New Orientation movie – “Shiloh: Fiery Trial”

Timed with the 150th anniversary of the battle, Shiloh National Military Park debuts its new orientation movie.  Here’s the trailer:

The movie, at nearly 50 minutes, probably requires a soda and bag of popcorn.  I perceive there’s a trend towards longer orientation movies at the battlefield parks. Not that I’m complaining, but you know how the Aide-de-Camp gets fidgety.

This movie replaces the venerable orientation movie which ran from 1956.  Yes… 1956.  Some of the extras were drawing Confederate veterans pensions!

… OK.. I made that last part up.

Seriously, the old film is one of the last remaining interpretive relics from before the centennial days.  That it stood the test of time, or perhaps more accurately – soldiered on for a half-century is remarkable.  I’ve watched that old film well more than a dozen times.  It does wear the age well in some ways.

Not so in others.  The old film echoed the work of former park historian and commission chairman David W. Reed.  The Hornet’s Nest and Ruggles’ Battery received considerable attention.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the new film deals with those topics in particular.

I have but one suggestion, though it is probably too late.  Since the park plans to sell the new film on DVD in the gift shop, I’d like to see a digital copy of the old film bundled as an extra.  Such would make a remarkable training aid for classrooms considering Civil War memory.