Battle of Shiloh Civil War History Homepage
Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee
April 6, 1862 - April 7, 1862
“No soldier who took part in the two day’s engagement at Shiloh ever spoiled
for a fight again. We wanted a square, stand-up fight [and] got all we wanted of it.”
Union soldier after the Civil War Battle of Shiloh
The Battle of Shiloh produced (officially) 23,746 casualties out of 109,784 soldiers engaged. The first large scale battle of
the war, Shiloh's horrific casualty list took the North and South by surprise. Shiloh would also become the sixth deadliest
battle of the Civil War.
|The Civil War Battle of Shiloh Battlefield Map
|Western Theater of the Civil War in early 1862
The Battle of Shiloh Civil War History
The Battle of Shiloh: Battle, Campaign and Detailed History
|Civil War Battle of Shiloh Map
|Shiloh Civil War: The Union and Confederate Armies Clash
Battle of Shiloh: Union and Confederate Generals: Reminiscences,
Reports, and Records
Battle of Shiloh: Soldiers' Experiences; Union and
|Tennessee Civil War Map of Battles
|Tennessee Civil War Battlefields
Union and Confederate Orders of Battle
|Battle of Shiloh Map
|Western Theater of the Civil War and Battle of Shiloh Map
Recommended Reading: Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War (Simon & Schuster).
From Publishers Weekly: The bloodbath at Shiloh, Tenn.
(April 6-7, 1862), brought an end to any remaining innocence in the Civil War. The combined 23,000 casualties that the two
armies inflicted on each other in two days shocked North and South alike. Ulysses S. Grant kept his head and managed, with
reinforcements, to win a hard-fought victory. Continued below…
general Albert Sidney Johnston was wounded and bled to death, leaving P.G.T. Beauregard to disengage and retreat with a dispirited
gray-clad army. Daniel (Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee) has crafted a superbly researched volume that will appeal to
both the beginning Civil War reader as well as those already familiar with the course of fighting in the wooded terrain bordering
the Tennessee River.
His impressive research includes the judicious use of contemporary newspapers and extensive collections of unpublished letters
and diaries. He offers a lengthy discussion of the overall strategic situation that preceded the battle, a survey of the generals
and their armies and, within the notes, sharp analyses of the many controversies that Shiloh
has spawned, including assessments of previous scholarship on the battle. This first new book on Shiloh
in a generation concludes with a cogent chapter on the consequences of those two fatal days of conflict.
Shiloh--In Hell before Night. Description: James McDonough has written a good, readable and
concise history of a battle that the author characterizes as one of the most important of the Civil War, and writes an interesting
history of this decisive 1862 confrontation in the West. He blends first person and newspaper accounts to give the book a
good balance between the general's view and the soldier's view of the battle. Continued below…
enlightening is his description of Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander who was killed on the first day
of the battle. McDonough makes a pretty convincing argument that Johnston
fell far short of the image that many give him in contemporary and historical writings. He is usually portrayed as an experienced
and decisive commander of men. This book shows that Johnston was a man of modest war and command experience, and that he
rose to prominence shortly before the Civil War. His actions (or inaction) prior to the meeting at Shiloh -- offering to let
his subordinate Beauregard take command for example -- reveal a man who had difficulty managing the responsibility fostered
on him by his command. The author does a good job of presenting several other historical questions and problems like Johnston's
reputation vs. reality that really add a lot of interest to the pages.
Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862. Review: The bloody and decisive
two-day battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862) changed the entire course of the American Civil
War. The stunning Northern victory thrust Union commander Ulysses S. Grant into the national spotlight, claimed the life of
Confederate commander Albert S. Johnston, and forever buried the notion that the Civil War would be a short conflict. The
conflagration at Shiloh had its roots in the strong Union advance during the winter of 1861-1862 that resulted in the capture
of Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee. Continued below…
The offensive collapsed General
Albert S. Johnston advanced line in Kentucky and forced him to withdraw all the way to northern Mississippi.
Anxious to attack the enemy, Johnston began concentrating Southern forces at Corinth,
a major railroad center just below the Tennessee border.
His bold plan called for his Army of the Mississippi to march north and destroy General Grant's
Army of the Tennessee before it could link up with another
Union army on the way to join him. On the morning of April 6, Johnston boasted to his subordinates,
"Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee!" They
nearly did so. Johnston's sweeping attack hit the unsuspecting Federal camps at Pittsburg Landing
and routed the enemy from position after position as they fell back toward the Tennessee River.
Johnston's sudden death in the Peach Orchard, however, coupled
with stubborn Federal resistance, widespread confusion, and Grant's dogged determination to hold the field, saved the Union
army from destruction. The arrival of General Don C. Buell's reinforcements that night turned the tide of battle. The next
day, Grant seized the initiative and attacked the Confederates, driving them from the field. Shiloh
was one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war, with nearly 24,000 men killed, wounded, and missing. Edward Cunningham,
a young Ph.D. candidate studying under the legendary T. Harry Williams at Louisiana
State University, researched and wrote Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 in 1966. Although it remained unpublished, many Shiloh
experts and park rangers consider it to be the best overall examination of the battle ever written. Indeed, Shiloh
historiography is just now catching up with Cunningham, who was decades ahead of modern scholarship. Western Civil War historians
Gary D. Joiner and Timothy B. Smith have resurrected Cunningham's beautifully written and deeply researched manuscript from
its undeserved obscurity. Fully edited and richly annotated with updated citations and observations, original maps, and a
complete order of battle and table of losses, Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 will
be welcomed by everyone who enjoys battle history at its finest. Edward Cunningham, Ph.D., studied under T. Harry Williams
at Louisiana State
University. He was the author of The Port Hudson Campaign: 1862-1863
(LSU, 1963). Dr. Cunningham died in 1997. Gary D. Joiner, Ph.D. is the author of One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The
Red River Campaign of 1864, winner of the 2004 Albert Castel Award and the 2005 A. M. Pate, Jr., Award, and Through the Howling
Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West. He lives in Shreveport,
Louisiana. About the Author: Timothy B. Smith, Ph.D., is author of Champion Hill:
Decisive Battle for Vicksburg (winner of the 2004 Mississippi
Institute of Arts and Letters Non-fiction Award), The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield, and This Great
Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park. A former ranger at Shiloh,
Tim teaches history at the University of Tennessee.
Reading: Shiloh: A Novel, by Shelby Foote. Review: In the novel Shiloh, historian and Civil War expert Shelby
Foote delivers a spare, unflinching account of the battle of Shiloh,
which was fought over the course of two days in April 1862. By mirroring the troops' movements through the woods of Tennessee
with the activity of each soldier's mind, Foote offers the reader a broad perspective of the battle and a detailed view of
the issues behind it. Continued below…
The battle becomes tangible as
Foote interweaves the observations of Union and Confederate officers, simple foot soldiers, brave men, and cowards and describes the roar
of the muskets and the haze of the gun smoke. The author's vivid storytelling creates a rich chronicle of a pivotal battle
in American history.
Recommended Reading: Seeing the Elephant: RAW RECRUITS AT THE BATTLE OF SHILOH.
Description: One of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, the two-day engagement near Shiloh,
Tennessee, in April 1862 left more than 23,000 casualties. Fighting alongside
seasoned veterans were more than 160 newly recruited regiments and other soldiers who had yet to encounter serious action.
In the phrase of the time, these men came to Shiloh to "see the elephant". Continued below…
Drawing on the letters, diaries,
and other reminiscences of these raw recruits on both sides of the conflict, "Seeing the Elephant" gives a vivid and valuable
primary account of the terrible struggle. From the wide range of voices included in this volume emerges a nuanced picture
of the psychology and motivations of the novice soldiers and the ways in which their attitudes toward the war were affected
by their experiences at Shiloh.
Reading: The Shiloh Campaign (Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland) (Hardcover). Description:
Some 100,000 soldiers fought in the April 1862 battle of Shiloh, and nearly 20,000 men were killed or wounded; more Americans
died on that Tennessee
battlefield than had died in all the nation’s previous wars combined. In the first book in his new series, Steven E.
Woodworth has brought together a group of superb historians to reassess this significant battle and provide in-depth analyses
of key aspects of the campaign and its aftermath. The eight talented contributors dissect the campaign’s fundamental
events, many of which have not received adequate attention before now. Continued below…
John R. Lundberg
examines the role of Albert Sidney Johnston, the prized Confederate commander who recovered impressively after a less-than-stellar
performance at forts Henry and Donelson only to die at Shiloh; Alexander Mendoza analyzes the crucial, and perhaps decisive,
struggle to defend the Union’s left; Timothy B. Smith investigates the persistent legend that the Hornet’s Nest
was the spot of the hottest fighting at Shiloh; Steven E. Woodworth follows Lew Wallace’s controversial march to the
battlefield and shows why Ulysses S. Grant never forgave him; Gary D. Joiner provides the deepest analysis available of action
by the Union gunboats; Grady McWhiney describes P. G. T. Beauregard’s decision to stop the first day’s attack
and takes issue with his claim of victory; and Charles D. Grear shows the battle’s impact on Confederate soldiers, many
of whom did not consider the battle a defeat for their side. In the final chapter, Brooks D. Simpson analyzes how command
relationships—specifically the interactions among Grant, Henry Halleck, William T. Sherman, and Abraham Lincoln—affected
the campaign and debunks commonly held beliefs about Grant’s reactions to Shiloh’s aftermath. The Shiloh Campaign
will enhance readers’ understanding of a pivotal battle that helped unlock the western theater to Union conquest. It
is sure to inspire further study of and debate about one of the American Civil War’s momentous campaigns.
Recommended Reading: Guide to the Battle of Shiloh, by Army War College.
Description: As Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman prepared their inexperienced troops for a massive offensive
by an equally green Confederate army in April 1862, the outcome of the Civil War was still very much in doubt. For two of
the most chaotic and ravaging days of the War, the Union forces counterattacked and fended off the Rebels. Losses were great--more
than 20,000 casualties out of 100,000 Union and Confederate troops. Continued below…
But out of the struggle, Grant
and Sherman forged their own union that would be a major factor in the Union Army's final victory. For the Confederates, Shiloh was a devastating
disappointment. By the time the siege was over, they had lost both the battle and one of their ablest commanders, Albert Sidney
Johnston. Eyewitness accounts by battle participants make these guides an invaluable resource for travelers and nontravelers
who want a greater understanding of five of the most devastating yet influential years in our nation's history. Explicit directions
to points of interest and maps--illustrating the action and showing the detail of troop position, roads, rivers, elevations,
and tree lines as they were 130 years ago--help bring the battles to life. In the field, these guides can be used to recreate
each battle's setting and proportions, giving the reader a sense of the tension and fear each soldier must have felt as he
faced his enemy. This book is part of the U.S. Army War College Guides to Civil War Battles series.
Recommended Reading: Shiloh: A Battlefield Guide (This Hallowed Ground: Guides
to Civil War), by Mark Grimsley (Author), Steven E. Woodworth (Author). Description: Peabody’s Battle Line, McCuller’s
Field, Stuart’s Defense, the Peach Orchard, and Hell’s Hollow—these monuments mark some of the critical
moments in the battle of Shiloh but offer the visitor only the most meager sense of what happened on the banks of the Tennessee
in April 1862. This battlefield guide breathes life into Civil War history, giving readers a clear picture of the setting
at the time of engagement, who was where, and when and how the battle progressed. Continued below…
Designed to lead the user on a
one-day tour of one of the most important battlefields of the war, the guide provides precise directions to all the key locations
in a manner reflecting how the battle itself unfolded. A wealth of maps, vivid descriptions, and careful but accessible analysis
makes plain the sweep of events and the geography of the battlefield, enhancing the experience of Shiloh for the serious student, the
casual visitor, and the armchair tourist alike.
About the Authors: Mark Grimsley
is a professor of history at Ohio State
University. He is the author of And Keep Moving On: The Virginia Campaign,
May–June, 1864, and the co-editor of Civilians in the Path of War, both published by the University of Nebraska Press. Steven E. Woodworth
is a professor of history at Texas Christian
University. He is the author of Chickamauga:
A Battlefield Guide and Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns.
The Battle of Shiloh and the
Organizations Engaged (Hardcover). Description: How can an essential "cornerstone of Shiloh
historiography" remain unavailable to the general public for so long? That's what I kept thinking as I was reading this reprint
of the 1913 edition of David W. Reed's “The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged.” Reed, a veteran of
the Battle of Shiloh and the first historian of the Shiloh National Military Park,
was tabbed to write the official history of the battle, and this book was the result. Reed wrote a short, concise history
of the fighting and included quite a bit of other valuable information in the pages that followed. The large and impressive
maps that accompanied the original text are here converted into digital format and included in a CD located within a flap
at the back of the book. Author and former Shiloh Park Ranger Timothy Smith is responsible for bringing this important reference
work back from obscurity. His introduction to the book also places it in the proper historical framework. Continued below…
of the campaign and battle covers only seventeen pages and is meant to be a brief history of the subject. The detail is revealed
in the rest of the book. And what detail there is! Reed's order of battle for Shiloh goes down to the regimental and battery level. He includes the names of the leaders
of each organization where known, including whether or not these men were killed, wounded, captured, or suffered some other
fate. In a touch not often seen in modern studies, the author also states the original regiment of brigade commanders. In
another nice piece of detail following the order of battle, staff officers for each brigade and higher organization are listed.
The book's main point and where it truly shines is in the section entitled "Detailed Movements of Organizations". Reed follows
each unit in their movements during the battle. Reading this section along with referring to the computerized maps gives one
a solid foundation for future study of Shiloh. Forty-five pages cover the brigades of all
three armies present at Shiloh.
and buffs will love the "Abstract of Field Returns". This section lists Present for Duty, engaged, and casualties for each
regiment and battery in an easy to read table format. Grant's entire Army of the Tennessee
has Present for Duty strengths. Buell's Army of the Ohio
is also counted well. The Confederate Army of the Mississippi
is counted less accurately, usually only going down to brigade level and many times relying only on engaged strengths. That
said, buy this book if you are looking for a good reference work for help with your order of battle.
In what I
believe is an unprecedented move in Civil War literature, the University
of Tennessee Press made the somewhat unusual decision to include Reed's
detailed maps of the campaign and battle in a CD which is included in a plastic sleeve inside the back cover of the book.
The cost of reproducing the large maps and including them as foldouts or in a pocket in the book must have been prohibitive,
necessitating this interesting use of a CD. The maps were simple to view and came in a PDF format. All you'll need is Adobe
Acrobat Reader, a free program, to view these. It will be interesting to see if other publishers follow suit. Maps are an
integral part of military history, and this solution is far better than deciding to include poor maps or no maps at all. The
Read Me file that came with the CD relays the following information:
contained on this CD are scans of the original oversized maps printed in the 1913 edition of D. W. Reed's The Battle of Shiloh
and the Organizations Engaged. The original maps, which were in a very large format and folded out of the pages of this edition,
are of varying sizes, up to 23 inches by 25 inches. They were originally created in 1901 by the Shiloh National Military
Park under the direction of its historian, David W. Reed. They are the
most accurate Shiloh battle maps in existence.
on the CD are saved as PDF (Portable Document Format) files and can be read on any operating system (Windows, Macintosh, Linux)
by utilizing Adobe Acrobat Reader. Visit http://www.adobe.com to download Acrobat Reader if you do not have it installed on
Map 1. The
Field of Operations from Which the Armies Were Concentrated at Shiloh, March and April 1862
Map 2. The
Territory between Corinth, Miss., and Pittsburgh
Landing, Tenn., Showing Positions and Route of the Confederate Army in Its Advance to Shiloh, April 3, 4, 5, & 6, 1862
Map 3. Positions
on the First Day, April 6, 1862
Map 4. Positions
on the Second Day, April 7, 1862
captions appear on the maps.
has done students of the Civil War an enormous favor by republishing this important early work on Shiloh.
Relied on for generations by Park Rangers and other serious students of the battle, The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations
Engaged has been resurrected for a new generation of Civil War readers. This classic reference work is an essential book for
those interested in the Battle of Shiloh. Civil War buffs, wargamers, and those interested in tactical minutiae will also
find Reed's work to be a very good buy. Highly recommended.