STAYcations:A Civil War treasure, inside and out

Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
- What: A unit of Shiloh National Military Park that offers exhibit rooms and interactive experiences presenting an in-depth examination of the causes of the Civil war, and explains the link between Shiloh and Corinth.

- Where: 501 W. Linden St., Corinth, near the intersection of Linden Street and Fulton Drive, and site of Battery Robinett earthworks.

- Cost: Free

- Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. seven days a week except Christmas

- Phone number: (662) 287-9273

- How long a tour takes: 1.5 hours minimum

- Distances from other cities: From Tupelo – about 50 miles; From Oxford – about 100 miles

Other things to do – If you want to make your trip longer, check out:

- Corinth's self-guided Historic Architectural Tour, featuring 39 residences and 15 businesses representing various architectural styles that you may visit on a walking or driving tour. Pick up a brochure at the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 215 N. Fillmore St., Corinth. Phone (662) 287-8300.

- Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh, Tenn. – about 25 miles north. Phone (731) 689-5275

BY LENA MITCHELL
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – Whether a novice Civil War enthusiast or a knowledgeable historian, Corinth's Civil War Interpretive Center offers a lot of entertainment value as well as factual information.

Located on Linden Street near the earthworks site of Battery Robinett, the 15,000-square-foot museum offers interactive exhibits, a multimedia presentation, a video and numerous displays and vignettes for visitors to explore.

From May to October in 1862, Confederate and Union armies fought the battles at Shiloh, Corinth and Iuka for control of the railroad crossing at Corinth, a key military transport route.

The facility is one of the National Park Service's newest visitor centers, managed as part of Shiloh National Military Park, and interprets the role of Corinth in the Civil War's western theater.

Traversing the walkway to enter the center draws the visitor immediately into the Civil War experience. The path is strewn with “battle detritus,” bronzed replicas of the aftermath of battle such as soldiers' canteens, caps, weapons and other miscellaneous items artfully buried in the ground.

A bronze cast of six Civil War soldiers marching into the center greets people at the building's entrance.

Corinth was the site of a contraband camp, where escaped slaves sought refuge after President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862.

The contraband camp story is thoroughly examined in the center, and life-size statues displayed in the center depict some aspects of camp life.

More to come
A more thorough interpretation of the contraband camp is expected to be completed later this year when life-size statues and other exhibits are installed at the contraband camp site on North Parkway at Bunch Street.

The interpretive center adventure continues outside, where visitors may stroll through a courtyard exhibit whose highlight is a water feature and reflecting pool that commemorates 100 years of American history, and pays homage to lives lost during the war,

There also is a full-scale reproduction of earthworks – mounds of dirt built up as fortifications – used throughout the Civil War.

University of Mississippi historian John Neff has said Corinth's Interpretive Center is “blazing a trail” for the National Park Service in how it will design visitor centers in the future.

Contact Daily Journal Corinth Bureau reporter Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

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