Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862

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Overview

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 ...

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Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862

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Overview

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. The offensive 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 themfrom 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Civil War Books and Authors
With their sparkling introductory essay, editors Gary Joiner and Timothy Smith give readers ample reason to want to read O.Edward Sullivan's 1966 dissertation....Anyone with a serious interest in the early Western theater campaigns and the Battle of Shiloh will find this book essential reading. Casual readers will likely enjoy it as well (not something you can often say about a dissertation).
—A Wagenhoffer
Collecting Miscellany
...an excellent scholarly work about the pivotal Shiloh Campaign.
The Weekly Standard
...it may well be the best, most perceptive and authoritative account of the Battle of Shiloh.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932714272
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Along the Rivers 1

Chapter 2 Lincoln Takes a Hand 23

Chapter 3 Breaking the River Barriers 43

Chapter 4 General Halleck Intervenes 69

Chapter 5 The Armies Gather 91

Chapter 6 The March to Shiloh 115

Chapter 7 Surprise 143

Chapter 8 Around Shiloh Church 165

Chapter 9 The Battle Spreads 191

Chapter 10 The Crossroads 219

Chapter 11 Hornet's Nest 247

Chapter 12 Retreat 277

Chapter 13 Last Stand 305

Chapter 14 Buell, Grant, and Beauregard 329

Chapter 15 Victory? 353

Chapter 16 Corinth 379

Appendix 1 Organization of the Confederate Army 397

Appendix 2 Organization of the Union Army 407

Appendix 3 Casualties at the Battle of Shiloh 421

Appendix 4 Photo Tour of Shiloh 425

Bibliography 438

Index 455

Interview with the Editors 477

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2008

    Solid Account of Shiloh

    Shiloh and The Western Campaign of 1862 should be on the list of anyone interested in the early Western Theatre. The pre-Shiloh accounts of the overall action in Kentucky and Tennessee are excellent. The battle itself is handled well although more detailed maps would help. Not great, but solid. Check out Larry Daniels' 'Shiloh' for the best review of this important battle. Include this book as well for a solid and balanced account.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    so bad book

    is about a dog who tavel with adortian.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 28, 2010

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    Posted May 2, 2011

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    Posted September 7, 2012

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