Shiloh

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Shiloh After Shiloh the South would never smile again. Known originally as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle fought in North America up to that time. Pittsburg Landing was an area from where the Yankees planned to attack the Confederates who had moved from Fort Donelson to Corinth, Mississippi. The North was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant and the South by General Albert Sydney Johnston. The Union army was taken by surprise the first day when the Confederate Army unexpectedly attacked, but after Union reinforcements arrived the fighting virtually ended in a tie. Lasting for two days, April 6 and 7 of 1862, casualties for both sides exceeded 20,000. The Battle of Shiloh was a message to both the North and South that the Civil War was for real. General Grant was anxious to maintain the momentum of his victory at Fort Donelson. His army had moved up to a port on the Tennessee River called Pittsburg Landing in preparation for an attack on Corinth, Mississippi, where the Confederate troops were located. General Halleck, Western U.S. Army commander, had ordered Grant to stay put and wait for reinforcements. Grant had given command of the Pittsburg Landing encampment to General William T. Sherman while he waited at his camp in Savannah, Tennessee. (1) At Corinth, Confederate Generals Albert Sydney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard worked feverishly to ready the 40,000 plus troops there for an attack on the Union Army at Pittsburg Landing before U.S. Army General Buell and reinforcements could arrive from Nashville. The officers appointed as corps commanders for the South were Major General John Breckinridge, Major General William J. Hardee, Major General Braxton Bragg, and Major General Leonidas Polk. The South headed for Pittsburg Landing on April 4, 1862 but because of several delays the attack was postponed until April 6. The Battle of Shiloh began early the morning of April 6. Johnston’s men burst out of the woods so early that Union soldiers came out of their tents to fight. The Confederate army drove the Yankees back eight miles that day. One area that was especially troublesome for the South was nicknamed the Hornet’s Nest and was commanded by Union General Prentiss. The area was a sunken road that Federal troops rallied behind and mowed down wave after wave of Rebel attackers until General ... ... middle of paper ... ...fternoon of April 7. "It was now, however, only about one o’clock…and Buell’s fresh men numbering 30,000 in all were still coming in. Gen. Beauregard knew there was a limit to human endurance…and after proper consideration, thought it wise to retire" (New Orleans, Times-Picayune, 1862). The Confederate Army retreated to Corinth. The Union Army didn’t follow them and was glad to see them go.(5) After the Battle of Shiloh both sides reported that the war would be long and drawn out. When asked, after he was captured, if he thought Shiloh would lead to peace, General Prentiss stated "Never, till the Union is restored. If we do not whip you with the men we have, we will bring more (New Orleans, Times-Picayune, 1862). Though the price of battle at Pittsburg Landing was high for both sides, it was only the beginning of the destructiveness that lay ahead. WORKS CITED Crist, Lynda Lasswell 1995. The Papers of Jefferson Davis. Louisiana State University Press. Volume VIII. Moore, Frank 1865. The Rebellion Record. Arno Press. Volume XXII. H.P. Special Correspondant, "The Battle of Shiloh." April 11, 1862. New Orleans The Times-Picayune. Volume XXVI Number 65.

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