Shiloh volunteer Dr. Jeff Gentsch, history professor for the University of West Alabama, will lead an all-day hike on the battlefield on Veterans Day on Saturday. The hike will include an in-depth presentation comparing the Civil War to World War I.
“To commemorate the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh and the Centennial of the entry of the United States into the First World War, Dr. Gentsch will guide a hike comparing and contrasting various strategic, operational, tactical and geographic aspects of Shiloh and other Civil War battles with similar or disparate circumstances from the Great War. Special attention will be focused on American involvement in the conflict,” stated information provided by Shiloh National Military Park.
“The influence of the War Between the States on United States’ military practices and commanders that went ‘over there’ was profound, and the similarities between what the armies went through in adapting to the exigencies of modern, total warfare are often striking,” said Dr. Gentsch.
The Veterans Day hike will meet at Tour Stop #6 (Rhea Field) at 9 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. The distance of the hike will be 12 miles and the terrain covered will range from easy to “very difficult.”
Participants should wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and bring water, food and snacks. A break will be offered in the field for lunch. Insect repellent is also recommended.
Gentsch, a PhD graduate of the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, specializes in modern military history from the American Civil War through 1945. He also offers courses in western civilization, geography, diplomatic history and the Cold War, and won the William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2010.
He holds a Ph.D. from King’s College at the University of London.
(Call the park visitor center at 731-689-5696 to pre-register for the hike. For more information on this and other events go to www.nps.gov/shil, or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/ShilohNMP.)