Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War

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Overview

The Battle of Shiloh was fought in April 1862 on the banks of the Tennessee River in south central Tennessee. In two days of vicious combat more casualties were inflicted than in all of the rest of America's wars added together up to that time. Despite the bloody butcher's list, no land exchanged hands. The North was stunned to hear that one of its principal armies had been taken by surprise. The Federal commander, Major General Ulysses S. Grant, faced a storm of unanswered questions. His career was ultimately ...
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1997 Hardcover 1st Edition New in Fine jacket 0684803755 As New.

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Overview

The Battle of Shiloh was fought in April 1862 on the banks of the Tennessee River in south central Tennessee. In two days of vicious combat more casualties were inflicted than in all of the rest of America's wars added together up to that time. Despite the bloody butcher's list, no land exchanged hands. The North was stunned to hear that one of its principal armies had been taken by surprise. The Federal commander, Major General Ulysses S. Grant, faced a storm of unanswered questions. His career was ultimately salvaged only by the personal support of President Abraham Lincoln, who declared, "I can't spare this man; he fights." The Southern commander, General Albert Sidney Johnston, lay dead on the field of battle. For the Confederacy, Shiloh proved to be a defeat in a battle that absolutely had to be won. The unfolding story that took place was not fated. The events that occurred were the results of personalities, individual judgments, and political policies formulated in the respective capitals of Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia.

A brilliant reexamination of one of the bloodiest and most crucial battles of the Civil War, Shiloh presents the story of that fascinating enigma of American history, Ulysses S. Grant, who, at Shiloh, showed himself at his best--and worst--winning by sheer dogged grit. 24 photos. Maps. 480 pp. National print ads. Author publicity. 20,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The bloodbath at Shiloh, Tenn. (April 6-7, 1862), brought an end to any remaining innocence in the Civil War. The combined 23,000 casualties that the two armies inflicted on each other in two days shocked North and South alike. Ulysses S. Grant kept his head and managed, with reinforcements, to win a hard-fought victory. Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston was wounded and bled to death, leaving P.G.T. Beauregard to disengage and retreat with a dispirited gray-clad army. Daniel (Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee) has crafted a superbly researched volume that will appeal to both the beginning Civil War reader as well as those already familiar with the course of fighting in the wooded terrain bordering the Tennessee River. His impressive research includes the judicious use of contemporary newspapers and extensive collections of unpublished letters and diaries. He offers a lengthy discussion of the overall strategic situation that preceded the battle, a survey of the generals and their armies and, within the notes, sharp analyses of the many controversies that Shiloh has spawnedincluding assessments of previous scholarship on the battle. This first new book on Shiloh in a generation concludes with a cogent chapter on the consequences of those two fatal days of conflict. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC and History Book Club split main selections. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Before Antietam, Shiloh stood as the bloodiest engagement of the Civil War. The April 1862 battle did not decide the war, as Daniel (Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee, Univ. of North Carolina, 1991) recognizes, but it almost ruined Gen. U.S. Grant, shook up the commands of both Union and Confederate armies, and left the West open to Union advances. Daniel's is the first study of the battle in 20 years and in many ways the most original. By juxtaposing accounts of fighting along the lines with scenes of political infighting in Washington and Richmond, Daniel shows how the politics of command, personal jealousies, piecemeal intelligence, and the skills of small-unit commanders affected the outcome of the battle. He also reminds us how little politicians and generals controlled events once soldiers started to fight. But he oversells the story. Only astute readers will escape from the swirl of battle details with a good sense of why Shiloh mattered. Recommended for large public and academic libraries.-Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Kirkus Reviews
The first full-length history of this epic Civil War battle in two decades delivers Homeric gore minus the sweep and poetry.

Granted, Daniel (History/Murray State Univ.) isn't trying to be Homer. His densely annotated study is a solid, even remarkable piece of scholarly reconstruction that stresses historical preciseness over drama, right down to its frequent, often clinical descriptions of wounds. The human dimension of the first large-scale slaughter of Americans by Americans remains strangely and unfortunately muted, buried beneath an avalanche of facts and figures documenting troop strength and tactical maneuvers. Telling details, like a rebel soldier's recollection of shivering in his tent on the eve of battle as a band played "Home Sweet Home" in the nearby Union camp, are too few and far between. Daniel's explication of the egotism, self-interest, and insecurity that hindered the judgment of both Union and Confederate commanders and the politics that guided staffing and strategy textures the blow-by-blow tactical commentary with some human interest. The inclusion of so many minor figures, while confusing, also shorts in-depth analyses of major players like Union general Ulysses Grant, who remains remote. Daniel's major accomplishment is that he effectively dramatizes the chaos of war—the traffic jams, bungled orders, and terror-stricken confusion that constitute the ragged improvisation of battle. But Daniel too often fails to rise above that chaos, miring the reader in it as well. Stepping back more frequently to add analyses to the description would provide badly needed perspective and scope, making the account more accessible to novices who don't know a regiment from a brigade. Though he purports to settle differences among historians, Daniel's tone is closer to mediation than finality.

Exhaustive but workmanlike, this will be of interest to academics and hard-core Civil War buffs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684803753
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 4/7/1997
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author


Larry J. Daniel is the author of Soldiering in the Army of Tennessee and Cannoneers in Gray. He lives in Murray, Kentucky.
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Table of Contents


Contents

List of Maps

Preface

ONE The Capitals

TWO A Crisis of Faith

THREE Golden Opportunities

FOUR The Armies

FIVE Storm Clouds

SIX The Opening Attack

SEVEN Confederate High Tide

EIGHT The Blue Line Stiffens

NINE Lost Opportunity?

TEN Counterattack

ELEVEN Retreat

TWELVE Ramifications

APPENDIX A: Order of Battle

APPENDIX B: Strength and Losses

APPENDIX C: The Confederate Dead

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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Customer Reviews

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