Shiloh & Gettysburg Military Trails
The Shiloh Military Trails & Gettysburg Historical Trail are easily the most hiked Trails in all of Boy Scouting. Yearly these two great Civil War Battlegrounds bring hundreds of Scouts to Hike & learn about US Military History. While other trails such as Vicksburg; Chickamauga; Perryville; Antietam; Fredericksburg; Kennesaw Mountain; Pea Ridge; Franklin; and Blue Beaver see a steady stream of BSA hikers, they are not comparable to Shiloh & Gettysburg.
Shiloh was conceived in 1959 by SM Ken Humphreys of Troop 343 in Memphis, TN while visiting his friend Sherman “Sherm” Landman (Ah Wen Na Sa Trail Fame) at his home in Ohio. On Sherm’s back porch the idea for the Shiloh Military Trails was conceived with a launch date in 1960. The SMT consisted of several trails in the beginning - Military Trail #1; Artillery Trail #2; Military Trail #3; Compass Trail; A.S. Johnston Approach & Lew Wallace Approach. Later the Cannon & Environmental Trails were added as well as Cub Scout Hikes (Battlefield & Indian Mounds Treks). A trail conceived by Ken called the Perimeter Trail that covers the periphery of SNMP was finally implemented in 2017, 55 years after the Trails founding.
Scouts are required to answer questions on the hikes at Shiloh in order to earn all of the Awards pictured below. Being the best marked Battlefield in the National Park Service, Scouts can easily find the answers they need - making the length of the hike is another part of the Awards. Pictured below is a historic representation of all awards issued by the Shiloh Military Trails, Inc. and other related Scout groups.
Gettysburg’s History with Boy Scouting goes back to the 1913 50th Anniversary Encampment. At this event around 300 Boy Scouts served as Guides for the soldiers who returned for the event. Scouting was only three years old, but the duty & services provided showed the necessity of the BSA. The Encampment Scoutmaster was Dr. E. Urner Goodman, Founder of the Order of the Arrow. Scouts were awarded a special “Scout” Medal by the Pennsylvania Battlefield Commission for their service. In 1938, the Boy Scouts again served as Guides and Service Corp Staff for the 75th Reunion. This time the Scouts were awarded a special “Boy Scouts” Medal along with a Blue & Gray Neckerchief.
The Gettysburg Heritage Trail began service in the mid-1960s and consists of four distinct “heritage” events. In order to earn the Gettysburg Patch a Scout must complete a visit to the Visitor’s Center & National Cemetery where they must answer questions related to displays and monuments. To earn the Billy Yank (9 Miles) & Johnny Reb (3.5 Miles) segments, a Scout must hike a defined course around the battlefield while answering questions related to hike stops. This usually takes about six hours. The last segment is the Eisenhower Five Star Patch for visiting President Eisenhower’s Farm Home & National Historic Site next to the Battlefield. Earning these entitles the Scout to wear the Gettysburg Heritage Trail Medal.
Should you see any items of memorabilia missing from these collections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with updates.