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. 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.