Battle of Shiloh : Shiloh Campaign
1913 Report of the Shiloh National Military Park Commission
On the 1st day of January, 1862, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was in command
of all the Confederate forces of Tennessee and Kentucky. His troops occupied a line of defense extending from Columbus, Ky.,
through Forts Henry and Donelson to Bowling Green, Ky., where General Johnston had his headquarters.
Gen. H.W. Halleck at that date commanded the Department of the Missouri
with headquarters at Louisville, Ky. The Cumberland River formed the boundary separating the Departments of the Missouri and
Various plans had been canvassed by Generals Halleck and Buell, participated in by the general in chief, for
an attack upon the Confederate line. General Halleck had asked to have General Buell's army transferred to him, or at least
placed under his command, claiming that without such union and an army of at least 60,000 men under one commander, it would
be impossible to break the well-established lines of General Johnston.
Before such union could be effected, and before General Halleck had received
a reply to his request, General Grant asked for and received permission to attack the line at Fort Henry on the Tennessee
River. Assisted by the gunboat fleet of Commodore Foote, Grant captured Fort Henry on the 6th of February, and then moving
upon Fort Donelson captured that place with 15,000 prisoners on the 16th. The loss of these forts broke General Johnston's
line at its center and compelled him to evacuate Columbus and Bowling Green, abandon Tennessee and Kentucky to the Union Army
and seek a new line of defense on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
General Halleck was displeased with Grant because he sent a division of
troops into Buell's department at Clarksville. This displeasure was increased when he learned that General Grant had gone
to Nashville for consultation with General Buell. Halleck directed the withdrawal of Smith's division from Clarksville, suspended
General Grant from command and ordered him to Fort Henry to await orders. He then placed Gen. C.F. Smith in command of all
the troops with orders to proceed up the Tennessee River and to make an effort to break the Confederate line on the Memphis
and Charleston Railroad at some place near Florence.
General Smith's advance reached Savannah, Tenn., March 13, 1862.
Having determined to make that point his base of operations, he landed the troops that accompanied his advance, and sent boats
back for supplies and the remainder of his army.
Gen. W.T. Sherman had organized a division of new troops while he was in
command at Paducah. With these he was ordered to report to General Smith. He reached Savannah on the 14th of March and was
ordered by General Smith to proceed up the river to some point near Eastport and from there make an attempt to break the Memphis
and Charleston Railroad in the vicinity of Burnsville, Miss.
Previous to this time a gunboat fleet had passed up the Tennessee River
as far as Florence. At Pittsburg Landing this fleet encountered a small force of Confederates consisting of the Eighteenth
Louisiana Infantry, Gibson's battery of artillery, and some cavalry. The gunboats shelled the position and drove away the
Confederates. A bursting shell set fire to and destroyed one of the three buildings at the landing. The fleet proceeded up
the river to Florence and on its return landed a small party at Pittsburg Landing to investigate. This party found a dismounted
32-pounder gun on the river bluff, and about 1 mile out, a hospital containing several Confederate soldiers that had been
wounded a few days before in the engagement with the fleet. Near the hospital a Confederate picket post stopped their advance
and the party returned to the boats.
In the report made by the officer in command of this naval expedition is
found the first mention of Pittsburg Landing, that little hamlet on the Tennessee River so soon to become historic.
When General Sherman's command was passing Pittsburg Landing, Lieutenant
Gwin of the U.S. gunboat Tyler pointed out to General Sherman the position that had been occupied by the Confederate battery,
and informed him that there was a good road from that point to Corinth. That it was, in fact, the landing place for all goods
shipped by river to and from Corinth. General Sherman at once reported these facts to General Smith and asked that the place
be occupied in force while the demonstration was being made against Burnsville. In compliance with this request, General Hurlbut's
division was at once dispatched by boats to Pittsburg Landing.
General Sherman proceeded up the river and landed his division at the mouth
of Yellow Creek, a few miles below Eastport, and made an attempt to march to Burnsville. Heavy rains and high water compelled
his return to the boats. Finding no other accessible landing place he dropped down to Pittsburg Landing, where he found Hurlbut's
division on boats.
Sherman reported to General Smith that Eastport was occupied in force by
the Confederates, and that Pittsburg Landing was the first point below Eastport that was above water, so that a landing of
troops could be made. He was directed to disembark his division and Hurlbut's and put them in camp far enough back to afford
room for the other divisions of the army to encamp near the river.
On the 16th of March Sherman landed a part of his division, and accompanied
by Colonel McPherson, of General Halleck's staff, marched out as far as Monterey, 11 miles, dispersing a Confederate cavalry
camp. Returning to the river he spent two days in disembarking his troops and selecting camps, and on the 19th moved out and
put his troops into the positions to which he had assigned them, about 2 ˝ miles from the landing.
Pittsburg Landing, on the left bank of the Tennessee River, 8 miles above
Savannah, was at that time simply a landing place for steamboats trading along the river. Its high bluff, at least 80 feet
above the water at its highest flood, afforded a safe place for the deposits of products unloaded from, or to be loaded upon,
the boats. From this landing a good ridge road ran southwesterly to Corinth, Miss., 22 miles away. One mile out from the river
the Corinth road crossed another road running north and south parallel with the river, and connecting Savannah below with
Hamburg, 4 miles above Pittsburg Landing. One quarter of a mile beyond this crossing the Corinth road forked, the part known
as Eastern Corinth road running nearly south until it intersected the Bark road, 3 miles from the river.
The other, or main road, running due west from the fork, crossed the Hamburg
and Purdy road 2 miles from the river, and then turning southwest, passed Shiloh Church just 2 ˝ miles from the river. At
a point 5 miles out this main road intersected the Bark road at the southwest corner of what is now the land of the Shiloh
National Military Park. The Bark road, running nearly due east to Hamburg, forms the southern boundary of the park.
On the south side of the Bark road ridge is Lick Creek, which has its rise
near Monterey, and empties into the Tennessee about 2 miles above Pittsburg Landing. North of the main Corinth road, and at
an average of about 1 mile from it, is Owl Creek, which flows northeasterly and empties into Snake Creek at the point where
the Savannah road crosses it. Snake Creek empties into the Tennessee River about 1 mile below Pittsburg Landing.
streams flow through flat, muddy bottom lands and are, in the spring of the year, practically impassable, and in April, 1862,
could not be crossed except at two or three places where bridges were maintained. These streams therefore formed an excellent
protection against an attack upon either flank of an army encamped between them. The general surface of the land along the
Corinth road is about on the same level, but is cut up on either side by deep ravines and water courses leading into the creeks.
In many of these ravines are running streams with the usual marshy margins.
In 1862 this plateau was covered with open forest with frequent this undergrowth
and an occasional clearing of a few acres surrounding the farmhouse of the owner.
Sherman selected grounds foe his division camps just behind a stream called
Shiloh Branch, McDowell's brigade on the right, with his right on Owl creek; Buckland's brigade next in line to the left,
with his left at Shiloh Church. Hildebrand's brigade to the left of the church; with Stuart's brigade, detached from
others, to the extreme left of the line at the point where the Savannah and Hamburg roads unite just before they cross Lick
Hurlbut's division formed its camp 1 mile in rear of Sherman's near the
crossing of the Corinth and the Hamburg and Savannah roads.
On the 11th day of March the Departments of the Missouri and the Ohio were
consolidated under the name of the Department of the Mississippi, and Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck was assigned to the command,
giving him from that date the control he had sought - of both armies then operating in Tennessee. General Smith, about the
time of his arrival at Savannah, had received an injury to his leg while stepping from a gunboat into a yawl. This injury,
apparently insignificant at first, soon took such serious form that the General was obliged to relinquish command of the troops,
and General Grant was restored to duty and ordered by General Halleck to repair to Savannah and take command of the troops
in that vicinity. Upon his arrival at Savannah March 17, General Grant found his army divided; a part on either side of the
Tennessee River. He at once reported to General Halleck the exact situation, and in answer was directed to "destroy the railroad
connections at Corinth."
To carry out this order General Grant transferred his army, except a small
garrison for Savannah, to the west side of the river, concentrating the First, Second Fourth, and Fifth divisions at Pittsburg
Landing, and the Third at Crump's landing, 6 miles below. General McClernand with First Division formed his camp in rear of
Sherman's right bridges. Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, commanding the Second division, encamped to the right of Hurlbut between Corinth
road and Snake Creek. A new division, the Sixth, just organizing under General Prentiss out of new troops, went into camp
as the regiments arrived between Hildebrand's and Stuart's brigades of Sherman's division, its center on the eastern Corinth
road. Gen. Lew Wallace, commanding the third Division, placed his first brigade at Crump's, his second brigade at Stony Lonesome,
and his third brigade at Adamsville, 5 miles out on the Purdy road.
On March 10 General Halleck wrote General McClellan: "I propose going to
the Tennessee in a few days to take personal command." Pending his arrival at the front his orders to Smith, to Sherman, and
to Grant were: "My instructions not to bring on an engagement must be strictly obeyed;" but when informed by General Grant
that the contemplated attack upon Corinth would make a general engagement inevitable, Halleck at once ordered, "By all means
keep your forces together until you connect with General Buell. Don't let the enemy draw you into an engagement now." To this
General Grant replied: "All troops have been concentrated near Pittsburg Landing. No movement of troops will be made except
to advance Sherman to Pea Ridge." Sherman made a reconnaissance toward Pea Ridge March 24 and drove some cavalry across Lick
Creek. He bivouacked at Chambers's plantation that night, and returned to camp next morning.
On the 31st, with two regiments of infantry, a section of artillery, and
a company of cavalry, Sherman went up to Eastport. Finding the Confederate works there and at Chickasaw abandoned, he sent
his scouts toward Iuka. Confederate cavalry was encountered, and the command returned to Pittsburg Landing.
The Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant, was, on the
5th of April, 1862, composed of six divisions. The First, commanded by Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand; the Second, by Brig.
Gen. W. H. L. Wallace; the Third, by Maj. Gen. Lew. Wallace; the Fourth, by Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut; the Fifth, by Brig.
Gen. W. T. Sherman, and the Sixth, by Brig. Gen. B. M. Prentiss. Generals McClernand, C. F. Smith, and Lew Wallace had been
promoted major-generals march 21, 1862. Official notice of such promotion was sent to General Grant by General Halleck from
St. Louis April 5. Previous to this notice of promotion the order of rank of the brigadiers was as follows: Sherman, McClernand,
Hurlbut, Prentiss, C. F. Smith, Lew. Wallace, W. H. L. Wallace. General Smith, until relieved by General Grant, March 17,
was in command by order of General McClellan.
The camps of Sherman and Prentiss formed the front line about 2 ˝ miles
from Pittsburg Landing and extending in a semicircle from Owl Creek on the right to Lick Creek on the left. One company from
each regiment was advanced as a picket 1 mile in front of regimental camps.
By the official returns of April 5, 1862, there were, in the five divisions
of the Army of the Tennessee at Pittsburg Landing, present for duty, infantry, artillery, and cavalry, officers and men, 39,830;
in the Third Division, at Crump's Landing, present for duty, officers and men, 7,564.
On the evening of the 5th the advance of General Buell's army arrived at
Savannah, and in one day more would have united with the Army of the Tennessee, ready for the advance on Corinth, as contemplated
and announced in General Halleck's programme.
When General Johnston withdrew his army from Kentucky and Tennessee, after
the fall of Fort Donelson, he establish his new line of operations along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad with his right
at Chattanooga and his left on the Mississippi at Fort Pillow. On this line he was reenforced by Generals Polk and Beauregard
from Columbus and west Tennessee, and by General Bragg from Pensacola and Mobile, and had ordered Van Dorn, from Little Rock,
Ark.,. to report his army at Corinth, Miss. As early as March 9, General Ruggles was placed in command at Corinth and was
ordered to put his troops in marching order and to commence a line of intrenchments around the town.
On the 29th of March general Johnston issued a general order consolidating
the armies of Kentucky and Mississippi, and some independent commands, into the "Army of the Mississippi" of which he assumed
the command, naming gen. G. T. Beauregard as second in command and Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg as chief of staff. Subsequently
he organized his army into four corps. The First Corps commanded by Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg; the Third Corps commanded by
Maj. Gen. W. J. Hardee, and the Reserve Corps commanded by Brig. Gen. J. C. Breckinridge. One division of the First Corps,
Cheatham's, was at Bethel and Purdy; a brigade of the Second Corps was at Monterey; the reserve Corps at Burnsville; the cavalry
nearer the Union lines. All other troops concentrated at Corinth.
General Johnston had been depressed by the censure of the southern press,
and as late as March 18 offered to relinquish the command of the army to General Beauregurd. Reassured by expressions of confidence
by Mr. Davis, he resolved to retain command and, if possible, to regain the confidence of the people by taking the offensive
and attacking Grant's army at Pittsburg Landing, hoping to defeat that army before it could be reenforced by General Buell.
Hearing that General Buell was nearing Savannah, General Johnston determined
to attack at once, without waiting the arrival of Van Dorn. Accordingly, on the 3d of April he issued orders for the forward
movement, directing his army to move by the several roads and concentrate at Mickey's, 8 miles from Pittsburg Landing, so
as to be ready to attack at sunrise on the morning of the 5th. Heavy rains, wagon trails and artillery over muddy roads prevented
the assembly of the army at Mickey's until nearly night of the5th. It was then determined to delay the attack until daylight
The aggregate present for duty, officers and men of the confederate army,
infantry, artillery, and cavalry, assembled at Mickey's April 5, 1862, as shown by official reports, was 48,968.
This army General Johnston put in line of battle and bivouacked Saturday
night in the following order: Major General Hardee's corps on the first or advanced line, with Cleburne's brigade on the left,
its left flank at Widow Howell's near Winningham Creek. Wood's brigade next to the right, with his right on the main Pittsburg
and Corinth road, and just in rear of the Wood's field. Shaver's brigade on right of Pittsburg and Corinth road, extending
the line nearly to Bark road. As Hardee's line thus deployed did not occupy all the space to Lick Creek, as desired. Gladden's
brigade from Withers's division of Second Crops was added to Hardee's right, extending the line across Bark road.
Major General Bragg's corps was deployed 800 yards in rear of the first
line, with Ruggles's division on the left and Withers's division on the right, in the following order of brigades from left
to right: Pond, Anderson, Gibson, Jackson, and Chalmers. This second line overlapped the first and extended beyond Hardee's
on both flanks, Jackson's left flank resting on the Bark road.
The corps of Generals Polk and Breckinridge were formed in column by brigades
in rear of the second line. Wharton's and Brewer's cavalry were on the left flank, guarding the roads toward Stantonville.
Clanton's cavalry was on the right front, Avery's, Forrest's and Adam's cavalry at Greer's Ford on Lick Creek. Other cavalry
organizations were attached to the different corps.
General Johnston's headquarters were established at the forks of the Bark
and Pittsburg roads.
Pickets were sent out from the first line. The Third Mississippi, commanded
by Maj. Hardcastle, was on such duty in front of Wood's brigade, his reserve post, at the corner where Wood's and Fraley's
During the Confederate advance from Monterey on the 3d, there had been skirmishing
between the cavalry of the two armies, and on the 4th one of Buckland's picket posts was captured. Buckland sent out two companies
in pursuit of the captors. These companies were attacked and surrounded by Confederate cavalry, but were rescued by Buckland
coming to their relief with his whole regiment. On Saturday Generals Prentiss and Sherman each sent out reconnoitering parties
to the front. Neither of these parties developed the enemy in force, but reported such evidences of cavalry, that pickets
of both divisions were doubled, and General Prentiss, being still apprehensive of attack, sent out at 3 o'clock Sunday morning
three companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, under Major Powell of that regiment, to again reconnoiter well to the front.
Powell marched to the right and front, passing between the Rhea and Seay fields, and at 4.55 a.m. struck Hardcastle's pickets
and received their fire. The fire was returned by Powell and a sharp engagement was had between these outposts, continuing,
as Hardcastle says, one hour and a half, until 6.30 a.m., when he saw his brigade formed in his rear and fell back to his
place in line.
Wood's brigade, advancing, drove Powell back to the Seay field, where he
was reinforced by four companies of the Sixteenth Wisconsin, that had been on picket near by, and by five companies of the
Twenty-first Missouri under Colonel Moore, who at once took command and sent back to camp for the remainder of his regiment.
force, fighting and retreating slowly, was reinforced at south-east corner of the Rhea field by Peabody's entire brigade.
Peabody succeeded in holding the Confederates in check until about 8 o'clock, when he fell back to the line of his camp, closely
followed by Shaver's brigade and the right of Wood's brigade.
While Peabody's brigade was thus engaged, General Prentiss had advanced
Miller's brigade to the south side of Spain field, and placed Hickenlooper's battery to the left and Munch's battery to the
right of the Eastern Corinth road. In this position he was attacked by Gladden's brigade and by the left of Chalmers's brigade,
which had advanced to the front line. These Confederate brigades, after a stubborn fight, in which Gladden was mortally wounded,
drove Miller back to his line of camps at the same time that Peabody was driven back to his. In their several camps Prentiss
formed his regiments again and was vigorously attacked by Gladden's and Shaver's brigades, assisted on their left by a part
of Wood's brigade, and on the right by Chalmers.
At 9 o'clock Prentiss was driven from his second position with the loss
of the entire division camp, two guns of Hickenlooper's battery, and many killed and wounded left on the field. Among the
killed was Colonel Peabody, the commander of the First Brigade of Prentiss's division.
While the right of Hardee's line was engaged with Prentiss his left had
attacked the brigades of Hildebrand and Buckland, of Sherman's division. These brigades had formed in line in front of their
camps and behind Shiloh Branch, with Barrett's battery at Shiloh Church and Waterhouse's battery to the left, behind the camp
of the Fifty-third Ohio. The Third Brigade of McClernand's division was brought up and formed in support of Sherman's left
flank and of Waterhouse's battery. In the Confederate advance the left of Wood's brigade had been slightly engaged with the
Fifty-third Ohio, which easily gave way, when Wood obliqued to the right, to avoid Waterhouse's battery, and, following Prentiss,
passed the left flank of Hildebrand's brigade, then left wheeled to the attack of McClernand's Third Brigade. Cleburne's brigade,
in attempting to cross the marshy ground of Shiloh Branch, received the concentrated fire of the Third and Fourth brigades
of Sherman's division, and after two or three unsuccessful efforts to dislodge them, in which his regiments lost very heavily---the
Sixth Mississippi having over 70 percent killed and wounded---he was obliged to give place to Anderson's brigade of Bragg's
corps, which was in like manner repulsed with severe loss. Johnson's and Russell's brigades of Polk's corps now came up together;
Russell on the right, overlapping Sherman's left, and Johnson to the left across the Corinth road. The reorganized parts of
the brigades of Cleburne and Anderson joining Russell and Johnson, the four brigades, assisted by Wood's brigade, advanced,
and at 10 o'clock drove Sherman's two brigades and the Third Brigade of McClernand's division back across the Purdy road with
the loss of three guns of Waterhouse's battery and of the camps of the three brigades. During the contest Confederate Generals
Clark, commanding a division, and Johnson, commanding a brigade, were severely wounded, and Colonel Raith, commanding McClernand's
Third Brigade, was mortally wounded. The capture of the three guns of Waterhouse's battery is claimed by the Thirteenth Tennessee
of Russell's brigade, and General Polk seems to concede the claim, though it appears that several regiments were attacking
the battery from the front when the Thirteenth Tennessee moved by the right flank and approaching the battery from its left
rear reached it before those from the front. General Vaughan, of the Thirteenth Tennessee, says that when his regiment reached
these guns a dead Union officer lay near them, and keeping guard over his body was a pointer dog that refused to allow the
Confederates to approach the body.
Pond's brigade of Bragg's corps had engaged McDowell's brigade, in conjunction
with Anderson's attack on Buckland, and had succeeded in gaining the bridge at McDowell's right flank but had not become seriously
engaged when Sherman ordered McDowell to retire and form junction with his Third and Fourth brigades which were then falling
back from Shiloh Church. McDowell therefore abandoned his camp to Pond without a contest.
After the capture of Prentiss's camps, Chalmers's and Jackson's brigades
from Bragg's corps were ordered to the right to attack the extreme left of the Union line. Preceded by Clanton's cavalry these
brigades moved by the flank down the Bark road until the head of the column was at the swampy grounds of Lick Creek, then
forming line of battle and placing Gages and Girardey's batteries upon the bluff south of Locust Grove Creek they compelled
Stuart, who was without artillery, to leave his camp and form his lines to left and rear in the timber. Here he held Chalmers
in a fierce fight until about 2 o'clock when he fell back to the landing, abandoning the last of Sherman's camps. Jackson's
attack, as he came across the creek, fell upon McArthur's brigade, consisting of the Ninth and Twelfth Illinois, supported
on the left by the Fiftieth Illinois and by Willard's battery in the rear. McArthur, in a stubborn contest in which the Ninth
Illinois lost 60 per cent of the men engaged, held his ground until Jackson was reinforced by Bowen's brigade of Breckinridge's
corps, when McArthur fell back.
When Sherman and Prentiss discovered that they were being attacked by the Confederates
in force they asked reenforcements from the divisions in their rear.
McClernand sent his third brigade to reenforce Sherman's left, and Schwartz's
battery to assist Buckland. He then formed his First and Second brigades along the Pittsburg road in front of his headquarters;
Marsh's brigade, with Burrows's battery on the right; Hare's brigade to the left behind the Review field; McAllister's battery
at the northwest corner of said field, and Dresser's battery at Water Oaks Pond. On this line the Third brigade rallied when
it fell back from Sherman's line.
Veatch's brigade of Hurlbut's division was sent to reenforce McClernand
and formed behind Burrows's battery. Hurlbut marched his other brigades to the Peach Orchard and formed line of battle with
Williams's brigade facing south and Lauman's brigade facing west. The batteries: Mann's, Ross's, and Myer's, all in the field
behind the infantry.
W.H.L. Wallace's First Brigade, commanded by Colonel Tuttle, moved out on
the Eastern Corinth road and formed on the east side of the Duncan field in an old sunken road. McArthur's brigade was disunited.
The Eighty-first Ohio and the Fourteenth Missouri were sent to guard the bridge over Snake Creek; the Thirteenth Missouri
to reenforce McDowell's brigade and McArthur, in person with the Ninth and Twelfth Illinois and Willard's battery, went to
the support of Stuart and formed on his right rear, and at the left of Hurlbut's division, just east of the Peach Orchard.
Of Sweeny's brigade, the Seventh and Fifty-eight Illinois formed on Tuttle's right connecting it with McClernand's left. The
Fiftieth Illinois was sent to McArthur. The other regiments were held in reserve until about noon when the Eighth Iowa formed
on Tuttle's left to fill a gap between Wallace and Prentiss. The Fifty-seventh Illinois went to the extreme left, and the
Fifty-second Illinois reported to McClernand at his sixth position just east of Tilghman Creek. Batteries D, H, and K, First
Missouri Light Artillery, were placed along the ridge in rear of Tuttle. Prentiss rallied his broken division, not over 800
men, on Hurlbut's right connecting it with Wallace's left.
In the early morning, General Grant at Savannah heard the firing and directed
General Nelson, of the Army of the Ohio, to march his division along the east bank on the Tennessee to the point opposite
Pittsburg. Then, leaving a request for General Buell to hurry his troops forward as rapidly as possible, he hastened by boat
to join his army. Arriving upon the field at about the time that Prentiss was driven from his camp, he immediately dispatched
orders to Gen. Lew Wallace to bring his division to the battlefield. There has ever since been a dispute as to the terms of
this order and the time of its delivery. It is admitted that General Wallace received an order and that he started his command
at about 12 o'clock by a road leading into the Hamburg and Purdy road west of the bridge over Owl Creek on the right of Sherman's
camps. This bridge was abandoned by McDowell and held by the Confederates at 10 o'clock. An aide from General Grant overtook
Wallace on this road about 3 o'clock and turned him back to the Savannah and Hamburg, or river road, by which he reached the
battlefield about 7 o'clock p.m.
In the movements of the Confederate troops in the morning Gibson's brigade
of Bragg's corps had followed Shaver's brigade and had halted just inside the line of camps. This had separated Gibson from
Anderson by the length of a brigade; into this space Bragg directed Stephens's brigade, of Polk's corps, and it entered the
line of camps in rear of Gladden's brigade.
When Prentiss was driven back General Johnston ordered his reserve into
action by sending Trabue forward on the Pittsburg Landing road to Shiloh Church, while Bowen and Statham were moved down the
Bark road and formed line of battle south of the Peach Orchard to the left rear of Jackson and completing the line to where
Gladden's brigade, now commanded by Adams, was resting near Prentiss's headquarters camp.
Following the capture of the guns of Waterhouses's battery and the retreat
of Sherman and Raith to the Purdy road, Wood's and Shaver's brigades, with Swett's battery, were ordered to left wheel. Stewart's
brigade was sent by left flank along the rear of Peabody's camp to Wood's left where three of the regiments took their places
in line, while the Fourth Tennessee, supported by the Twelfth Tennessee, from Russell's brigade, went into line between wood's
and Shaver's brigades. Stanford's battery took position in the camp of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry. Joining this force on
its left were the somewhat disorganized brigades of Cleburne, Anderson, Johnson, and Russell. General Polk was personally
directing their movements and led them forward, without waiting for perfect organization, in pursuit of Sherman's retreating
brigades. This combined force of seven brigades moved to the attack of McClernand and Sherman in their second position along
the Pittsburg and Purdy road. The right of this attacking force, extending beyond McClernand's left, became engaged with W.
H. L. Wallace's troops near Duncan House, while Stephens's brigade of Polk's Corps engaged the left of Tuttle's brigade and
Prentiss's division in the Hornets' Nest. At the same time Gladden's brigade attacked Lauman on west side of the Peach Orchard.
In these attacks General Hindman and Wood were disabled, and the Confederates in front of Wallace, Prentiss, and Lauman were
The attack upon McClernand and Sherman was successful, and drove these commands
back to the center of Marsh's brigade camp, where they made a short stand at what McClernand calls his third line, and then
retired to the field at the right of that camp, to the fourth line. The third and fourth brigades of Sherman's division retired
from that part of the field, and his first brigade, McDowell's, took position on McClernand's right.
In the repulse of
McClernand from his second and third line he had lost Burrows's entire battery of six guns, which was taken by Wood's brigade;
also one gun of McAllister's battery, taken by the Fourth Tennessee, and two guns of Schwartz's battery and four guns of Dresser's
battery; part of these, perhaps all, are claimed by the One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee.
Rallying in the camp of Hare's brigade, McClernand, with McDowell's brigade
on his right, checked the Confederate advance, and then, by a united countercharge, at 12 o'clock, recovered his second brigade
camp and his own headquarters, and captured Cobb's Kentucky battery. McClernand gives the Eleventh Iowa and the eleventh and
twentieth Illinois the credit for the capture of this battery. In the forward movement the Sixth Iowa and the Forty-sixth
Ohio of McDowell's brigade, and Thirteenth Missouri of McArthur's brigade, became engaged with Trabue's Confederate brigade
in a fierce battle, of which Trabue says:
The combat here was a severe one. I fought the enemy an hour and a quarter,
killing and wounding 400 or 500 of the Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry, as well as of another Ohio regiment, a Missouri regiment,
and some Iowa troops. I lost here many men and several officers. The number killed, wounded, and missing of the Forty-sixth
Ohio at the battle of Shiloh, both days, was 246. But of the three regiments opposed to Trabue there were 510 killed, wounded
and missing; most of them were doubtless lost in this conflict. So that Trabue may not have seriously erred in his statement.
At the time that McClernand fell back from his second position, General
Stewart took command of Wood's and Shaver's brigades, and with the Fourth Tennessee of his own brigades, and with the Fourth
Tennessee of his own brigade moved to the right and renewed the attack upon Tuttle and Prentiss. Meeting a severe repulse
he withdrew at 12 o'clock, with the Fourth Tennessee, to the assistance of the force in front of McClernand. At the same time
Shaver's and Wood's brigades retired for rest and ammunition, and Stephen's brigade moved to the right and joined Breckinridge
south of the Peach Orchard.
General Bragg then brought up Gibson's brigade, which had been resting near
Peabody's camp, and sent it in four separate charges against the position held by Prentiss and Tuttle. Gibson's brigade was
shattered in their useless charges and retired from the field. While Bragg was directing these several movements, Generals
Polk and Hardee had renewed the attack upon McClernand and in a contest lasting two hours had driven him back once more to
the camp of his First Brigade where he maintained his position until 2:30 p.m., when he fell back across the valley of Tilghman
Creek to his sixth line, abandoning the last of his camps.
About 12 o'clock General Johnston, having gotten his reserve in position
south of the Peach Orchard, assumed personal command of the right wing of his army and directed a combined forward movement,
intending to break the Union left where Chalmers and Jackson had been engaged since 10 o'clock, in an unsuccessful fight with
Stuart and McArthur. Bowen's brigade was sent to support Jackson and was closely followed, en échelon to the left, by Statham's,
Stephens's, and Gladden's brigades in an attack upon Hurlbut in the Peach Orchard. Stuart, hard pressed by Chalmers and threatened
on the left flank by Clanton's cavalry, was, as we have seen, the first to yield, and falling back left McArthur's flank exposed,
compelling him and Hurlbut to fall back to the north side of the Peach Orchard. As Hurlbut's First Brigade fell back, Lauman's
brigade on its right was transferred to the left of the division in support of McArthur. Hurlbut's division as then formed
stood at a right angle with the line of Prentiss and Wallace.
At 2:30p.m., while personally directing the movements of his reserve, General
Johnston was struck by a minie ball and almost instantly killed. The death of the Confederate commander in chief caused a
relaxation of effort on that flank until General Bragg, hearing of Johnston's death, turned over the command at the center
to General Ruggles and repairing to the right, assumed command, and again ordered a forward movement.
having noted the ineffectual efforts of Bragg to break the Union center, determined to concentrate artillery upon that point.
He therefore assembled ten batteries and a section, sixty-two guns, and placed them in position along the west side of the
Duncan field and southeast of the Review field. In support of these batteries he brought up portions of the brigade of Gibson,
Shaver, Wood, Anderson, and Stewart with the Thirty-eighth Tennessee and Crescent regiment of Pond's brigade, and once more
attacked the position so stubbornly held by Wallace and Prentiss. The concentrated fire of these sixty-two guns drove away
the Union batteries, but was not able to rout the infantry from its sheltered position in the old road.
William Preston Johnston, in the Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston,
gives this graphic description of the fighting at this point:
This portion of the Federal line was occupied by Wallace's division and
by the remnants of Prentiss's division. Here behind a dense thicket on the crest of a hill was posted a strong force of as
hardy troops as ever fought, almost perfectly protected by the conformation of the ground. To assail it an open field had
to be passed, enfiladed by the fire of its batteries. It was nicknamed by the Confederated by that very mild metaphor, "The
Hornet's Nest." No figure of speech would be too strong to express the deadly peril of an assault upon this natural fortress
whose inaccessible barriers blazed for six hours with sheets of flame and whose infernal gates poured forth a murderous storm
of shot and shell and musketry fire which no living think could quell or even withstand. Brigade after brigade was led against
it, but valor was of no avail. Hindman's brilliant brigades which had swept everything before them from the field were shivered
into fragments and paralyzed for the remainder of the day. Stewart's regiments made fruitless assaults, but only to retire
from the field. Bragg now ordered up Gibson's splendid brigade; it made a charge, but like the others recoiled and fell back.
Bragg sent orders to charge again. * * * Four times the position was charged. Four times the assault proved unavailing, the
brigade was repulsed. About half past 3 o'clock the struggle which had been going on for five hours with fitful violence was
renewed with the utmost fury. Polk's and Bragg's corps, intermingled, were engaged in a death grapple with the sturdy commands
of Wallace and Prentiss. * * * General Ruggles judiciously collected all the artillery he could find, some eleven batteries,
which he massed against the position. The opening of so heavy fire and the simultaneous advance of the whole Confederate line
resulted first in confusion and then in defeat of Wallace and the surrender of Prentiss at about half past 5 o'clock. Each
Confederate commander of division, brigade, and regiment, as his command pounced upon the prey, believed it entitled to the
credit of the captures. Breckinridge, Ruggles, Withers, Cheatham, and other divisions which helped to subdue these stubborn
fighters each imagined his own the hardest part of the work.
Generals Polk and Hardee, with the commingled commands of the Confederate
left, had followed McClernand in his retreat across Tilghaman Creek and about 4 o'clock Hardee sent Pond with three of his
regiments and Wharton's cavalry to attack the Union position upon the east side of this creek. In this attack the Confederates
were repulsed with heavy loss, the Eighteenth Louisiana alone losing 42 percent of those engaged. Pond retired to the west
side of the creek and took no further part in the action of Sunday. Trabue and Russell, with some other detachments, renewed
the attack, and at 4.30 p.m. succeeded in driving McClernand and Veatch back to the Hamburg road, then wheeled to the right
against the exposed flank of W.H.L. Wallace's division. At the same time Bragg had forced back the Union left until McArthur
and Hurlbut, seeing that they were in danger of being cut off from the Landing, withdrew their forces, letting the whole of
Bragg's forces upon the rear of Prentiss and Wallace, while Polk and Hardee were attacking them on their right flank and Ruggles
was pounding them from the front. Wallace attempted to withdraw by the right flank, but in passing the lines, closing behind
him, he was mortally wounded. Colonel Tuttle with two of his regiments succeeded in passing the lines while four of Wallace's
regiments with the part of Prentiss's division were completely surrounded, and, after an ineffectual effort to force their
way back to the Landing, were compelled to surrender at 5:30 p.m. The number of prisoners captured here and in previous engagements
was 2,254 men and officers, about equal number from each division. General Prentiss and the mortally wounded General Wallace
were both taken prisoners, but General Wallace was left on the field and was recovered by his friends next day, and died at
Savannah, Tenn., four days later.
During the afternoon, Colonel Webster, chief of artillery, on General Grant's
staff, had placed Madison's battery of siege buns in position about a quarter of a mile from the Landing, and then, as the
other batteries came back from the front, placed them in position to the right and left of the siege guns. Hurlbut's division
as it came back formed on the right of these guns; Stuart's brigade on the left; parts of Wallace's division and detached
regiments formed in the rear and to the right of Hurlbut, connecting with McClernand's left. McClernand extended the line
to Hamburg and Savannah road and along that road to near McArthur's headquarters, where Buckland's brigade of Sherman's division,
with three regiments of McArthur's brigade, were holding the right which covered the bridge by which Gen. Lew. Wallace was
to arrive on the field.
About 5 o'clock Ammen's brigade of Nelson's division of the Army of the
Ohio reached the field, the Thirty-sixth Indiana taking position near the left in support of Stone's battery. Two gunboats,
the Tyler and Lexington, were at the mouth of Dill Branch, just above the Landing.
After the capture of Prentiss an attempt was made to reorganize the Confederate
forces for an attack upon the Union line in position near the Landing. Generals Chalmers and Jackson and Colonel Trabue moved
their commands to the right down the ridge south of Dill Branch until they came under fire of the Union batteries and gunboats,
which silenced Gage's battery, the only one with the command. Trabue sheltered his command on the south side of the ridge,
while Chalmers and Jackson moved into the valley of Dill Branch and pressed skirmishers forward to the brow of the hill on
the north side of the valley, but their exhausted men, many of them without ammunition, could not be urged to a charge upon
the batteries before them. Colonel Deas, commanding a remnant of Gladden's brigade, formed at the head of the ravine on Jackson's
left, and Anderson formed at the head of the ravine, where he remained ten or fifteen minutes, then he retired beyond range
of the floating guns. Colonel Lindsay, First Mississippi Cavalry, charged upon and captured Ross's battery, as it was withdrawing
from position near Hurlbut's headquarters, and then with 30 or 40 men crossed the head of Dill Branch and attempted to charge
another battery, but finding himself in the presence of an infantry force "managed to get back under the hill without damage."
This cavalry and the skirmishers from Chalmers' and Jackson's brigades were the only Confederate troops that came under musketry
fire after the Prentiss and Wallace surrender.
In the meantime, General Bragg made an effort to get troops into position
on the left of Pittsburg road, but before arrangements were completed night came on and General Beauregard ordered all the
troops withdrawn. The Confederate troops sought bivouacs on the field, some occupying captured Union camps and some returning
to their bivouac of Saturday night. General Beauregard remained near Shiloh Church. General Polk retired to his Saturday night
camp. General Bragg was with Beauregard near the church, occupying General Sherman's headquarters camp. General Hardee and
General Withers encamped with Colonel Martin in Peabody's camp. Trabue occupied camps of the sixth Iowa and forth-sixth Ohio.
Pond's brigade alone of the infantry troops remained in line of battle confronting the Union line.
The Union troops bivouacked on their line of battle, extending from Pittsburg
Landing to Snake Creek bridge, where the third division arrived after dark, occupying the line from McArthur's headquarters
to the lowlands of the creek. Thirteen hours the battle had raged aver all parts of the field without a moment's cessation.
The Union Army had been steadily forced back on both flanks. The camps of all but the Second Division had been captured, and
position after position surrendered after the most persistent fighting and with great loss of life on both sides. Many regiments,
and brigades even, of both armies had been shattered and had lost their organization. Detachments of soldiers and parts of
companies and regiments were scattered over the field, some doubtless seeking in vain for their commands; many caring for
dead and wounded comrades; others exhausted with the long conflict and content to seek rest and refreshment at any place that
promised relief from the terrors of the battle. The fierceness of the fighting on Sunday is shown by the losses sustained
by some of the organizations engaged. The Ninth Illinois lost 366 out of 617. The Sixth Mississippi lost 300 out of 425. Cleburne's
brigade lost 1,013 out of 2,700, and the brigade was otherwise depleted until he had but 800 men in line Sunday night. He
continued in the fight on Monday until he had only 58 men in line, and these he sent to the rear for ammunition.
Gladden's brigade was reduced to 244. The Fifty-fifth Illinois lost 275
out of 657. The Twenty-eighth Illinois lost 245 out of 642. The Sixth Iowa had 52 killed outright. The Third Iowa lost 33
per cent of those engaged. The Twelfth Iowa lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners 98 per cent of the present for duty. Only
10 returned to camp, and they were stretcher bearers. These are but samples; many other regiments lost in about the same proportion.
The loss of officers was especially heavy; out of 5 Union division commanders 1 was killed, 1 wounded, and 1 captured; out
of 15 brigade commanders 9 were on the list of casualties, and out of 61 infantry regimental commanders on the field 33 were
killed, wounded, or missing, making a loss on Sunday of 45 out of 81 commanders of divisions, brigades, and regiments. The
Confederate Army lost its commander in chief, killed; 2 corps commanders wounded; 3 out of 5 of its division commanders wounded;
4 of its brigade commanders killed or wounded, and 20 out of 78 of its regimental commanders killed and wounded. With suck
losses, the constant shifting of positions, and the length of time engaged, it is not a matter to cause surprise that the
Confederate Army was reduced, as General Beauregard claims, to less that 20,000 men in line, and that these were so exhausted
that they sought their bivouacs with little regard to battle lines, and that both armies lay down in the rain to sleep as
best they could with very little thought, by either, of any danger of attack during the night.
We find at Shiloh that with three exceptions no breastworks were prepared
by either side on Sunday night. Of these exceptions a Union battery near the Landing was protected by a few sacks of corn
piled up in front of the guns; some Confederate regiment arranged the fallen timber in front of Marsh's brigade camp into
a sort of defensive work that served a good purpose the next day; and Lieutenant Nispel, Company E, second Illinois Light
artillery, dug a trench in front of his guns, making a slight earthwork, which may yet be seen, just at the right of the position
occupied by the siege guns. He alone of all the officers on the field thought to use the spade, which was so soon to become
an important weapon of war.
During Sunday night the remainder of General Nelson's division and General
Crittenden's division of the Army of the Ohio arrived upon the field, and early Monday morning the Union forces were put in
motion to renew the battle. General Crittenden's right rested on the Corinth road, General Nelson, to his left, extending
the line across Hamburg road. About 1,000 men from the Army of the Tennessee, extended the line to the overflowed land of
the Tennessee. Two brigade of General McCook's arriving on the field about 8 o'clock formed on Crittenden's right, Rousseau's
brigade in front line and Kirk's in reserve. At McCook's right was Hurlbut, then McClernand, then Sherman, then Lew. Wallace,
whose right rested on the swamps of Owl Creek. The Army of the Ohio formed with one regiment of each brigade in reserve, and
with Boyle's brigade of Crittenden's division as reserve for the whole. The remnant of W. H. L. Wallace's division, under
command of Colonel Tuttle, was also in reserve behind General Crittenden.
The early and determined advance of the Union Army soon convinced General
Beauregard that fresh troops had arrived. He, however, made his disposition as rapidly as possible to meet the advance by
sending General Hardee to his right, General Bragg to his left, General Polk to left center, and General Breckinridge to right
center with orders to each to put the Confederate troops into line of battle without regard to their original organizations.
These officers hurried their staff officers to all parts of the field and soon formed a line. Hardee had Chalmers on the right
in Stuart's camp; next to him was Colonel Wheeler in command of Jackson's old brigade; then Col. Preston Smith with remnants
of B. R. Johnson's brigade; Colonel Maney with Stephen's brigade. Then came Stewart, Cleburne, Statham, and Martin under Breckinridge.
Trabue, across the main Corinth road, just west of Duncan's, with Anderson and Gibson to his left under Polk. Then Wood, Russell,
and Pond under Bragg, finishing the line to Owl Creek. Very few brigades were intact, the different regiments were hurried
into line from their bivouacks and placed under the command of the nearest brigade officer, and were then detached and sent
from one part of the field to another as they were needed to reenforce threatened points, until it is impossible to follow
movements or determine just where each regiment was engaged.
Monday's battle opened by the advance of Gen. Lew. Wallace's
division on the Union right, attacking Pond's brigade in Hare's brigade camp, and was continued on that flank by a left wheel
of Wallace, extending his right until he gained the Confederates left flank. Nelson's division commenced his advance at daylight
and soon developed the Confederate line of battle behind the peach orchard. He then waited for Crittenden and McCook to get
into position, and then commenced the attack upon Hardee, in which he was soon joined by all troops on the field. The fighting
seems to have been most stubborn in the center, where Hazen, Crittenden, and McCook were contending with the forces under
Polk and Breckinridge upon the same ground where W. H. L. Wallace and Prentiss fought on Sunday.
The 20,000 fresh troops in Union Army made the contest an unequal one, and
though stubbornly contested for a time, at about 2 o'clock General Beauregard ordered the withdrawal of his army. To secure
the withdrawal he placed Colonel Looney, of the Thirty-eighth Tennessee with his regiment, augmented by detachments form other
regiments, at Shiloh Church, directed him to change the Union center. In this charge Colonel Looney passed Sherman's headquarters
and pressed the Union line back to the Purdy road; at the same time General Beauregard sent batteries across Shiloh Branch
and placed them in battery on the high ground beyond. With these arrangements, Beauregard, at 4 o'clock, safely crossed Shiloh
Branch with his army occupied by his army on Saturday night. The Confederate Army retired leisurely to Corinth, while the
Union Army returned to the camps that it had occupied before the battle.
General Beauregard, in his Century "war-book" article, page 64, in speaking
of "The second days fighting at Shiloh," says:
"Our widely scattered forces, which it had been impossible to organize in
the night after the late hour at which they were drawn out of action, were gathered in hand for the exigency as quickly as
General Bragg, Hardee, and Breckinridge hurried to their assigned positions-Hardee
now to the extreme right, where were Chalmers' and Jackson's brigade of Bragg's corps; General Bragg to the left, where were
assembled fragments of his own troops, as also of Clark's division, Polk's corps, with Trabue's brigade; Breckinridge was
on the left of Hardee. This left space to be occupied by General Polk, who, during the night, had gone with Cheatham's division
back nearly to Hardee's position on the night of April 5. But just at the critical time, to my great pleasure, General Polk
came upon the field with the essential division.
By 7 o'clock the night before all of Nelson's division had been thrown across
the Tennessee, and during the night had been put in position between Grant's discouraged forces and our own. * * * After exchanging
some shots with Forrest's cavalry, Nelson's division was confronted with a composite force embracing Chalmer's brigade, Moore's
Texas regiment, with other parts of Withers's division; also the Crescent regiment of New Orleans and the Twenty-sixth Alabama,
supported by well-posted batteries, and so stoutly was Nelson received that his division had to recede somewhat. Advancing
again, however, about 8 o'clock, now reenforced by Hazen's brigade, it was our turn to retire with the loss of a battery.
But rallying and taking the offensive, somewhat reenforced, the Confederates were able to recover their lost ground and guns
inflicting a sharp loss on Hazen's brigade, that narrowly escaped capture. Ammen's brigade was also seriously pressed and
must have been turned but for the opportune arrival of Terrill's regular battery of McCook's division.
In the meantime Crittenden's division became involved in the battle, but
was successfully kept at bay for several hours by the forced under Hardee and Breckinridge until it was reenforced by two
brigades of McCook's division, which had been added to the attacking force on the field after the battle had been joined.
* * *
By 1 o'clock General Bragg's forces on our left, necessarily weakened by the withdraw of a part of his troop to reinforce
our right and center, had become so seriously pressed that he had called for aid. Some remnants of Louisiana, Alabama, and
Tennessee regiments were gathered up and sent to support him as best they might, and I went with them personally. General
Bragg now taking the offensive, pressed his adversary back. This was about 2 o'clock. My headquarters were still at Shiloh
The odds of fresh troops alone were now too great to justify the prolongation
of the conflict. So, directing Adjutant-General Jordan to select at once a proper position in our near rear, and there establish
a covering force including artillery, I dispatched my staff with orders to the several corps commanders to prepare to retire
from the field, first making a show, however, at different points of resuming the offensive. These orders were executed, I
may say, with no small skill, and the Confederate army began to retire at 2:30 p.m. without apparently the least perception
on the part of the enemy that such a movement was going on.
The losses of the two days' battle are summed up as follows:
|General Grant's five divisions.............
Gen. Lew. Wallace's
Total Army of the Tennessee.............
Army of the Ohio..............................
|Grand Total, Union Army..................
|Total Loss at Shiloh...........................
This gives a Confederate loss of 24 [and] 1/3 per cent of those present
for duty, and a loss in the five divisions of Grant's army present for duty Sunday of 26 [and] 3/4 per cent.
It is impossible to give losses of each day separately except as to general
officers and regimental commanders. These are reported by name, and it is found that casualties among the officers of these
grades are as follows:
In the five divisions of Grant's army, loss Sunday……………………………………………….45
the same divisions, loss on Monday…………………………………………………………..
In Lew. Wallace's division, loss on Monday……………………………………………………...
In the Army of the Ohio, loss on Monday…………………………………………….…………...3
loss of general officers and regimental commanders, Sunday and Monday……........ 50
In Confederate Army,
casualties to officers of like grade, on Sunday were……………...…..30
In Confederate Army,
Total loss of general officers and regimental commanders, Confederate Army……….....….44
No general pursuit of the Confederates was made. The orders of General Halleck
forbade pursuit, so the Confederates were allowed to retire to Corinth while the Union Army occupied itself in burying the
dead and caring for the wounded until General Halleck arrived, and assuming command, inaugurated the "advance upon Corinth,"
in which the most conspicuous and leading part was played by the spade.
In answer to an inquiry made by the Secretary of War, General Halleck said:
The impression, which at one time seemed to have been received by the Department,
that our forces were surprised in the morning of the 6th, is entirely erroneous. I am satisfied from a patient and careful
inquiry and investigation that all our troops were notified of the enemy's approach some time before the battle commenced.
Source: 1913 Report of the Shiloh National Military Park Commission
Recommended Reading: 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…
Reed's history 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.
Wargamers 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:
The maps 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.
The maps 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 your system.
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
Complete captions appear on the maps.
Timothy Smith 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.
Reading: 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…
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: 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.
Reading: 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.
Reading: Seeing the Elephant: RAW RECRUITS AT THE BATTLE
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…
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: 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…
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.