

Mr Read, a retired Salvation Army officer living in Bournemouth, was a year-old wireless operator with the Royal Signals when he volunteered to join the 6th Airborne Division. The great-great-grandfather, who completed a 10,ft skydive last year, said after his tandem jump with Corporal Michael French: "I feel good. This was a very different kind of landing to when I arrived in They were going to shoot me. He said after the jump: "It is great to be back.

My message to young recruits coming up through the ranks is simply run fast if someone shoots at you. As people rushed to congratulate him on his jump, he joked: "It's a disease being popular, you know. T he Tory leadership hopeful is taking the time to meet veterans, and world leaders Privilege to spend the day commemorating DDay75 with veterans and our closest allies. We must never forget the sacrifices of the past pic. P resident Trump has just landed at his golf course in Doonbeg.

The chill comes from the fact that US president "will be limiting his presence on June 6 and the continent to a few hours". During the short visit, Mr Trump will pay tribute to the fallen soldiers at the US cemetery of Colleville-sur-mer overlooking Omaha beach and then have lunch and a bilateral meeting with President Macron of France in Caen before leaving. The brevity was, it wrote, "a symbol of the worsening relations with Emmanuel Macron, France and Europe".

We have a live stream of the sail past at the top of this page, and everything you need to know about the event here. Gareth Davies has prepared this fascinating piece about which ships are greeting the MV Boudicca. It's got everything you need to know about the sail past. A ll eyes are back on Portsmouth as a boatload of veterans prepares to travel across the Channel. As the ships sail out there will be up to 11 Royal Navy warships lined up on their route from the harbour out to NAB Tower.

The full sail-past will take no longer than 10 minutes and will be accompanied by a Spitfire flypast. It is scheduled to start at 7. E verything you need to know is here. H ere they are, aged 95 and 94, both enjoying a well earned sit down. Mr Read was a year-old wireless officer with the Royal Signals when he was pushed out of the plane in the early hours of June 6 P hoebe Southworth , in Sannerville has been speaking to veterans who are watching the parachutists come in.

Kenneth Lang, 96, was part of the 13th Lancashire Parachute Battalion, having joined the forces when he was just He parachuted into Granville at about 1am on D-Day then spent the following weeks fighting off German forces as they tried to recapture bridges that had been taken by British forces. The great-grandfather and father-of-four told The Daily Telegraph: "When I was about to jump from the plane I wasn't thinking about anything apart from the job that I had to do.

K enneth was discharged from duty when a piece of shrapnel shattered the top of his left hand about three weeks after D-Day. He said of the horrific injury: "The top of my hand was all exposed and bones were protruding out of it. T he first parachutists are about to touch down in Sannerville. Our reporter Phoebe Southworth is on the ground and will be hearing from them soon. Nearing Caen. S enior Reporter Patrick Sawer is in Portsmouth and has been chatting to some remarkable veterans. At the tender age of 19 the Royal Marine was tasked with laying down covering fire to keep the Germans pinned down, while Collins, and the rest of 45 Commando, waded onto Sword Beach.

They never met and it was only five months ago that Mr Budding discovered Mr Collins had been on his landing craft, after his carer mentioned his father had also taken part in the Normandy landings. Mr Collins died some years ago, and Mr Budding, now 94, was determined to travel to Portsmouth yesterday to remember him and all those who never made it back from the D-Day beaches. It was just the most incredible sight. We all saw some terrible things, but we were so focused on what we had to do we just had to get on with it.

We owe them all so much. When her screen lit up in the early hours of June 6 Bessie Thomas realised something big was up. Having spent her time tracing the route of enemy aircraft making their way across the Channel on bombing raids over England, the young radar operator now noticed heavy traffic going in the opposite direction. It was the moment we realised something was happening. Mrs Thomas, now 95, said she and her colleagues were acutely aware of the importance of their role, but she wears her obvious pride lightly.

But I was only a little cog in a big wheel. I was privileged to take part. Then, he will fly to his Trump golf course in Doonbeg. T his is the first time he has visited Ireland since becoming president of the United States. DDay75 pic. In it, is the phrase "We commit to work construcively as friends and allies to find common ground where we have differences of opinion. W e have the live stream of the Red Arrow display. T his flight tracking site is following the Dakota planes as they head towards France.

And now the Red Arrows have taken off and are flying over Portsmouth. They'll be performing a minute display. They'll be recreating the path taken by the planes 75 years ago. Previously head of the South Asian army, he was a wireless operator with the parachute regiment.

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Sent as a ford party for landings, he landed on June 6 at was dropped in the wrong place in an area Germans had flooded. He spent 16 hours trying to get out of the marsh and some of his comrades died there. The odds on us returning were quite a deal lower than the odds of surviving. Getting out of the aircraft was difficult because of the buffeting from the shelling that threw the men around. They flew in low as the aircraft was a big target. When he found out, Prentiss told his subordinate he would hold him personally responsible for bringing on a battle and rode off in a huff.

His division began the day with roughly 5, men, only to dwindle to by that morning. When Prentiss took his position in the Sunken Road, his numbers were nearly doubled by an arriving regiment, the 23rd Missouri. Prentiss had lost almost his entire division, and could not have held his second line without the veteran brigades of Brig.

Prentiss was in an advantageous position to become a hero after the battle, however. Although he remained a prisoner for six months, he was able to tell his story. Peabody and Wallace were both dead from wounds received at Shiloh. Thus Prentiss took credit for their actions and became the hero of the fight.

Prentiss never even mentioned Peabody in his report, except to say that he commanded one of his brigades. Prentiss, the only Federal officer who could get his own record out, thus benefited from public exposure. In the process, he became the hero of Shiloh. The veterans of the various armies vehemently argued their cases after the war. Even Grant and Buell entered the fight when they wrote opposing articles for Century magazine in the s. Grant claimed his army was in a strong position with heavy lines of infantry supporting massed artillery.

His effort to trade space for time throughout the day of April 6 had worked; Grant had spent so much time in successive defensive positions that daylight was fading by the time the last Confederate assaults began, and he was convinced that his army could handle those attacks. Buell, on the other hand, painted a picture of a dilapidated Army of the Tennessee on the brink of defeat.

Only his arrival with fresh columns of Army of the Ohio troops won the day. The lead brigade, commanded by Colonel Jacob Ammen, deployed on the ridge south of the landing and met the Confederate advance. Likewise, the troops were massed in compact positions. Good interior lines of defense also helped, and two Federal gunboats fired on the Confederates from the river. Grant poured heavy fire into the Confederates from the front, flank and rear. Only elements of four disorganized and exhausted Confederate brigades crossed the backwater in the Dill Branch ravine as gunboat shells flew through the air.

Only two of those brigades undertook an assault, one without ammunition. The Confederates topped the rise and faced a withering fire. They were convinced. Orders from Beauregard to withdraw did not have to be repeated. Grant had the situation well under control and could have fended off much larger numbers than he actually encountered.

For many years after the battle, former Confederates castigated General Beauregard for his actions at Shiloh. Beauregard, however, called off his Southern boys and thus threw away a victory. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The controversy had its beginnings while the war still raged. Corps commanders Maj. William J. Hardee and Braxton Bragg later pounced on Beauregard for calling off the attacks, even though their immediate post-battle correspondence said nothing de-rogatory about their commander. After the war ended, Southerners began to argue that being outnumbered and outproduced industrially were reasons for their defeat, and also blamed the battle deaths of leaders like Johnston and Stonewall Jackson.

Another key element in their argument, however, was poor leadership on the part of certain generals such as James Longstreet at Gettysburg of course it did not help that Longstreet turned his back on the solidly Democratic South and went Republican after the war and Beauregard at Shiloh. The sum of all those parts became known as the Lost Cause.

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Hardee, Bragg and thousands of other former Confederates argued after the war that Beauregard threw away the victory. Beauregard does bear some blame, but not for making the wrong decision to end the attacks. He made the right decision, but for all the wrong reasons. The general made his decision far behind his front lines, an area completely awash with stragglers and wounded. No wonder Beauregard argued that his army was so disorganized that he needed to call a halt. Similarly, Beauregard acted on faulty intelligence. Based on such spotty intelligence, Beauregard thought he could finish Grant the next morning.

In the end, the decision to call a halt was the right thing to do. The castigated Creole did not throw away a victory, he merely put himself in a position to be blamed for the defeat already transpiring. Another Lost Cause myth of Shiloh is that Johnston would have been victorious had not a stray bullet clipped an artery in his leg and caused him to bleed to death. The result of both cause and effect situations led to Confederate defeat.

To drive the point home, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed an elaborate memorial at Shiloh in , with Johnston as the centerpiece and death symbolically taking the laurel wreath of victory away from the South. Even modern scholars have sometimes taken this line of reasoning. Johnston biographer Charles Roland has argued in two different books that Johnston would have succeeded and won the battle had he lived. Roland claims that just because Beauregard failed did not mean Johnston would have. His superior leadership qualities, Roland concludes, could have allowed Johnston to spur the tired Confederate troops onward to victory.

Such a theory of certain victory fails to take many factors into account. First, there was no lull in the battle on the Confederate right because Johnston fell. A continuous rate of fire was not sustainable for several reasons, mostly logistics; ordnance departments could not keep thousands of soldiers supplied to fire constantly. Most Civil War battles were stop-and-go actions, with assaults, retreats and counterattacks. The result was that the fighting at Shiloh did not rage continuously for hours at any one time or place.

Instead it was a complicated series of many different actions throughout the day at many different points. Second, the argument that Johnston would have won when Beauregard did not is also faulty. Johnston could probably have pressed the attack no faster than the surviving Confederate commanders on the right did.

Thus Johnston at best would not have been in a position to attack near Pittsburg Landing until hours after Grant had stabilized his last line of defense. As stated above, the heavy guns, lines of infantry, gunboats, exhaustion, disorganization, terrain and arriving reinforcements all were factors — some more than others — in defeating the last Confederate attempts of the day.

The myth that the Confederates would have certainly won the battle had Johnston lived is thus false. While some important fighting did take place at the Sunken Road, the entire story is predicated on the myth of the road being worn below the surrounding terrain and thus providing a natural defensive trench for the Federal soldiers.

In fact, there is no contemporary evidence that the Sunken Road was sunken at all. The road was not a major avenue of travel. What became known as the Sunken Road was a mere farm road used by Joseph Duncan to get to various points on his property. As it had limited use, the road would not have been worn down as many people believe. At most, it might have had ruts several inches deep at various times during wet seasons.

Post-battle photos of the road show a mere path, not a sunken trace. Not one single report in the Official Records mentions the road as being sunken. In reality, that soldier was in no position to see the road. Robertson described a tangle of undergrowth that blocked his view, and even remarked that corps commander Bragg stated he would lead them to where they could see the enemy. The unit thereafter moved forward to the right, thus never allowing the quoted soldier to view how deep the road actually was.

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  4. In all likelihood, the Louisianan was describing the Eastern Corinth Road or possibly even the main Corinth Road, both of which were heavily traveled thoroughfares and thus would have been eroded. Federal regiments were aligned on both roads at times during the battle. Thereafter, veterans began to embellish the story. The Iowa units manning the position formed a veterans organization that emphasized the Sunken Road. When the national park was established in , the Sunken Road became a major tourist attraction as the park commission began to highlight certain areas to attract attention and visitation.

    At the same time, the proliferation of veterans memoirs in the s and early s keyed on the growing popularity of this location, which grew deeper with each passing volume, ultimately reaching a depth of several feet. As time passed and more publications appeared, the myth became reality. Today it is one of the best known Civil War icons that never existed. Over the years, a variety of myths and legends about the battle have crept into American culture, and today are viewed by many as the truth. Several factors account for these falsehoods.

    The veterans did not establish the park until 30 years after the battle. By that time, memories had become clouded and events shrouded in uncertainty. Likewise, the original Shiloh National Military Park commission that initially developed the interpretation of the site may have let pride affect its documentation of the Shiloh story. It is regrettable that over the years the truth about the battle has become distorted.

    Hopefully, as more research is published, the oft-repeated campfire stories will be phased out and replaced by the reality of Shiloh, which in itself is much grander and more honorable than any of the myths that have grown up about the battle. After all, truth is often stranger than fiction. This article is adapted from a chapter in Timothy B. Reid recounts the Battle of Shiloh. William M. Lost four killed and sixteen wounded out of company…. His regiment was constantly on the move for hours as the battle roared through the woodlots and hollows along the Tennessee River.

    Reid saw his regimental commanders, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Eliis and Major William Goddard, killed along with dozens of his comrades.

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    During the desperate fighting, he picked up a musket and fought as a private. After the war, while his memory was still fresh, Reid detailed his harrowing wartime experiences in a journal now preserved along with his diary at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His account of Shiloh follows with minimal editing and added paragraph breaks. Spelling has been corrected in some places for clarity. Bridge, also that of a steamer the rebels burned after the surrender of Ft. As we aproached the landing at Pitsburg, the gunboats shelled the woods, and took every precaution against masked batteries.

    Then our regiment landed, and soon found ourselves in a densly wooded country interspersed with ravens, and scattered cotton fields; and small log houses here and there. We marched about half a mile from the landing and pitched our tents, and made ourselves at home; others soon was destined to be one of the hotest battles of the war. I was, and had been for quite a time in command of the company.

    Rogers being at St. Louis and Pratt being home sick. We drew new Sibly tents here, and were very comfortable.