Before the famed journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley journeyed into Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, he fought at the Battle of Shiloh as a private in the 6th Arkansas Infantry, CSA. Taken prisoner there, he became a "Galvanized Yankee," serving in the Union army and navy. He recorded his war experiences in a chapter of his Autobiography, which was prepared before his death in 1904, and then published by his wife in 1909. This program traces a trek across the Shiloh battlefield in the footsteps of Private Stanley as nearly as can be determined by available evidence, and uses his own words to illustrate his experience. The program aims to give people an appreciation of the terror of combat as viewed by the common soldier, and will help them better understand the context in which Stanley's experiences occurred. Bjorn Skaptason holds a M.A. in history from Loyola University Chicago. He worked as a seasonal ranger at the National Park Service's Shiloh National Military Park and Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center for two summers while studying at Loyola. He still returns to Shiloh yearly on the anniversary of the battle to help lead special interpretive hikes of the battlefield. He has previously published essays on Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh, on the United States Colored Troops in the campaign and battle of Brice's Crossroads for the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers, and in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society on The Chicago Light Artillery. A dealer in antiquarian books, Bjorn produces and guest hosts "A House Divided" on the Author's Voice network, a Civil War book discussion program live streamed from Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago.
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