Rhea Field, Shiloh National Military Park, Tenn.

Rhea Field, Shiloh National Military Park, Tenn.

Save 184 Tennessee Western Theater Acres at Shiloh and Stones River

The Opportunity 

Help preserve 184 acres of hallowed ground at two of the most important battles of the Western Theater, and two of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. 

The Trust has been working diligently to secure these highly-threatened tracts of land and the funding to preserve them. With more than $8 million in anticipated government grants and pledged gifts, the Trust must raise $421,000 to preserve this hallowed ground in Tennessee forever.

GREAT NEWS! Your gift today will be multiplied by a factor of 20!

Western Theater: Shiloh & Stones River Challenge Coin

And as a token of gratitude for your gift of $50 or more, you’ll receive the Trust’s first-ever Western Theater: Shiloh & Stones River Challenge Coin to commemorate this amazing opportunity. There's a very limited number. Please make your gift today, if you possibly can, so you don’t miss out! 

The History 

Two large parcels of land that we’re working to acquire and preserve right now both played crucial roles in those early hours and days when no one knew what the outcome of the battles, and the Civil War itself, would be!  

Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee 

There are 152 acres at Shiloh that we have the chance to save today. 

The Battle of Shiloh allowed Union troops to penetrate the Confederate interior. 

And what a victory it would be. Most of the land is heavily forested and looks just the same as it did in the spring of 1862. That’s when, on April 6, after his Confederate forces overran Union camps, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was alerted to the presence of a Union force that lay poised to attack his right flank. 

Unknown to Johnston, the force in question was the actual left front of the Shiloh encampment comprising General Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee. The Union troops camped at this location were part of a detached brigade of three infantry regiments under the command of Colonel David Stuart, which was assigned to the division of General William T. Sherman.

A series of tactical maneuvers took place, punctuated by heavy bombardment of Stuart’s camp and hours of fierce fighting. Soon, Stuart was forced back 300 yards to a ridge where the Union commander, despite being all but isolated from direct support of other elements of Grant’s army, bravely maintained his position until nearly 2:00 p.m.

It seemed hopeless. But the Confederate advance stalled in Stuart’s camps, impeded by the arrival of a Union brigade commanded by General John McArthur which occupied a steep ridge line north and west of Stuart. And by the afternoon of the next day, a portion of the defeated Confederate army retreated.

It was but one day, in one battle. But the story of the Civil War cannot be told without it.

By the time Shiloh was over, there were nearly 24,000 casualties, General Johnston was dead, and the Confederacy’s hopes of blocking the Union advance into Mississippi were dashed.

The acquisition of this unprotected tract inside Shiloh’s legislated battlefield park boundary would again permit public access to this hallowed land. Visitors could appreciate and understand the events that transpired at Shiloh, and once again, you’ll be able to take a child by the hand and lead him or her there to teach them their nation’s history and the enormous sacrifice that was made to secure it. It’s been nearly a century, but finally the battle for access can be won!

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Battle of Stones River, Tennessee 

There are 32 acres at Stones River ready to be preserved forever.

This tract witnessed some of the critical opening moments of battle. The day after Christmas 1862, General William S. Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland departed Nashville with 44,000 men, marching toward Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee at Murfreesboro, 30 miles to the south.

But the cautious Rosecrans left some 40,000 men in and around the Tennessee capital to guard his communication and supply routes, creating a potential advantage for Bragg.

At dawn on December 31, 1862, the Confederate division of General John McCown struck the right flank of the U.S. Army of the Cumberland at a point just south of this tract. McCown’s movements threatened to create a gap in the Confederate line, forcing General Patrick Cleburne to commit his brigades much earlier than anticipated. At 7 a.m. on December 31, 1862, the brigades of Generals Lucius E. Polk and Bushrod Johnson collided with Colonel Sidney Post’s Union brigade on this tract.

A fierce struggle raged on this ground for nearly a half hour until Post’s men finally broke and retreated, but the cost was high. Confederate General Bushrod Johnson reported that “More than half of the whole loss of this brigade, in my opinion, occurred in this conflict.” In fact, of the major battles in the Civil War, Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties on both sides.

The battle raged through New Year’s Day. Many mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, who had hugged their loved ones goodbye in 1862 would never get to see them alive again in the new year. Ultimately, the bloody Union victory set the stage for campaigns into the heart of the Confederacy while providing a much-needed northern morale boost and support for the Emancipation Proclamation.

Now, we have the chance to save this hallowed ground – one of the single largest undeveloped tracts remaining on the battlefield!  

Join the charge forward in Tennessee

The land was recently listed for sale as prime commercial property, and the surrounding area is overrun with commercial, industrial, and residential development. 

If we don’t preserve it now, it could be gone forever... We must stand together and say NO! We will not let this history become lost to development!  

As a small token of appreciation, you can claim the Trust’s limited-edition Western Theater: Shiloh & Stones River Challenge Coin! Make your gift of $50 or more to help save 184 acres of Western Theater Battlefield, and you’ll receive one to collect and treasure. 

Thanks to an anticipated $8,000,000 provided by government partners who share this commitment, we now need to raise just $421,000 to secure BOTH the Shiloh and Stones River properties. Your impact will be multiplied 20-to-1 when you make your gift now.

Donate Now

History teaches that the opening days of a battle don’t always determine the victor. That’s true of Shiloh, and it’s true of Stones River as well. And the two large parcels of land we’re working to acquire and preserve right now both played crucial roles in those early hours and days when no one knew what the outcome of the battles, and the Civil War itself, would be!
David N. Duncan, President

An Amazing $20-to-$1 match!

Acres Targeted

Explore This Opportunity


Our Battle of Shiloh page includes history articles, battle maps, photos, web links, and the latest preservation news for this important 1862 Civil...

Stones River

Battle of Stones River page with battle maps, history articles, photos, recommended books and more for this important 1862-1863 Civil War battle in...