12 02 2008


The new Civil War Times (April 2008) is out.  This issue features yet another extract from Drew Gilpin Faust’s new book, an article about the song “Dixie” by fellow blogger Michael Hardy, and a cover story on Berdan’s Sharpshooters by R. L. Murray.  There is also a new Field Guide column, which I imagine will feature a different battlefield each issue, pointing out the “must sees”.  This month it’s Shiloh.  As I said earlier, I spent a few days this past June touring the place with friends, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to show some of the pictures I took on the trip.

We visited all nine of the spots listed in CWT.  I have pictures of seven of the nine, failing to snap any at the Indian Mounds (#9) or Hagy’s Catfish Hotel (#8).  Hagy’s was OK, but had been built up so much in my mind that a letdown was inevitable.  If you go there on a weekend, be prepared to wait a good while for a table.  And the restaurant was also the site of the only inhospitable moment of the trip, while waiting for a table: some old fella with a flat-top, who was sitting at the opposite end of an otherwise empty ten foot bench from me, told his wife that he would rather stand than sit near “that guy”, nodding toward me.  We had exchanged neither word nor glance for the 5 or so minutes I sat there.  The wife asked him why he didn’t want to sit, and he said “Ah don’t lahk ‘im”.  She asked why he didn’t like me, and he said “Ah jez don’t lahk ‘im”.  Then they walked away.  My friends were standing nearby, and assured me I did nothing wrong, and I had showered up and put on clean clothes after our stomp (which didn’t make me any better looking, however).  Weird.  The only other thing that came close was at a steakhouse in Corinth when some folks in the salad bar line thought that one of my travelling companions was Charles Manson.  I assured them that Charlie is neither half as tall nor half as nuts as Jim (just kidding Jim; you’re nowhere near twice as tall as Manson).

So, in order of their ranking in CWT, here are my photos:

#1 – Shiloh Church (Replica).

shiloh1.jpg shiloh2.jpg shilohtablet.jpg


#2 – Shiloh National Cemetery.  Here are some shots at the 16th Wisconsin color bearers’ graves (from left to right, Mike Pellegrini, Jim Epperson, Dave Powell and Zack Waltz), Grant’s headquarters cannon & marker, and three buddies at the entrance gate.

flagbearers.jpg granthq1.jpg granthq2.jpg gate.jpg


#3 – The Putnam Stump.  This is a replica of the stump under which his comrades buried J. D. Putnam of the 14th Wisconsin.

putnam1.jpg putnam2.jpg putnam3.jpg


#4 – The Defeated Victory monument.  We also called this the Excuses? We Got a Million of ‘Em monument, or simply the Monumental Excuse.

excuse1.jpg excuse2.jpg excuse3.jpg excuse4.jpg excuse5.jpg excuse6.jpg excuse7.jpg inscription1.jpg inscription2.jpg inscription3.jpg excusemarker1.jpg excusemarker2.jpg


#5 – Corinth Interpretive Center.  See here.

#6 – Rhea Springs.  Perfect spot for a picnic.

rhea2.jpg rhea1.jpg


#7 – Cherry Mansion.  This house in Savannah was Grant’s HQ, and also where W. H. L. Wallace died.

 cherry1.jpg cherry2.jpg cherry3.jpg cherrymarker1.jpg cherrymarker2.jpg


#8 – Hagy’s Catfish Hotel.

#9 – Indian Mounds.

For more on Shiloh, check out Shiloh Nick’s blog.  And here’s a site that has details on lots of Hardin County attractions.



3 responses

15 05 2008
Jim Hagy

Hi Mr. Smeltzer,

I happened across your blog. Very interesting and great reading. I wanted to apologize for your experience at the Catfish Hotel in Shiloh. My sister and I are the owners.

We are looking at expanding the waiting area to create a more comfortable space for guests that are on a list for a table. I apologize as well for the rude strange gentleman who made you the target of his discontent. I find it helpful to look on the 1% percent of the population who spill their unhappiness on everyone as a reminder to appreciate the other 99% of the human race who are so great.

Please come back to visit us. We appreciate your business.


Jim Hagy


15 05 2008
Harry Smeltzer


There seems to be an impression that I was upset with my experience at Hagy’s, and I want to correct that: I really wasn’t. I think after a long hot day in the field such as we had, any fried fish was going to taste about the same unless it was badly done, and the most important thing was cold drinks! By no means was the flat-topped fellow (an assistant high school football coach type, with pants firmly ensconced above his belly button) representative of the customers. And it was a pleasant evening so waiting on the porch was not a problem at all. A long line is a nice problem for a restaurant to have, no? As Yogi Berra once said, “Nobody goes there anymore. Too many people go there.” If I’m ever in the area again, I’m pretty sure I’ll make a return visit to Hagy’s.


15 05 2008
Hagy’s Catfish Hotel « Bull Runnings

[…] of Hagy’s Catfish Hotel, left a comment on my post about my trip to Shiloh last year (see here).  Just so there is no misunderstanding, here’s Jim’s comment and my response – the bottom […]


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