Shiloh Hill

Performed by William Lee Golden, with Chris Golden on guitar and Jenee Fleenor on fiddle. Written by M.G. Smith

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

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10 comments… add one
  • London John May 16, 2012 @ 10:52

    Is there any reason to think this version is sung by a Confederate? I thought that ambiguity was rather the point.

  • Eric A. Jacobson May 16, 2012 @ 7:26

    The cemetery footage of Golden was actually shot in the McGavock Confederate Cemetery in Franklin. They were out last year and all the guys were really great.

  • Bjorn Skaptason May 16, 2012 @ 5:57

    I haven’t read it yet, but I like how the video is currently adjacent to the ad for Christian McWhirter’s “Battle Hymns.” Shiloh may well have inspired more non-history art than any other battle. I am looking forward to reading that book.

    Elton John doesn’t have any Gettysburg songs:-).

  • James F. Epperson May 16, 2012 @ 3:04

    But there aren’t any hills at Shiloh …

    • James Bain May 16, 2012 @ 4:10

      Walk along Riverside Dr. between the Cemetery and Dill Branch, and you’re liable to change your mind.

      I recently learned that’s the area referred to as Shiloh Hill.

      • James F. Epperson May 16, 2012 @ 4:57

        I’ve biked that route, so can attest to the elevation. Still wouldn’t call it a “hill”—it’s a ravine between two pieces of tableland. And there wasn’t much (if any) fighting there.

        • James Bain May 17, 2012 @ 8:18

          I agree with your geographic/topological description.
          But, “tableland cut by ravines” is nearly impossible to fit in poetic rhythm, let alone rhyme. 🙂

      • Ken Noe May 16, 2012 @ 4:59

        And I believe that’s more or less where Smith’s unit, the 2nd Texas, ended up. Jim Taylor sang an old East Tennessee version that converts the narrator into a Union soldier:

        “My uniform of blue was turned into a purple red
        When someone on a coming steed did sword me on the head
        I sent a bullet to his heart and as he fell away
        I saw the face of my dear father dressed in bloody gray”

        • James Bain May 16, 2012 @ 9:32

          So, plenty of poetic license in use. No surprise there…

    • London John May 17, 2012 @ 2:00

      Joan Baez recorded a song called “the Hills of Shiloh” in her typical style.

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