The Shiloh Artillery Hike is an unusual and very interesting hike designed to introduce hikers to Civil War cannons and tell them something about the part that artillery batteries played in the Battle of Shiloh. The hiker will observe many of the guns now located on Shiloh Battlefield. The Shiloh Artillery Hike (SMT Hike No. 2) is recommended especially for those who have already hiked the first time Shiloh Military Trail Hike No.1. (However this SMT No. 1 Hike is not a prerequisite for SMT Hike No. 2). The Shiloh Artillery Hike is a 14 mile long loop trail which begins and ends near the southwest corner of Shiloh National Military Park (by Ed Shaw's Restaurant located at the intersection of TN Highways No. 22 and No. 142).


For those hikers who complete all requirements to earn them (by hiking the specified Artillery Trail, completing the required reading, seeing the movie and visiting the museum) a special fully embroidered colorful patch is available as well as a small cannon shaped pin (to attach to the ribbon of the No. 1 Hike Medal). The hike leader should place one order for all of his Artillery Trail hikers and send in completed (and checked) credential cards, proper remittance, and the order blank (Part C of the SMT unit application which gives the prices for awards). The purchase of any and all SMT awards is entirely optional.


There are now over 200 cannons located on the Shiloh Battlefield today. These represent more than 10 different kinds and types of Civil War cannons. These types can be recognized by the size and shape of the barrels. Some have smooth bores (barrel without grooves inside) while others have rifled bores (barrel has grooves inside). Many of these guns were made with smooth bores originally and the rifling added at a later date. Some of their guns were made in the South and used by Confederate batteries. Sometime these Confederate made guns can be identified by the foundry name and location. All of these CSA guns are now located in Ruggles Batteries. Almost all the guns at Shiloh are "field pieces." A few seige guns may be observed in the National Cemetery. During the Battle of Shiloh only "field pieces" were used. The only exception were the guns aboard the union gunboats, Tyler and Lexington, and some 24 PDR seige guns which formed the center of Grant's Last Line at Pittsburg Landing.


Each Shiloh Artillery Hike hiker who wishes to qualify for the trail awards must read the article "Field Artillery in the War" by L. VanLoan Naisawald, published in the June 1961 issue of CIVIL WAR TIMES magazine. Reprint copies of this article may be purchased from the Shiloh Military Trail, Inc. Be sure to order copies of this artillery reprint when you make application to hike this trail and order your trail maps and credential cards. It will not be necessary for each hiker to purchase his own copy of this reprint as a group may purchase one or more and share them. It is necessary and required that each hiker read this entire reprint to qualify for the artillery hike awards. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT ALL HIKERS READ THIS INTERESTING ARTICLE BEFORE making the Shiloh Artillery Hike. Each hiker will need to complete AS HE HIKES his own credential card. This should be rubber stamped by the ranger on duty at the desk in the Visitors' Center at Shiloh National Military Park. Each hiking group will need at least one trail map and hiking instructions sheet.