The Shiloh Campaign
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
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Shiloh represented the nation’s first blood letting on the scale that was to become typical of major Civil War battles. Perhaps its best-known statistic is that more Americans died in that two-day battle than had died in all the battles in all the nation’s previous wars put together. Shiloh also represented the Confederacy’s first great counteroﬀensive in the western theater, the first attempt to regain all that was lost in the opening debacles ...
1. "I Must Save This Army” Albert Sidney Johnston and the Shiloh Campaign
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On the evening of February 15, 1862, General Albert Sidney Johnston received intelligence from General John B. Floyd that Floyd had won a great victory at Fort Donelson. Encouraged by this information, Johnston went to bed at midnight at his headquarters near Edgefield, Tennessee, on the Cumberland River across from Nashville. Just before daybreak, an aide awakened him with news that Donelson and its garrison would be surren-...
2. A Terrible Baptism by Fire David Stuart's Defense of the Union Left
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Shortly after 6 p.m. on April 6, General P. G. T. Beauregard halted the attack of his Confederate Army of Mississippi on the lines of Grant’s Army of the Tennessee. “The victory is suﬃciently complete,” explained Beauregard to one of his subordinates. The Creole general was confident that if Grant’s army did not withdraw during the night, as Beauregard rather expected, his own Confederate army would drive it into the river. He was ...
3. Anatomy of an Icon Shiloh's Hornets' Nest in Civil War Memory
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The sweat-lathered soldier, caked with black powder and grime, peered through lengthening shadows to see if they were coming again. Along with neighboring units, his regiment, the Twelfth Iowa Infantry, had for six hours repelled at least seven or eight attacks on their position. Those rebels in butternut and gray had attacked over and over again, fresh unit after unit coming against their position only to be turned away by the thunder-like ...
4. Intolerably Slow Lew Wallace's March to the Battlefield
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The Battle of Shiloh had been raging for five hours, and the sun was nearing its zenith. Ulysses S. Grant, together with several of his staﬀ oﬃcers, was inspecting the lines near the right wing of his hard-pressed army. Seeing a body of Union troops moving up in support of the line, Grant exclaimed, “Now we are all right, all right. There’s Wallace.” But the troops Grant had spotted did not belong to Brigadier General Lew Wallace’s Third ...
5. Soul-stirring Music to Our Ears Gunboats at Shilohh
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The Confederate artillerymen and their infantry guardians gazed down and to their left from the bluﬀs at the two black menacing shapes. The vessels pulled around the large island in the middle of the stream and halted, their wheels churning just enough to maintain steerage. Even at one thousand yards, the men could see the vessels were similar but not twins. Both had high vertical sides, very tall chimneys, and each bristled with guns. The ...
6. General Beauregard’s “Complete Victory” at Shiloh An Interpretationhh
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Atelegram, sent from the Shiloh battlefield on the evening of April 6, 1862, to Confederate oﬃcials in Richmond, told what had happened, or at least what General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard thought and hoped had happened: “We this morning attacked the enemy in strong position . . . , and after a severe battle of ten hours, . . . gained a complete victory, driving the enemy from every position."1 President Jeﬀerson Davis still had no reason to doubt the accuracy of this ...
7. Victory for Neither Side Confederate Soldiers' Reactions to the Battle of Shiloh
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Late on April 6, 1862, from the Shiloh battlefield, commanding general Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard wrote to the Confederate government in Richmond, “We this morning attacked the enemy [at Shiloh], and after a severe battle of ten hours, . . . gained a complete victory.”1 Confederates fought hard that day and pushed the Union army to the banks of the Tennessee River. With ideas of certain victory, Confederate soldiers encamped ...
8. After Shiloh Grant, Sherman, and Survival
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The story is so oft-told that it seems all too familiar, a staple of the traditional Civil War narrative. Immediately after Shiloh, Ulysses S. Grant dropped his previous notion that the war might be a short contest decided in a handful of battles: the Confederate resistance suggested to him that this war might go on for some time. Whether it would go on with him was another matter altogether. He came under criticism so intense that for a while it looked ...
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The area west of the Appalachian Mountains, known in Civil War parlance as “the West,” has always stood in the shadow of the more famous events on the other side of the mountains, the eastern theater, where even today hundreds of thousands visit the storied Virginia battlefields. Nevertheless, a growing number of Civil War historians believe that the outcome of the war ...
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Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 3 maps
Publication Year: 2009