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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Western Theater)
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NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 953
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Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/7/2023 8:02:51 AM
Two days of heavy fighting conclude near Pittsburgh Landing in western Tennessee. The Battle of Shiloh became a Union victory after the Confederate attack stalled on April 6, and fresh Yankee troops drove the Confederates from the field on April 7.

Shiloh began when Union General Ulysses S. Grant brought his army down the Tennessee River to Pittsburgh Landing in an effort to move on Corinth, Mississippi, 20 miles to the southwest. Union occupation of Corinth, a major rail center, would allow the Yankees to control nearly all of western Tennessee. At Corinth, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston did not wait for Grant to attack. He moved his army toward Grant, striking on the morning of April 6. Throughout the day, the Confederates drove the Yankees back but could not break the Union lines before darkness halted the advance. Johnston was killed during the first day, so General P.G.T. Beauregard assumed command of the Confederate force.

​Now, Grant was joined by the vanguard of Buell’s army. With an advantage in terms of troop numbers, Grant counterattacked on April 7. The tired Confederates slowly retreated, but they inflicted heavy casualties on the Yankees. By nightfall, the Union had driven the Confederates back to Shiloh Church, recapturing grisly reminders of the previous days’ battle such as the Hornets’ Nest, the Peach Orchard, and Bloody Pond. The Confederates finally limped back to Corinth, thus giving a major victory to Grant.

The cost of the victory was high. Grant’s and Buell’s forces totaled about 62,000, of which 1,754 were killed, 8,408 were wounded, and 2,885 were captured or missing for a total of 13,047 casualties. Of 45,000 Confederates engaged, 1,723 were killed, 8,012 wounded, and 959 missing for a total of 10,694 casualties. The 23,741 casualties were five times the number at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, and they were more than all of the war’s major battles (Bull Run, Wilson’s Creek, Fort Donelson and Pea Ridge) to that date combined. It was a sobering reminder to all in the Union and the Confederacy that the war would be long and costly.


Battle of Shiloh concludes
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-shiloh-concludes?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2023-0407-04072023&om_rid=21539c69abde70e4e3fda02b9d14d1819c3badeaf5a2bcab48a023eefe0cd3d2
Two days of heavy fighting conclude near Pittsburgh Landing in western Tennessee. The Battle of Shiloh became a Union victory after the Confederate attack stalled on April 6, and fresh Yankee troops drove the Confederates from the field on April 7. Shiloh began when Union General Ulysses S. Grant brought his army down the Tennessee […]
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/7/2023 10:28:45 AM
Please refer to the reply I put through to your earlier post on Shiloh.

It would be good to discuss in respect of your post here.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
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Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/7/2023 12:33:26 PM
Infantry tactics of firing in volleys may have been adequate for the musket, but proved deadly now that rifles and the Minie ball were the weapons of choice. Rifling imparts a stabilizing spin to a projectile for better external ballistics, greatly increasing the effective range and accuracy of the gun.

Plus the lack of adequate skirmishing played a role. And the lack of any field fortifications . Evidently, officers felt that once stationed behind field fortifications, the soldiers would not leave them and come out to fight.

When I walked Shiloh, I was impressed by the final Union position on the end of the first day. It was strong and I can see what the Rebels failed to push them back any further.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/7/2023 2:06:05 PM
This emphasis on the increased range and accuracy of the rifles is hard to reconcile with the fact ( at least, I’ve been led to believe that it’s a fact) that the Civil War battles were still fought at very close range, with distances of one hundred yards or less being the characteristic of infantry combat.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
home  USA
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Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/7/2023 4:29:24 PM
Quote:
This emphasis on the increased range and accuracy of the rifles is hard to reconcile with the fact ( at least, I’ve been led to believe that it’s a fact) that the Civil War battles were still fought at very close range, with distances of one hundred yards or less being the characteristic of infantry combat.

Regards, Phil


Earl Hess' book, The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat makes that point too. Recall that you also have casualties due to artillery. And that for every man killed in battle, 2 are going to die of disease. No antibiotics, no IVs, no endotracheal tubes. And basically one operation , an amputation.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/8/2023 3:28:35 PM
Quote:
Quote:
This emphasis on the increased range and accuracy of the rifles is hard to reconcile with the fact ( at least, I’ve been led to believe that it’s a fact) that the Civil War battles were still fought at very close range, with distances of one hundred yards or less being the characteristic of infantry combat.

Regards, Phil


Earl Hess' book, The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat makes that point too. Recall that you also have casualties due to artillery. And that for every man killed in battle, 2 are going to die of disease. No antibiotics, no IVs, no endotracheal tubes. And basically one operation , an amputation.


The aftermath of Shiloh was particularly foul for the wounded, especially the confederates, who retired from the battlefield and endured the squalid conditions of Corinth, which was notoriously unhealthy at the best of times.

A remarkable feature of the casualty figures from the battle is the huge disparity in the numbers posted as missing. The yankees returned a figure of 2,885 in that category, compared with 959 rebels. That’s three to one in the South’s favour . One would have expected that the army that abandoned the field would lose the greater number of missing in action. In this battle, though, the surrender of Prentiss’s division accounted for the majority of the missing in Grant’s army : the rebels did succeed in capturing large numbers of the enemy, and in this sense the yankees were clearly worsted, despite the depiction of the engagement as a northern victory.

Significantly, the confederate missing were most numerous in Bragg’s command ; he insisted that few, if any , of his missing were prisoners, and that nearly all of them had been killed, or were too badly wounded to leave the field. This might be a partial explanation for the federal claims as to the larger number of rebel dead that they counted and buried than was admitted by the confederates. OTOH, Bragg might have been unwilling to countenance the prospect that his men would be so lacking in combat zeal as to surrender, and would prefer to write them off as dead rather than acknowledge them as unscathed prisoners of war.

It’s also interesting to compare the casualties suffered by Grant’s army with those sustained by Buell’s. The former counted more than 1,500 killed, the latter fewer than 250. In terms of wounded, the disparity was not so great : in the first day of fighting, those who were hit were more likely to be killed outright or die where they lay. In the second day, the bluecoats who were hit were more likely to survive, at least initially.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2520
Joined: 2020
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/8/2023 4:29:50 PM
A walking tour of Shiloh its quite good if you cant make it in person. The American Battlefield Trust did one on Gettysburg as well which was great.

[Read More]

vpatrick
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nuts
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 2:23:38 AM
Thanks Vin !

This looks excellent and I’ll be settling down to watch it later.

Happy Easter !

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 12:09:04 PM
That was a first rate tour, Vin. One hundred minutes well worth spending.

I watched it here in my garden , and the weather over here is identical to what it was in the presentation : a lovely, sunny spring day.

Shiloh captures the imagination, doesn’t it ?

I knew that there had been significant woods in the battle, but the extent to which the battlefield was timbered at the time was a revelation to me ; as was the anecdote about how goats had been used to keep the thickets down !

It’s good to see that there has been some recent acquisition of ground to extend the scope of the battlefield park. Interest flourishes, it seems…… although I’m wondering if recent “ cancel culture” and attendant perceptions of how the past should now be reconsidered might jeopardise the future of such places.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2520
Joined: 2020
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 12:48:10 PM
Im glad you enjoyed it Phil it does take some investment of time but its well worth it, its as close as your going to get without visiting, I found Pittsburg landing exactly as I imagined it. I think the battlefields should enlist a corps of goats to further the battlefield experience, I thought I heard once they were considering or tried it at Gettysburg not sure. I think the battlefields are safe for the time being not so sure about the monuments I think Gettysburg had some recent issues but nothing major.

take care Phil

vpatrick

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nuts
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 1:01:28 PM
Vin,

That tragic monument erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy made a big impact on me.

The three muses : Death, Night and the Lady of the South made a poignant statement about how the battle is viewed in Southern ( white) folklore.

The death of the Army Commander and the onset of nightfall robbing Dixie of her best chance.

As our narrator emphasised, it was unlikely that the tired and bled out rebels were going to storm that final Yankee defensive gun line along the bluffs in the evening of the first day.

That said, it’s all too apparent that this was a really desperate business for the yankees.

One thing stands out : in contrast with some of the big battles in the East, when significant portions of the union forces were not engaged in the thick of the fighting, at Shiloh all of Grant’s divisions - with the exception of Lee Wallace’s command - were badly knocked about and suffered heavy casualties.

It was close.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 1:01:28 PM
DP
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2520
Joined: 2020
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 5:35:56 PM
Hi Phil

Not sure where I stand on the issue of confederate monuments on battlefields especially like the ones you referenced its a nuanced issue I really dont fully understand but I can see how they would be offensive to people. I would only hope a discussion happens before a mob decides to take it upon themselves to bring them down. Shiloh is an underrated battle that I think has huge importance. I think McCLellan would have fled the field of battle after day 1 but Grant decided to press the attack on day 2 and I think it was one of the reasons that propelled him into leadership of the entire Union armies, he was a fighter. I think Johnston even sent Davis a message that the battle was won after day 1. I do know where I stand on the goats corps though they should enlist them on Civil War battlefields to eat the under brush to make them more like they were at the time of the battle. Alot of folks buy goats as pets then abandon them I think those goats would love the opportunity.


vpatrick
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nuts
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 813
Joined: 2005
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 5:38:07 PM
Just watched some YouTube posts on this battle. Terrible carnage for both sides!
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 5:56:52 PM
Good to see you pitch in, too, Wazza !

It’s my hope that we’ll continue this discussion about Shiloh.

There’s something hair raising in the narrative : I suppose that’s because it was the monstrous game changer that ushered in the ensuing years of really big bloodbaths.

When Grant , by his own admission, realised after Shiloh that the war was destined to be fought out to a complete conquest, I wonder if he thought that it might entail three years and two days before he would accept surrender of the foe.

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2520
Joined: 2020
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/9/2023 6:14:27 PM
Quote:
Good to see you pitch in, too, Wazza !

It’s my hope that we’ll continue this discussion about Shiloh.

There’s something hair raising in the narrative : I suppose that’s because it was the monstrous game changer that ushered in the ensuing years of really big bloodbaths.

When Grant , by his own admission, realised after Shiloh that the war was destined to be fought out to a complete conquest, I wonder if he thought that it might entail three years and two days before he would accept surrender of the foe.

Regards, Phil




Good point Phil,

Sherman was there as well maybe he also realized at the time that it was total war no pulling back leading up to his destructive path threw the south later.


vpatrick
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nuts
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/10/2023 2:27:58 AM
Vin,

Just looking at a photo of Sherman at the time of Shiloh conveys the impression of a feisty, fidgety, highly intelligent and rather nervous individual.

He had actually been suspended from command for a while, having suffered a nervous breakdown after being ridiculed for insisting that putting down rebellion in the western theatre would entail the deployment of hundreds of thousands of men: he was clearly not complacent about the kind of war that lay ahead: quite prescient, actually. And yet, he was one of the principal culprits by dint of ignoring the alarming reports of his patrols.

His subsequent battlefield conduct at Shiloh salvaged his record .

What imparted that terrible intensity to this battle ?

Fifteen thousand men, I reckon, were killed or wounded on the first day, and three thousand more were taken prisoner. Fifteen thousand ! Five thousand more bled or died the next day.

There had been bloody fighting before Shiloh : four thousand killed or wounded on a single day at First Bull Run, a couple of thousand or so at Wilson’s Creek and, just before Shiloh, a bloody day at Fort Donelson.

But fifteen thousand in one day was something else : more redolent of the great Napoleonic battles of half a century earlier, and one thinks of Shelby Foote’s comment that “ it came out of nowhere “.

How was it that such violence was applied to such effect ? The numbers of men and the weight of artillery deployed were on a different scale, although I suspect the terrain which funnelled the desperate union troops into a tight corner enhanced the effect.

There was resolve and a sense of high stakes too : a now or never determination on the one hand and an existential predicament on the other.

Editing: Shiloh’s fifteen thousand killed or wounded in a single day rivals Day Two at Gettysburg. It’s on a par with Fredericksburg. Chancellorsville on May 3 is a contender.It’s exceeded by Antietam, of course, and probably by the second day of Chickamauga and , I think, rivalled by the second day of the Wilderness . Significantly, Grant himself remarked that the Wilderness was even worse than Shiloh , and that’s something! At this point, Grant announced that he was going to fight it out on that line if “ it takes all summer “. It did, and much longer. Even as late as May 1864, it seems that Grant was still being optimistic.
I mustn’t conclude my survey of the war’s bloodiest days without mentioning Stones River, on the last day of 1862. Very similar to Shiloh, with uncanny resonance. Pretty well as deadly as Shiloh, too. These Western battles had a special fury, didn’t they ?

Regards, Phil

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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/13/2023 4:53:46 AM
The narrator in that splendid link that Vin sent us alludes to new research into the confederate casualty figures for Shiloh. Determined as I am to keep abreast of this research, I made an attempt to contact the NP staff at Shiloh and ask about this revised data.

To my happy surprise, I got an email reply telling me about the author of this research and the books that he’s just had privately published. They’re available to buy at the Shiloh Battlefield Bookstore.

The name of the local scholar is Gregory T Williams, and the books are in a series titled “ A Ghastly Arithmetic “ .

The casualty figure has been adjusted to 12,216, an increase of about 15% from the official confederate return of 10,700.

I want to find out about how this revised figure has been categorised into killed, wounded and missing.

Please can any of my friends on the forum help me here ?

I was given a phone number for the bookstore

731 - 689 - 3475 , but no email. The proper name of the bookstore is the Eastern National Park and Monument Association Bookstore at Shiloh. The address 997 Pittsburg Landing Road, Shiloh, TN 38376

FaceTime comes up for contact, but I don’t use that.

Telephoning from London might be problematic.

I’d move Heaven and Earth to get this information.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 953
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Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/13/2023 8:13:45 AM
I don't see an e-mail address for the bookstore.

Your best bet may be to write a letter to the Bookstore at Shiloh.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2004
Battle of Shiloh concludes.
4/14/2023 2:46:16 AM
The NP contact at Shiloh has forwarded my request to the bookstore.

If I can get the lines of communication open, then there’s a good chance that the information will get to me.

There’s been some very successful research and revision into the figures for Gettysburg, Antietam and The Overland Campaign, and no doubt others, and it’s gratifying to behold that Shiloh is getting attention now.

Of all Civil War battles, there’s none more worthy of research and analysis than this one.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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