The novel, “Shiloh” by Shelby Foote is a fictional recreation of the bloody battle. The story begins with the soldiers of the Confederate Army heading towards Pittsburg Landing. The men are marching in terrible conditions. It is pouring down rain and they are dragging their tired legs through the mud. The troops come to a halt so the commanders can talk to General Johnston. General Johnston says the only way they might have a chance is if they plan a surprise attack. As the sergeants hand the men their guns, they are told to check the powder in case it got wet in the rain. A group of soldiers test their guns out on a deer running close by. At the same time the shots were fired, the sun came out and the soldiers started to scream and cheer. These noises combined were more than enough to alert the Union soldiers of the Confederates advance. Palmer remembers what his life was like before going to war. He attended the Louisiana State Military Academy when the Confederacy seceded from the Union. One of his professors predicted the south did not have a chance of winning the war. That night Palmer dreams of holding Sherman at gunpoint making him admit that he was wrong. Prior to the battle, the commanders create a battle plan. Palmer is assigned a part in this process. When the plan fails, Palmer learns that planning a battle is more difficult than it seems because the commanders on the ground face challenges that do not exist on paper.
The story then shifts over to the Union side. The second chapter opens with Captain Walter Fountain writing a letter to his wife. He talks about a dog named Bango that went into shock when he witnessed his partner’s death. Walter then talks about General Ulysses Grant. He tells ...
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... At first he thinks they are out of breath but then he realizes they are wounded or even dead. Luther avoids the men on the ground, even if it is someone he knows because for some reason he thinks death could somehow be contagious. One last example of the inhumanity of war is when Forrest breaks through the Union lines at the Battle of Fallen Timber. Forrest grabs a Union solder and uses his body as a shield.
I would recommend this book to a friend because the reader is able to comprehend different aspects of the war. This novel is written in an upfront style, which makes it easy for the reader to follow along. I am thinking about including something about how war gives soldiers mental disorders for my thesis argument. I would like to write about the mental health of our troops for my research paper. I intend to focus on psychological disorders and mental illness.
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