Battle of Shiloh

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The Battle of Shiloh was a battle in the American Civil War. It was fought on April 6 and April 7, 1862 in Tennessee. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

Background[change | change source]

The Union Army of the Tennessee was commanded by U.S. Grant. Grant had captured Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in western Tennessee during the early months of 1862. This forced the Confederate army to leave Kentucky, western Tennessee, and central Tennessee. Grant wanted to capture the city of Corinth, Mississippi next. But his superior, Henry W. Halleck, didn't want Grant to go any further south until other Union soldiers joined him. So Grant moved his army to a place called Pittsburg Landing, which was on the Tennessee River. There was a church near the landing called Shiloh Church. His army stayed there for several weeks.

The Confederates were commanded by Albert S. Johnston. His second-in-command was P.G.T. Beauregard. Beauregard came up with a plan to recapture western Tennessee. Confederate soldiers from all over the Western theater gathered in Corinth. They then marched north towards Grant's army starting on April 3rd. The Confederate army was ready to attack on the morning of the 6th.

The Battle[change | change source]

The battle started about dawn on April 6th. The Confederates surprised the Union army. After fighting all day, Grant's army retreated back to Pittsburg Landing. Johnston was killed during the battle and Beauregard took over the Confederate army. Union soldiers arrived at the battlefield during the night. They were part of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by Don Carlos Buell.

Grant attacked the Confederates the next morning. There was fighting all morning and during the afternoon. By 4 p.m., Beauregard decided to retreat back to Corinth.

Aftermath[change | change source]

The Confederates lost 10,698 casualties during the battle.[1] The Confederate dead were buried on the battlefield by Union soldiers.[2]

The Union army lost about 14,500 casualties during the battle.[3]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Cunningham, p. 375.
  2. Cunningham, p. 379.
  3. Cunningham, p. 376.

Sources[change | change source]

  • Cunningham, O. Edward. Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862, edited by Gary D. Joiner and Timothy B. Smith. New York: Savas Beatie, 2007. ISBN 978-1-932714-27-2.
  • McDonough, James Lee. Shiloh – in Hell before Night. Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press, 1977. ISBN 0-87049-199-7.