Historic train will pass through Piggott, Rector

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Reenactors will accompany the Shiloh Troop Train on its trek through the area

Area residents will have an opportunity to witness a living history event when the Union Pacific railroad's steam locomotive 844 leads the Shiloh Troop Train through Piggott and Rector on Wednesday, March 28.

The train is scheduled to leave Dexter, Mo., at 12:01 p.m. and arrive in Paragould for a 15-minute stop at 1:30 p.m., so it is estimated it will pass through Piggott at about 12:45 and Rector at about 1 p.m. Those who want to see the train should allow extra time in case the schedule varies slightly.

The Blue and Gray Alliance has partnered with Union Pacific railroad for the event, marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. The event has garnered tremendous support from Civil War reenactors around the country and the train, which will originate Monday, March 26, in Omaha, Neb., will be authentic to the Civil War era and will carry Confederate and Union soldiers, animals, cannons, rifles and other battlefield weapons.

The train will make its way to St. Louis on Tuesday, March 27, and leave St. Louis early Wednesday headed this way.

Reenactors will detrain late Wednesday in Marion and travel by truck to Shiloh National Military Park near Savannah, Tenn., for a reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh to begin Thursday, March 29, and end Sunday, April 1.

"In presenting this event, the Blue Gray Alliance is committing itself to providing the participating reenactors and viewing public with as historically authentic an event as is possible," said an organizer.

In depth research into the Battle of Shiloh was performed and the information was used to plan the scenarios for the various battles that will take place at the reenactment. Each battle was meticulously planned so that its execution will allow the participants to feel as if they have participated in a historically significant recreation of the original battle.

Considerable time and effort went into locating available land for use in the 150th Anniversary Battle of Shiloh. Multiple landowners were contacted and have agreed the use of their property for this event.

"Large tracts of contiguous land are hard to come by these days and it becomes even more of a challenge to find landowners as gracious as the ones we currently are in partnership with

at the event site," said a spokesman.

The event is located just a few miles from the entrance to the Shiloh National Military Park. The Eastern border of the event site actually marks the location where the lines of the Army of the Mississippi were staged on the evening before the Battle of Shiloh. There is a marker on the South East corner of the property stating the spot was in fact the Headquarters of Albert Sidney Johnston on the night previous to the battle.

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