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Shiloh Battlefield comes alive with cannon firing, history

A crew will be firing a six-pounder smoothbore cannon throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday at Shiloh National Military Park.

BY ZACK STEEN zsteen@dailycorinthian.com

The hallowed grounds at Shiloh will come alive this weekend.

Shiloh National Military Park will host Booming on the Battlefield cannon firing demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday.

A crew will be firing the park's six-pounder smoothbore cannon, a gun which saw its first battles during the Mexican-American War in 1846 through 1848.

The free to the public artillery firing demonstrations will take place at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Each program will last approximately 30-minutes, and interpret the weapon, its projectiles and the procedures Civil War artillery crews used to fire the gun during the war.

"There were more six-pounders at Shiloh than any other type of cannon," said Dale Wilkerson, park superintendent at Shiloh. "Nearly 40 percent of the big guns in this battle were six-pounders, with 56 percent being used by the Confederate batteries and forty being used by the Union forces."

Other activities to keep visitors busy during the weekend cannon demos include the hourly showing of the award-winning film "Shiloh-Fiery Trial". The movie will be shown inside the visitors center, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The bookstore located at the park will be open during this time, as well.

Coming up next month the park will present a free Concert in the Park featuring rockabilly artist Jason D. Williams.

An uber-showman known for his energetic performances and boogie-woogie music, Williams' dynamic piano playing and outlandish stage antics have drawn comparisons to Jerry Lee Lewis.

Williams will star in the free twilight concert beginning at 5:30 p.m. on July 7 on the visitor's center lawn.

(For more information, contact 731-689-5696, visit nps.gov/shil or facebook.com/ShilohNMP.)