Reflections in the Bloody Pond at Shiloh


Trees are reflected in the water of the Bloody Pond at Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.

Trees are reflected in the water of the Bloody Pond at Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.

We visited Shiloh in October of last year on a beautiful fall day. While we were there, our main activity was to walk the length of the Sunken Road, which ends just a short distance away from the Bloody Pond. Because we were so close, we walked a few more steps through some trees to see the pond. The view was definitely worth it.

The still water of the pond was reflecting the nearby trees, which were just beginning to change colors for the fall. Everything was calm and peaceful, which made for a pleasant few minutes during our walk.


Trees are reflected in the water of the Bloody Pond at Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.

Whenever we are at the Bloody Pond, there is almost always a sense of quiet reverence, even more so than anywhere else in Shiloh National Military Park. These days, it is a place of quiet reflection, just as the pond itself reflects the trees around it. A reminder of what once tore the United States apart, but fortunately did not end the nation.

This second photo is slightly different in look from the first photo, as I was a bit farther back from the pond than in the first photo. But I felt they were both worth including in this post. As you can see, there is much natural beauty in the area.

Past History

Bloody Pond sign at Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.

Of course, it was not nearly as serene during the Civil War Battle of Shiloh in 1862. As the story is told, the water of the pond was turned red by the blood of the soldiers coming to get a drink and bathe their wounds, leading to the Bloody Pond name. Whether that story is actually true is lost to the past, but the name has remained. And the Battle of Shiloh was indeed bloody, with over 3,400 soldiers killed and over 16,500 wounded during the two days of fighting.

Reflecting on the dead and wounded during that battle is brought home even more by the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the loss of lives there. Each of those who lost their lives, in both situations, had family and friends who cared for them. They had the possibility of bright futures ahead of them. But wars and fighting took all of that away.

War may look a little different now than it did back then. But to those who lost someone they love, the result is still the same.

Pray that God will end the conflict and that lives will be spared.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. - Psalm 46:8-9

About the Photos

I shot each of these photos with the same camera and lens, with the lens being the 50mm prime lens. But I gave each photo a different look in processing with Luminar AI. In this instance, I felt that a different look for each photo was more effective than having all three photos look the same.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
Date: October 8, 2021
Location: Shiloh National Military ParkTennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.