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Shiloh, 1862

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Shiloh, 1862

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Groom has given the Battle of Shiloh the mega attention that it deserves by writing a book with the storytelling appeal of fiction but solidly backed with fact.... This is a book that will stay with you for a very long time." The Washington Post

"Groom enhances his solid reputation as a writer of general audience military history with this narrative of the Civil War’s first major battle in the west." –Publisher's Weekly 

“This thrilling narrative account of Shiloh from the bestselling author of Forest Gump, is a vivid portrayal of key players and epic moments that changed America’s understanding of the war.”
Publishers Weekly Top 10: History and Military History

"Stirring Civil War history from the author of Forest Gump....The emphasis on the human element gives the book a power that sets it apart from most military histories." Kirkus [Starred Review]

"Including pertinent military detail about weapons and organization, Groom’s compositional acumen makes Shiloh move quickly, vividly, graphically, and perfectly for armchair buff and battlefield visitor alike." Booklist 

“Groom’s gripping narrative is full of absorbing firsthand accounts from drummer boys, officers and enlisted men, nurses, and civilians…A provocatively rendered and persuasively argued study that demands a central place in Civil War historiography.” Library Journal (Starred Review)
 

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly
Groom enhances his solid reputation as a writer of general audience military history with this narrative of the Civil War’s first major battle in the west. Shiloh was fought by armies unprepared in every way. Men and regiments were untrained; armament was improvised; senior officers were no more than uniformed civilians. Only the few experienced commanders, like Ulysses Grant and William Sherman of the Union, and Confederates Albert Sidney Johnson and P.G.T. Beauregard, had any idea of what to expect when their neophyte soldiers met on April 6–7, 1862. What they endured was a savage death grapple in a remote corner of Tennessee. Groom skillfully uses personal narratives to reconstruct the horror of slaughter pens like the Hornets’ Nest , where Union troops drove back eight attacks before surrendering. Disorganized by victory, the Confederates stumbled, then retreated as Union reinforcements began reaching the field. The battle was a tactical draw, not for lack of courage but from want of skill. “A determined effort by Grant to pursue the retreating Confederate army likely would have ended the Civil War in a fell swoop,” concludes Groom (Kearny’s March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846–1847), in a harsh assessment of Grant’s leadership at a crucial moment. Agent: Theron Raines, Raines and Raines. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In chronicling the bloody fighting of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee 150 years ago, novelist and historian Groom (Kearny's March: The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846–1847) compels the reader to appreciate the enormous toll to both sides owing to advanced arms, outmoded battle tactics, and poor generalship. Although Groom lays responsibility on both sides, he especially blames General Grant and General Sherman, serving under him, for failure to fortify positions, properly reconnoiter, read the signs of enemy advances, and have a battle plan in case of attack. Union forces prevailed owing to late-arriving reinforcements and Confederate failure to capitalize on earlier gains. Groom's gripping narrative is full of absorbing firsthand accounts from drummer boys, officers and enlisted men, nurses, and civilians, including future writers such as Lew Wallace (Ben-Hur) and Ambrose Bierce ("An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge"). In conclusion, Groom sees Shiloh as a learning experience for Grant, who finally understood that no single battle, no matter how costly or geographically significant, could end the rebellion: the Union could be restored only through the total conquest of the South. VERDICT A provocatively rendered and persuasively argued study that demands a central place in Civil War historiography. Highly recommended. (Illustrations and editorial apparatus not seen.)—John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland
Kirkus Reviews
Stirring Civil War history from the author of Forest Gump. Groom (Kearny's March, 2011) presents Shiloh, fought on April 6-7 in western Tennessee, as a turning point in the war. The casualty count exceeded all previous American wars combined. After setting the stage, Groom takes the reader to Pittsburg Landing, the nearest town to the battle, a few days beforehand. Grant and Sherman had moved 48,000 troops into the area, and were expecting more. Against them were arrayed some 45,000 rebels commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard. But little of the commanders' brilliance showed in the early fighting. Grant and Sherman, expecting reinforcements from Don Carlos Buell, were caught unprepared. Meanwhile, Beauregard either misinterpreted or disregarded Johnston's battle plan, sending his troops in three consecutive waves rather than in three corps fighting abreast. Add to that the utter greenness of the troops, many of whom had never fired their guns, and the difficulty of the terrain, and it is easy to understand the chaos of the first day's battle. Driven back in the morning, the Union lines stabilized over a sunken road to repel successive rebel assaults. When Johnston was killed, Beauregard, after more fierce action, called his men off to await the morning. But it was too late—Buell, with 17,000 reinforcements, arrived on the field, leading the Union to victory. Groom follows individual soldiers and small units as well as the larger shape of the battle, and quotes extensively from primary sources, including memoirs by Henry Stanley, Ambrose Bierce and Lew Wallace. The author also looks at the battle's impact on civilians, some of whom remained in their farmhouses while fighting raged over their fields. The emphasis on the human element gives the book a power that sets it apart from most military histories. Essential reading for Civil War buffs and a great overview of a key battle for neophytes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426211713
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 370,655
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Winston Groom is the author of 15 previous books, including Vicksburg, 1863; Kearny’s March; Patriotic Fire; Shrouds of Glory; Forrest Gump; and Conversations with the Enemy (with Duncan Spencer), which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He lives with his wife and daughter in Point Clear, Alabama.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I read alot of non-fiction and I love Winston Groom's style. The players come to life and are fully fleshed out. The history leading up to the battle adds true value to understanding the battle without overwhelming the tale itself. Read this in one day.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    Very interesting perspective, however the first 200 pages are not about Shiloh per se.

    I find it difficult to follow as the author bounces around almost as though this was written off the top of his head. It is good and interesting but little to do with Shiloh as a battle itself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Biased history in the Shelby Foote style.

    Typical southern bias that cannot get over that Grant and Sherman were far better generals than any southern generals in the west or that union soldiers were as good or better than confederate soldiers. Uses rumors from diaries of local civilians that have been proven to be untrue about Grant to try to undermine Grant's character and abilities. No new information on the battle.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not as good

    Not as good as Groom's prior books on Franklin and Vicksburg but not a bad read. Concentrates on the first day of battle with almost nothing on the second day. The fact that it is published by National Geographic Press isn't surprising.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Rock this

    Sweet and cool

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    An Exceptional Historical Analysis

    A great illustration of how victory can be snatched from the jaws of near defeat if the General in charge has the courage to make it happen. Grant and Sherman in their first major combat together developed a relationship that would ultimately bring the Civil War to an end. Sadly, they learned at Shiloh that the only path to victory was the destruction of the Conferate Armies. The horrors and suffering of war stand out in bold relief and remind us about the dreadful consequences of failure of the political process. The end result is still a work in progress as this Country tries to process the lessons learned from the terrible conflict. The machinations and duplicity of the military lightweights with whom Grant had to deal are a sad commentary on the human condition. The strength and vision of Abraham Lincoln saved the day. He was smart enough to note that more of his Generals should have a taste from time to time. An extraordinary story illuminated in a most readable and enjoyable fashion. The suffering of individual soldiers is something that should never be forgotten.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Willowstars story part two

    "Shadowclan are attacking!"Shrewclaw the deputy jumped up."Greenstar!Hurry!"Greenstar came running."Thunderclan!Pinefeather,Mosspelt,Dewheart,Smalltail,Cinderleap!You stay here!"Willowheart ran after all the others.She jumped onto the firdt Shadowclan cat she saw.It was a tan tom with blue eyes.He smelled a bit like her..."Hey WillowKIT,"he snarled,"Yes Im your father.Thunderclan drove me out because my mate was from Shadowclan.But they kept you.""I cant believe you werent there to see me become a warrior!Im also a going to have your grandkits soon.""Hmmm.Who is your mate?""Tigerwing."The tom lept onto her and scratched her side.He pinned her to the ground and was about to slice open her belly when Tigerwing leaped onto him.The two toms wrestled but Tigerwing was too strong.He sent her dad fleeing into the trees like a scared kit."Was that Whitestar?""Y...yes."...
    One moon later...Willowpelt gasped pain.Her kits were coming!Swiftpelt rushed in and gave her a stick.Then,her belly rippled and she gasped in pain.Swiftpelt nipped the sack and a small muscular tom with a striped pelt slipped out.Her belly rippled again.This time it was a small tan she kit.Last was a gray tom.Tigerwing ran in as soon he heard about the kits."They're lovely!,"he murmered."Lets name the striped tom Stripedkit.The she kit is Sweetkit.The last tom is...""Minnowkit,"mewed Tigerwing.Three moons later...Minnowkit chased Sweetkit around.They ran out of camp and Whitedtar snatched up Sweetkit.Willowheart searched everywhere.She was never found.Their deputy Honeyfeather had died and it was time for the new deputy to be chosen."Antclaw will be deputy,"announced Greenstar...

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Great Service

    Book arrived as promised, great condition and timely shipping!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

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    Posted April 20, 2012

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    Posted April 20, 2012

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    Posted May 6, 2012

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    Posted November 1, 2012

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    Posted April 10, 2012

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